Asia | Korea, Republic of – Don’t get excited…
Hey all (assuming anyone actually reads this drivel!)
I know I’ve not been on for almost a month, but the reality is that not an awful lot has happened that would be of interest to anyone. Nonetheless, since I’m here now, I may as well bore you with it regardless!
I went out in Gangnam (a trendy area of Seoul) a few weeks ago with Tom from my school, and a couple of Canadians I’d met. We had a very nice time thank you, and the evening was particularly enhanced by the presence of a UFO. Admittedly it was on a wire suspended between two buildings, but it had flashing lights and jets of gas, and really looked pretty spiffing. I was quite impressed. We found ourselves in a bar staffed by two delightful Korean girls, who chatted away to us all night. Tom and I decided to forget the pitifully antisocial idea of getting the last train back to Uijeongbu, since that would involve leaving at 10.30pm. Instead we made the supreme sacrifice of staying out all night until the subway started again at 6am. Much fun was had by all, although at one point Tom managed to embarrass us terribly by going on a drunken rant about Kim Jung Il’s new album, including such classics as ‘My nuclear Paradise’, ‘Will I or won’t I?’, and ‘Big red button’. Fortunately he was speaking too fast for any of the Koreans present to catch a word of it.
The next week another trip to Gangnam found me arranging a date with one of the barmaids from the previous visit. This was all rather bizarre, especially when the day came, and I realised I had no idea about the social graces of Korean dates. What was acceptible? More importantly, what wasn’t? It was no small effort just to meet her, because she lived the other side of Seoul from me, and the subway journey took the best part of three hours. To add discomfort to inconvenience, I had to stand for the majority of that time, in a train which bore a close resemblance to a sardine tin, and which I am convinced was transporting approximately half the population of Seoul. When finally I managed to transfer, I boarded a train which was pervaded by a most revolting smell, somewhere between B.O. and urine. Even moving to a different carriage made the situation no better. Were it not for the fact that I was already half an hour late, I would have considered getting off altogether and waiting for the next one. It was very unusual, because most Korean trains/stations seem to be spotless. They even have flowers in baskets above the urinals in the gents! Anyway, the date was a success, although I think that perhaps she got a bit carried away considering that it was only a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. Thus I have tried to cool things off since. I’m not quite ready for marriage yet!
At school, I’ve recently agreed to shite loads of overtime for the next month. I’m now teaching ten classes on Mon, Wed and Fri, and seven on Tue and Thu. However, they are paying me way more overtime pay than they are contractually obliged to, so I’m not gonna complain. The overtime money alone should be sufficient to pay for my flight to Thailand in April. Yippee! I’m quite excited I don’t mind telling you.
And so to end with some pointless piffle..Today I observed a street side salesman, purveying, of all things, office chairs. Just up the road was another gentleman, of simliar entrepreneurial spirit, selling globes and bonsai trees.
I apologise for the fact that this entry is largely a load of old dross, but I promise I’ll write with more interesting news as soon as something more stimulating than everyday teaching and occasional socialising occurs.