Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pictures copy and paste
I want to talk about the prostitution that exists in South Korea. It is pretty amusing. I was talking to a fellow teacher about this during the week and we could not help but laugh at the situation that presents itself, especially living in the red light district. Every night around 6 Pm there is one guy ( I have noticed this a few times on the way to the gym) who basically puts a bunch of business cards on the ground outside of the love motels. The other night I picked up a card to see what it was. It was a picture of a girl, a phone number, and I could not understand the Korean. Off I went to the gym. This guy does this every night. Then in the morning on the way to work there is an employee of the love motels cleaning up the cards from the street. It is a pretty amusing process. I told my co worker about this and he told me a story about a street around the Suwon Station area. I did not believe it, so we went down there to see it. I could not believe this place existed. It seemed like it was out of a movie. I brought it up to one kid at a bar and he called them “glass houses” it really seemed like he knew what he was talking about. I was still in shock these places existed. It is just really funny. There is a street you walk down and there are literally girls in a glass room, which maybe about 10 feet wide. I wanted to take a picture, but I figured I would get killed or something. If you like a girl, I am guessing you knock or something, just don’t throw a rock to get her attention and go in. This whole situation really makes me laugh, some people might take this the wrong way, but it is just really funny to see this when you had no clue something like this existed and then all of a sudden it is everywhere.These glass house were a few blocks long, it was not just like 5 of them or something small and hidden. Back to the guy that drops the business cards off in front of the love motels, this is not even the funny part. The driver for the call girls, you see them everywhere after dinner. First off, they are in a minivan, just think of a mini van randomly stopping and out comes seven hookers, dressed like hookers from the short skirts to the really high heels, it is a bizarre sight. The minivan is what really gets me. Maybe just coming from the USA you would think a hooker would be in a small fancy sports car, not a mini van which symbolizes soccer moms. From what I understand the government is trying to crack down on this kind of activity but it is a really slow moving process.

Thursday February 25,
Last night I bought a basketball and went to the park and played. It has been 60 degrees here the last few days, which is soon to change and get cold again. Anyways, every single Korean that walked by me stopped to watch a tall white person play basketball. After a while three Koreans aged 23 came to play. We shot around for a bit and two of them spoke some English and the third did not even try. They were funny kids, mention every famous thing about the USA. The funniest part about the night, revealed some truth to my thinking about the last few months here. Koreans, and basically all Asians wear USA sport teams hats. They got no clue what the teams are, they just buy the hats because they like the color or design. One kid had an Atlanta Braves hat and he had no clue. He liked the blue and red. I told him about the team, and he did not even know it was a baseball team. It was worth a good laugh.

On Sunday I went back to the Korean War Museum and they did a really good job with this place. One statue I did not see the first time I went was the statue of brothers. This was a pretty moving statue. The statue is of two brothers hugging each other on the battlefield, one brother is fighting for the South and one for the North. It gives a real creepy feeling when you see it. They somehow got divided up and had to fight against each other. It was the most memorable thing in the museum. I have also figured out why all South Korean men smoke so much, a Korean teacher told me why. It is a pretty simple answer, they all have to serve two years in the military and just about everyone in the military smokes, and smoking of course is a hard habit to kick, so they continue doing it; it makes a lot of sense.

One kid I hang out with teaches at a public school. I teach at a private school, better known as a hawgon. There are a few differences, public gets more days off, a lot more, they can pick when they want to vacation, they are often the only English teacher in the school, they get paid a tiny bit less then a private school, and they can basically do anything when teaching kids. He told me that all he mostly does is play games and watch movies. The hawgon is very different, because there is so much pressure put on by the parents to the director of the school. I think if I got caught playing a game or watching a movie they would ask me politely to go home. From what I hear I am in a very good situation director wise because mine are very nice and hawgons are known for not being to teacher friendly, so that’s a plus. Friday night was the much anticipated dinner with the boss. The three foreign teachers and one rich Korean man; now you have to remember Koreans love whiskey, well all Asians love whiskey. The dinner everything started out normal, just had some Vietnamese food, but then we went to a bar; which is his hangout spot. The bartenders were nervous as hell because there were three white people in the bar. One of the kids ordered a margarita and after about twenty minutes the bartenders came back and told him he needed to order another drink because they did not know how to make it. We got a good laugh out of that. Anyways, back to the whiskey. This bar we were at you can buy a bottle of alcohol and if you do not finish it they will store it for you for the next time you come back. ( I got no clue how much this cost, but it is not cheap.) The amount of money this guy spends for a night out is a lot. He is a real bright man, who has a lot of ambition; he is currently trying to start an international school in the Philippines for the tune of $35 million. A nice quiet night planned, so I could wake up early and travel turned into an exciting night with our boss. Again, all the teachers became victims of the fact that the bars do not close down. I got this one group of friends who live in about 45 minutes by bus in the countryside and they come to Suwon every weekend and every weekend they stay up till 6 and wait for the busses to start up again. I feel bad when I tell them I am going to bed and it is before 6. They always make it out for Friday and Saturday; it is pretty impressive.

Tomorrow, Monday March 1 is a holiday, resulting in another three day weekend. It is there Independence day, in 1919 they declared there independence from Japan. I am going to travel into Seoul and find something to do, just not quite sure yet; that is the best part about being halfway around the world from anyone you are real close to do. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. USA Vs. Canada could be on the menu for tomorrow also. I think this blog is starting to get a little boring, because I am becoming more used to South Korea and most things I do are of the same until the weather gets nicer when I can do a little more traveling which will be really soon. My two biggest things that I still want to do are go to the DMZ and then head to the hang river and go on a nice boat ride and see Seoul, It is still pretty amazing how many Koreans will stop on the streets just to say hello. I have noticed that parents with young kids do it more often then anyone else, mostly all of them are in amazement of an American. They will almost always want to continue talking for as long as you let them. This often becomes difficult; for example, when I go to the gym I put my Ipod in and I can not hear anyone and I will often see people waving to me but I do not notice until they have been waving for a period of time and I miss them and they are often disappointed and I look like an ass, but it happens. This happens every day but it is never a big deal or a pain because everyone is so friendly and I often get amused by it and it kills time when there is nothing else to do. Also in the markets you are more of a target then a celebrity. I know they jack the prices up when the see a tall white person come to buy fruits and vegetables. I do a little haggling with them and it usually becomes very friendly and a pretty fun time because they know they are making money and I know I am getting ripped off even though it is still really cheap for me. Another interesting thing is the old people and how many of them are really hunched over. They literally look like and upside down L. This is because there whole lives they have been dragging carts on there back selling some good or picking up trash from the streets, it is pretty amazing how much they have given to there country in physical labor which every country needs to do in order to prosper. Just like how my grandparents generation was the special generation of our time, theirs is too.

I hope everyone is doing well back home. There is one thing I am pretty amazed at, this blog has hit 50 pages, I never in my life thought I would compile any writing 50 pages. Blows my mind. GO TEAM USA!!!!

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