Friday, July 14, 2006

The Weather and Work

Lawdy Lawd, it's HOT! I was so thankful when, at the beginning of summer last year, my boss had an air conditioner installed. The summer before that I was just bloody miserable. Since there are no windows in my apartment - just a heavy entrance door at one end and a sliding glass door leading to the balcony on the other, the only way to get a breeze through here is to have them both open at the same time. No problem on the balcony door, it has a screen and it's open pretty much always, unless the air-con's on. But if I have the back door open, then people passing by outside have a nice look-see into my house, and all their noise freaks the cat out. And all their looking freaks me out. Worst of all, the creepy-crawlies, including mosquitoes, have no manners whatsoever and just come on in as if I'm hosting some kind of dinner party with me as the entree. I hate them. Spiders I don't mind so much, considering they eat mosquitoes. As long as they're not, like, ON me. Earlier this week I opened my freezer and a big spider leapt out onto my chest. Seriously. That made me make a very strange noise, but it also showed me that spiders are smart. I'd crawl into my freezer too, if I could fit.

So, anyhow, boss - air conditioner, bravo, yee-haw! Trouble is, I'm not sure she did much shopping around to determine the appropriate model needed to cool an apartment this size. I think what she was looking for is "cheap." The thing's mounted right over my bed, so as long as I'm lying down all's well. Otherwise, the rest of the apartment is muggy. The built-in thermometer in the unit must be surveying the air directly surrounding itself, as it says the temperature in here is now 25 degrees. Riiiiight. I think it's a suitable size, maybe, to cool the interior of Kamikaze's carrier. It's regrettable, because I think if I had a bigger better one it wouldn't have to labour so hard, and it'd be easier on my electricity bill.

It's hot. I've bitched about it before. I'll probably bitch about it again, as it's supposed to get miserably hot this summer, I read somewhere recently. Then again, I was told last summer was going to be the hottest it had been in a hundred years, yet I didn't think it was SO AWFUL.

In the next couple days I have to shop around for plane tickets. The prices I've seen online are ridiculous. I just don't think I can justify $2,500 U.S. for a 2 week visit home. Yet visit is what I really really want to do. I think it would do me a world of good. If anyone knows of a good travel agent, please let me know. I know my boss doesn't want me to go. It's going to screw up the special summer classes. I don't know what she's going to do if I do go, but I guess it'll sort itself out. It's not really my problem, exactly. There's a good chance the K-Teachers might resent me going as well, as they have to teach all their classes. Boo hoo.

Actually, there's been a bit of in-fighting this week between them. With the typhoon on Monday and the fact that both of the elementary schools in town have had the kids going away on field trips, some being over-nighters, on average about half the students have been missing from classes. Sometimes only 1 or 2 out of 10 students will show up. When that happens, a teacher with a fuller class might take the students from the other class. In that case, one teacher gets the period off. On Wednesday, that meant Elizabeth only taught 1 class! Judy got to go home early as well. Ha - I've had NO free periods, but have opted to not even let it bother me. The K-Teachers are keeping count though, and today started to refuse taking each other's students because they felt the other should be the one teaching. Meow!

Lately I've been feeling really attached to the students, and have a better time in class with them than I do with the bitchiness that goes on in the Teacher's Room. These women can be so catty. "Whatever!" say I. Put all the kids in one room and I'll teach 'em all, all day long. Go yank children off the street and drag them in. I'll teach them too. Meanwhile, you guys just close all the air-conditioning vents, eyeball each other up and down all judgemental-like, and re-apply your lipstick 156 times.

My face is much better. Eyes are all better. The knot on my head is much less colourful, and sensation is (unfortunately) returning. That's surely a good sign, but I say "unfortunately" because it hurts. Having a headache all the time isn't good. Today was pretty bad. Nothing I took made it go away, but I think it might have prevented me from slipping into a full out head clutching migraine sort of situation. So, I guess that's good.

However, I have to remind myself every few minutes to stop clenching my jaw. I'm Blah. Still, blah. Quite Blah.

But this made me laugh:
"Does your cat look like Adolf Hitler? Do you wake up in a cold sweat every night wondering if he's going to up and invade Poland? Does he keep putting his right paw in the air while making a noise that sounds suspiciously like "Sieg Miaow"? If so, this is the website for you." Visit Cats That Look Like Hitler. Ha!
(Oh, and click on "Best Kitlers!")


Anonymous said...

Great to hear that the swelling is going down and that you're feeling better! I'm heading out to Masan in Sept. and my apartment has no air conditioning....and after all I've read I'm dreading that reality, but hey, maybe I'll just ask my boss about purchasing a unit.


Jelly said...

I used to live in Masan. Do you know where you'll be living? Feel free to e-mail me if you want to talk about it. You must be excited!
In September you should be alright, but I'd definitely start right away hinting that you'll be needing some air conditioning come late spring. Most bosses are understanding, I think.

Jef said...

Marco Polo travel in Seoul always did me good.

Ask for Marco - no shit.

humbleman said...

If your coworkers have to take up your classes while you're away, wouldn't they be paid extra for their extra classes? Then what's they're bitching about? For not getting paid at overtime rate?

The Corporal said...

Isn't there another window where you could put the air conditioner?

I wonder if they would say anything if you just cut a hole in the wall, and installed it that way?

You might try getting an oscillating fan to blow the cool air around your apartment.

If I was a Spammer, this is where I would insert a link to some bullshit webpage where you could buy oscillating fans that would blow cool air around your apartment at rock bottom prices. But, sorry.

Jelly said...

Thanks Jef, I'll try to find them!

Humbleman- I don't know excatly how that works. I'm thinking maybe- NO,..they don't get any extra pay. When one of my co-worker's was off for a week and a half ago a few months back we all taught extra classes, and though the absent co-worker wasn't paid, no one working got any extra coin. I don't know how it works with K-teachers, but here overtime is an almost laughable concept, I think.

Hi Corp! Actually, the unit is installed in the wall above my bed. There's only one "window" in my apartment and it's the whole back wall - big glass window (with sliding door) out to the balcony. My apartment's a big rectangle, with one end being "window." Oh - I've got the fans working, pointed directly on me at all times!

Thanks, guys, for your comments!!

Joel said...

Yeah Korean teachers generally take it up the rump when it comes to getting overtime. Especially in non franchised schools. Anyway the key to those airconditioners is to use them with two fans too. get that air circulating away from the thermometer and around the apartment. That's the system I have rigged up right now

sher said...

I'm glad your eye is better--and that you're feeling so good about your kids in the classroom. But, you need to go home for a vacation!!!! You're entitled.

beepbeepitsme said...

RE : cats that look like hitler

"Sieg Meow"