Sunday February 7, 2010
I had a very quiet weekend this past weekend. I stayed in Suwon for the most part of the weekend. I went into Seoul Sunday to do some exploring and people watching. People watching in Seoul is fun because there are so many people. It is crazy how many people there are. The city of Seoul is in comparison to New York City in the size, a little bigger. Days when I go into Seoul I can only got to a few parts of Seoul. On Sunday I went to Gangnam and Coex. Gangnam is one of the upscale parts of Seoul. This is where the bus from Suwon drops most people off; it is the last stop and most common because it is closer to other parts of Seoul because the subway is 100 feet from the bus stop. Street food in Korea never seems to let me down, I got a burger for 2500 won ($2) it was not an American burger but not bad. The street food vendors always have a huge crowd in front of them. Whether it be in Suwon on a side street or in the middle of Seoul. Gangnam was where I did the people watching and it is a very interesting place to people watch because everyone in this area is so fashionable. One of the teachers told me about this area and said that if you want to date a girl from Gangnam you have to have deep pockets; so I do not meet the criteria for dating girls from Gangnam. In general girls in Korea are very fashionable; and Seoul brings it to a whole new level, it is quite amazing how everyone is dressed to the nines. The men seem to dress just like the girls, very fashionable……….. only if they were girls. There clothes are all very tight and well they look like a bunch of girls, it is pretty funny. I do not think the fact that they are tiny help them out too much either. After heading back to the subway station I went to Coex. Coex, is a cool area in Seoul; it has a gigantic mall, a casino, and the Seoul World Trade Center. The buildings all around are skyscrapers and it makes it feel like it is an important part of the city.
Next Sunday is the lunar New Year, which means that Monday there is no school. From what I have read the lunar New Year in Korea is not like most Asian countries. China goes absolutely nuts, they basically shut down the country. Koreans mostly leave Seoul and head back to the countryside and spend down time with their families. Since I do not have family here and I have plenty of downtime when I am not teaching I will have a very exciting three day weekend. I am going to head back to the Korean War Memorial Museum, and experience the nightlife of Korea. Hopefully one night I can go to a night market, they are supposed to be a cool sight to see. Our school semester is ending this week. We have a graduation for kindergarten and the rest of the kids I guess they just tell them to move along. ( how it should be) School’s in Korea change every Mid February and September, these are there two semesters. I wish that graduation was not happening because I started to really enjoy my kindergarten classes, finally got to know the kids pretty well, life goes on. I am looking forward to my new students soon. It is funny, when our school gets a new student, the directors of the school do not like to tell the English teacher, same thing when a student leaves. It makes for some confusion. The leaving part is not as big a deal as when a random kid sits in my class and they do not speak any English, so I can not interact with them. And wonder what they hell they are doing in my class; after a while you just get used to it and just realized that the hawgon (private language school) is very inefficient at this process. From what I hear the economy has pretty much put a squash on new English teaching jobs in the private language schools, but the public schools are still hiring for there Sep/Mid Feb jobs. We have had some kids leave because of financial reasons and the fact that Hawgons get ripped apart in the newspaper here because the students just get overwhelmed with school. Our school does kindy in the morning, and in the afternoon it is students coming from public school for the rest of the day. They have a long day for them and most students are just burnt out and it is clear that some kids do not want to do anything. They literally never do hw and do nothing in class because there is too much pressure on them and way too much studying for a young kid to do. None of my kids are more then 10 American years and they have school for 10+ hours a day. It shows how important it is to learn English and how much society stresses it so they can become a powerful force in the world and further advance there country and the growth stage in such a small country takes a lot of investment of time. It is cool see a country like Korea in the present because they are in such a growth period, something you will never see in the United States because they have already been through those times. I did not write much this week because I really did not do much, this weekend was more of relaxation then traveling around and finding new things to do.
My money is on the Saints, I will not be able to watch the Super Bowl until next weekend; A good party can always be put on hold for a week…….