Pictures- Still do not think I got any great photos of Korea yet
In South Korea it is legal to smoke anywhere unlike back home. What a great law it is to ban smoking in restaurants, bars, movie theaters, etc. I do not smoke and never have really been around a smoking crowd, so I realize when someone is smoking around me. Asians smoke like a bastard. Everywhere someone is smoking and whenever I go out, a restaurant, a bar, the hallway in my apartment, it sucks when someone has smoked in the elevator. That is the worst; it is like being trapped in an elevator when someone has farted, but worse. Everything smells like smoke after, and breathing is not much fun, but still remains a necessity to survive on earth. It is not just males that smoke either, females smoke just as much. The younger generations of Koreans do not smoke as much as there parent’s generation but it is definitely more prevalent then in the United States.
A few funny things that have happened recently, Thursday when I was leaving school for the night I got in the elevator with two Koreans who were coming from the floor above me. (we are on the third floor of four) I was sitting there just waiting for the ride to end and all of a sudden one of the Korean started rubbing against me. (caught me by surprise) then he bumped me again, I was still ignoring him at this point, then all of a sudden his hand hit my upper arm, I finally looked at him to find out what he was doing. (Most random things like this are Koreans being interested in Americans) and he was measuring himself with me. It was pretty funny. I started laughing and he did too. Then his friend said tall about a million times to me, all three of us had a laugh and they went on there way. Now, the most surprising thing that has happened, it has to do with one of my students. I was walking by the classroom and he had his middle finger up. He is probably 11 years old and he is just beginning English, as I walk into the class I hear the saying “fuck you” I told him to stop immediately; I do not think he knows what this saying means. There is now way he understands the meaning of this saying because he can not put a sentence together. After I told him to stop and that it was not nice he did not do it for the rest of class. The next class I walk by the window and there it was, the middle finger, waving in the air again; this time there was a song to go with it. It made no sense at all. Something about two fingers becoming one and then “fuck you.” I then told him to stop doing that and it has not happened since. It is a pretty funny story. I also had my first student who I got mad at. Looking back, this story is pretty funny. The kid was yelling, screaming and running around. So I put his name on the board, he stopped yelling for about a minute, then he started running around, so I put a check next to his name. Then he got really quiet; I started writing on the whiteboard, and the next thing I know the kid starts attacking me like a little ninja, throwing punches and kicking me. So I made him stand outside the door for a while and another teacher made me bring him back into my class. So far, this is the only behavioral problem I have had.
Sunday January 17, 2010
Another weekend in South Korea is in the books. Friday night two teachers and I went down to Suwon Yuk (Station) and went to a BBQ restaurant and it was awesome. The BBQ like anywhere is good. Throw in a few beers and some soju it turned into a fun evening. The lady that worked at the restaurant was the same lady I met when I went out on Christmas Eve and she immediately pointed to me after walking through the door. She was still friendly as ever. She spoke a few words of English and was constantly using them to use, she knew “thank you very much and ok.” It was funny for a while then it became quite annoying. She would not stop saying “ok” it was like the rap song where it is repeatedly spoken. However, she was a really friendly lady. Later in the night we went to the infamous “Now Bar” this is where all the foreigners hang out and waste there time. I was surprised how small it was. I created a huge bar in my mind and it did not come close to being the bar that I made up. However, it was still a fun place with a pool table and a bunch of white people. You never realize how much you miss seeing white people or eating American food until you either see a bunch of white people or eat a cheeseburger.
Today, Sunday my friend and I went into Seoul. I needed to get some basketball sneakers. Since I got a pretty big foot I had to go to the foreigner district of Seoul to get a pair of shoes. Itaewon is the foreigner district in Seoul, and it is a cool place, a few things that it has, bars, western chain restaurants, shopping, custom tailored suits, American sports. Since we went in early enough Sunday morning we got to catch the last half of the playoff game of the Colts and ravens. Even though the game was basically over in the third it was still great to see an NFL playoff game. There is still nothing in the world like watching a NFL playoff game, drinking a beer and eating a Cheeseburger. Even though the cheeseburgers are not to good so far in Korea. They are not bad, but nothing like the 99. Itaewon is a cool place and I will be headed back there next weekend to pick up some more stuff and watch more sports. After leaving Itaewon we took the subway to a market in another area of Seoul. This outdoor market was the biggest market I have ever seen. It made any other market I have seen in Asia look really small. It kept going on and on. I love the markets, I usually never buy anything because there tends to be nothing worth buying, but the people watching is awesome. The atmosphere in the markets is awesome. You can feel the energy because there are so many people and everyone is haggling for prices and there always seems to be music coming from somewhere. And of course the Koreans always grab the American because they know they have money and are willing to spend money.
If anyone wants to get in touch with me, ask me any questions, comments, whatever….My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, I have skype (a program on your computer where you can talk to people for free) my skype name is Patrick.jones1986