Saturday, September 30, 2006

WCB 69- Where's Waldo? (Featuring Mattie)

Can you find the kitty in the tree?
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This is my mother's cat, Flat-Black-Mattie-Cat. She's a good climber despite the fact she's got no front claws! It freaks me out sometimes, though, to hear some rustling in the leaves and look up to see her big eyes staring at me from the middle of a tree.

Kamikaze's being shunned today because of last night's incident involving his poo and my rug, so Mattie gets the nod for this week's cat blogging!
To see more cats, visit the House of Mostly Black Cats! Thanks for hosting this week, ladies!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Morning Alarm

This morning, half-asleep, I heard an argument coming in through my window. Sometimes it's hard to figure out if it is indeed an argument I'm hearing. The local accent and the volume at which my neighbours speak it, makes it seem as if everyone might be arguing all the time. But they're not.

This morning, however, the voices got louder and more agitated. I could hear a man and a woman screaming at each other. I thought it was coming from the apartment below me, until I got up and looked off my balcony. Down in the parking lot, a white car was stopped diagonally, almost blocking traffic. Both doors were open, and standing beside the car were a man and a woman, the source of the yelling.

A steady flow of vehicles nudged their way past the white car. There were no less than 15 of them that passed by, and I was shocked that none of them stopped, as by this time the man was beating the woman. I came back inside, called my friend, and asked her to call the cops.

Back outside, the man chased this woman around the car, alternately kicking her and punching her in the head. A man on a cellphone stood a few meters away, but he didn't do anything. From up above, I was jumping out of my skin. Should I holler down? Should I go down there? Why did the woman keep bending down with tissue in her hands to clean her blood up from the asphalt? She screamed back at the man, but her voice was thick with anger, not tears.

The man stepped in and kicked her hard, sending her stumbling. He hurried after her and started to punch her in the face and head, shouting all the while. She clung to the lapels of his jacket. "Let go!" I pleaded to her inside my head. "Run!"

It was only when I noticed her head kept falling backwards sharply that I realized she was holding on so she wouldn't fall down. But then her knees buckled and she went limp. She let go, and the man let her hit the ground. I came back inside to call my friend. The police would be here in about ten minutes.

Downstairs, the woman came to and made it to the car, sitting down in the driver's seat. The man came around and punched her in the head a couple more times before stomping back up the little hill toward my building. He climbed in a van and peeled out of the parking lot, speeding dangerously down the big hill. The woman climbed out of the car, slammed the door, and weaved back to the building near mine. She listened outside an apartment door on the first floor, before she went inside.

I went downstairs to wait for the police. I walked over to the white car and saw a thick streak of blood down the window, and blood soaked Kleenex littered the front seats. As I walked back up the little hill, the man came speeding back in the van and I avoided his eyes. Tra-la-la, I always like to walk around in my pajamas outside. My imagination figured he'd gone down to the store to buy a big knife. I ducked back into the stairwell of my building.

The coast was all clear when the squad car arrived, and I quietly relayed what had happened as best I could. I pointed to the apartment where the lady had disappeared into. The cop asked me to come with them. No thank you. I didn't need to be identified as the cop calling lady.

Back upstairs, I watched as the angry man answered the door after the cops knocked. He came outside and they all talked awhile. Then the cops went away!


My co-workers and friend explained today that the police will often not interfere in cases of domestic violence. Indeed, from the Project Blue Sky website,
Traditionally, Koreans have considered domestic violence as a private matter which should be dealt with within the family. That is why Korean Police occasionally ignore or don't intervene when DV incidents are reported. Women are taught and forced to live under the myth, "Women should obey men," which is a common belief in Korean society. For example, there is an old Korean proverb: "Women should obey three men in their lives (so called SAMJONGJIDO): obey your father until your marriage, obey your husband until his death, and obey your son until your death." In addition to this, there is another saying, "Women and dried pollack should be beaten every three days." which even encourages the violence at home. Currently, equality between men and women is widely promoted in Korea, but the older generation still believes in male superiority.

I imagined the police at the apartment door, "Oh! That was your wife you were beating! Ahhhhh! Sorry to have disturbed you!"

From what I've gathered from reading articles online tonight, domestic violence isn't even part of the Criminal Code here. Back home, the police are obligated to press charges if they're called to a domestic dispute and there are signs of violence. This is regardless of whether the victim wants the perpretrator arrested or not.

I don't even know how to process this newly shed light on how things are here.
It took me so long this morning to stop shaking from all the adrenaline in my system. I feel calmer now, yet my head keeps involuntarily shaking back and forth.
For shame, Korea.

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

I stopped off again at the Children's Art School I pass on my way to work. Yanno, you can learn a lot from kids. They're small and their little brains are often lost in thoughts of candy and computer games, but when they're forced to get creative they can produce some powerful images. Lessons for us grown-ups.

Case in point:
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Obviously the artist here is commenting on the struggle of life. This work states, "Even though it may seem like you're hoisting up the heaviness of the world all by yourself, on top of your head, and your nose is bleeding and you're weeping and you are just about on the verge of peeing your pants, be strong. 'Cuz, like, if you drop that shit, it's gonna hurt."

It was a good message for today. Nothing life shattering happened. The heaviness I hoisted in the air was mostly my own funk. The cold I called out as being a wimp a couple posts ago has decided to stop playing around, and has set upon me like a vulture on a bleeding wildebeest. I felt a twinge in my back reminiscent of that spasm that laid me up at the beginning of May earlier this year, so I went to the doc yesterday as a preventative thing. He actually put his hands on me (instead of the usual psychic sonar he employs) and felt my back. For a long time. His English isn't so good, but he used the word "mass." Nobody wants to hear that word, man. We shall observe my mass for a few days, says my doctor. I didn't feel too bad today in the lower back region, but then again I'm downing muscle relaxants.

Turns out my dream about my co-workers not showing up was prophetic, as Judy told me this morning "I decide I pinish dis school." She was going to talk to the boss today and give notice, but decided to wait until after the holiday.
"Good idea," I said. Let our boss enjoy time with her family instead of freaking out about having to find two new teachers. Judy doesn't really want to work. The extra classes she's had to pick up over the last week have driven her mad. Finally, yesterday, she just outright refused. I thought about Kevin writing that offering some one-on-one sessions with his students would "mean a couple more hours per week doing unpaid work, but to me, such a task would be worthwhile." Now there's a teacher.
There's more that could be said about all this, but I'll not bother. I just hope we get a couple new teachers who aren't going to teach my students to say "fish" as "pishee." If you recall, before I went to Canada I wished they'd both be gone by the time I got back. The universe is kind, and it always gives me what I want.

So I coughed my way through classes, and stopped to yell at about 20 high school boys waiting for their taekwondo lesson to start. I don't think it's unreasonable for me to be able to go to the washroom on my 10 minute break without being harassed. As soon as they see me walking by, a couple of them (who I used to teach) smile brightly and wave hi, but a few of the others break into screams of every English phrase they know, with a few Korean insults thrown in just for good measure. So I went off on them, because I'm sick of it, and I wasn't in the mood today. I wonder if they got their jaws back up off the floor before the Master came to make them sweat. And hopefully hit them with a stick.

Back in the staffroom right afterwards, I was told we'll combine the last 2 classes of 5th and 6th graders (to appease Judy) and I'll have them all until we get a new teacher. Even though they're at very different levels in different textbooks. I just rolled my eyes a little and said, "SURE! Hey, why don't you put all the students from every class into the lobby for six hours a day and I'll teach them all at the same time? But, like, can you get me a pair of stilts and coat me in oil and set me on fire too? Because, you know, I like a CHALLENGE!"

And the Child Artist imparts another pearl of wisdom, "Even if you feel like a big pile of shit and have flies buzzing all around you, slap on a smile, buddy!"
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Afterall, things could always be worse.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


On my way to school, there's a children's art school. I like to stop and look at their work. It puts me in a great mood.
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Chicken Take-Away

I got to work today and heard this strange sound. Chirping. Loud, angry chirping. One of my favourite students, little Jesse, from my 1st class of the day (by the way, he's grown out of the drawing fire coming out of everything and is most interested in me drawing insects for him) was there already. I greeted him, "Hey Jesse! Do you have a chicken in your bag?"
He looked confused.
I pointed at his bag, "Chicken issoyo? Aggi (baby) chicken?"
"Ani, opseyo," he said. (Nope, no chicken here.)

What I was hearing was definitely the loud peeps of a chick. I went out to the hall to investigate, and finally found what the ruckus was about at the far end of the corridor.
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These little guys were hanging from a broken coat rack, hiding behind a heavy broken door that's leaning up against the wall.
Chicks in a bag.

Fish are okay in a bag, as long as there's water, eh? Generally, though, other live things shouldn't be carried abound in plastic bags, should they? Should someone call PETA? Ah, me oh my.

I fetched a Kleenex box and cut up a Dixie cup for their food. (Each chick's portion of food was inside their plastic-bag-houses.) I lifted them out of their bags and into their tissue box home, where they promptly snuggled up together and shut up.
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I popped my head into the Taekwondo studio across the hall and called out the names of the only kids in there I knew, "Hey, sangdoongees!" (Hey, twins!) These two are so cute, completely identical, they look like mini Humpty and Dumpty in their little white outfits. I motioned for them to follow me.

Turns out the bag-chicks were theirs. I showed them where their birds were, tucked in on one of the shoe shelves. I showed them the now empty plastic bags and told them the little chicks were angry, but, (pointing to the box) now they're happy. They bowed and thanked me in stereo. So cute, I couldn't be annoyed at them for being clued-out.

Poor little chick.
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Maybe next week, it will die.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Dream Host

I've got a problem in that I'm just not getting solid sleeps these days. I don't know why. I'm more tired that I've got any right to be, really. (Although I have been sporting this useless mini-cold that refuses to become raging and productive, yet also refuses to go away.)
Still, I lie down on my bed and pretty much just lay there with my eyes closed. I'm pretending to be asleep- for no one's benefit.

What I think I need is a Dream Host. This guy, dressed in a nice tuxedo, would reside in my head like the Maitre'de of my subconscious. When I was ready, eyes closed and feet sufficiently rubbed together the appropriate number of times, he would lead me down the dark tunnel to the REM Theatre where my dream would play out on one of those giant screens with TMX surround sound. Before that, he'd tuck me into my theatre bed all proper-like. Maybe he'd give me some popcorn and some Sleepytime Tea. And play with my hair. Yeaaaah.

Instead, I've got some kind of demon in my head, barring me from the lovely theatre and kicking me the hell awake so violently I awake with a jerk.
And that demon is the jerk.
Stupid demon.

Good lawd, I'm tired.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


No, you can't sit in my carrot. It's MINE!
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Go get your own carrot.

For more cat bloggy, visit fellow Torontonian Chef Sarah Jane! Happy birthday SJ!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I'm Becoming One of Those People

I will finish writing about being back in Canada. Soon! One thing about being there which was cool but overwhelming, was the amount of choices I had in the way of television watching. What's there now, like, 756 channels? Sheesh! As it was, I ended up watching mostly episodes of Changing Rooms of TLC. Fun stuff.

At the cottage, though, where I was for 12 days, I watched a grand total of ZERO hours of television. Who needs TV when the sky is filled with stars that aren't blocked out by the lights of a city? There were kids visiting throughout my time there, and kids like TV, and their parents like that kids like TV if it means they can enjoy their beer in peace for a little while. The thing is, there was a slew of remote controls for the TV and the machines attached to the TV, and you need to perform some kind of sequential button pushing to get pictures and sound to appear on the screen. I think I was shown the combination about four times or more, but I couldn't remember it five minutes after. So if a child wanted to watch TV we had to find the one person (Uncle Dave) who knew how to get the thing working. Press this button, and that button, then on this remote control press this and this, clap your hands three times and do a little jig, then press the blue button on the grey remote. Six times. Viola. TV!
(It was satellite TV, hooked up through the DVD and stereo. Just so you don't think I'm an idiot and don't know how to turn a TV on. Everyone knows you buy it a couple drinks and tell it how pretty it is.)

But here's the situation at my apartment now!
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Oh yah, baby!

I went out Monday night and bought myself a birthday present. A new DVD player!
Ever since C. took his back after breaking up with me, I've been missing being able to watch DVDs. One cool thing is I can watch Korean movies, because I can see English subtitles. So I finally finished watching the fifth season of The West Wing, and now am jonesing for the sixth season. I also bought the first season of "Entourage," which I've never seen before but have heard good things about. It was 10 bucks, so why not?!

Thursday night I came home and flipped on the TV. For some reason, channels 16-21 don't come on right away. There's a blue screen which taunts me until these channels decide to kick in. I watch OnStyle all the time (channel 18) so the longer I have to wait for the signal to come in, the more impatient I get. I wanted to watch a show that was coming on at 9:30, (American Idol,...go ahead, judge me) and when at 9:40, after almost 30 minutes of being on, the channel still wasn't coming in, I decided to press every button on the remote control. And then on the TV. I even grabbed a toothpick to stick in the hole to press the button that's probably labeled "don't press this button, stupid!" in Korean.
I was rewarded with 78 channels of blue screen.
I rock!

So I read a book for about eight minutes before falling asleep for four hours!
Luckily, my friend came over and pressed a magical combination of buttons on various remotes which fixed everything.
She would get on well with my uncle!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What, Me Worry?

So contact was made with Elizabeth, and she said she was okay. I'm quite sure she's not, but I'm also quite sure that I am DONE. I even went so far as to stick a fork in myself, just to be sure-sure.

Yesterday I was worried, and pretty much shocked - but not entirely surprised. The signs were there. If the staffroom was a volcano, it was feeling like it was getting ready to blow one way or another. I'm actually glad it blew up like it did. Today was busy, everyone has to work more with one less body, but it was good natured. Cheerful, even. I realized that I was really relieved, for a change, to be headed to school.

It was difficult to work with Elizabeth. Dealing with her on a daily basis constantly made me feel like a failure. I never felt like I was kind enough or compassionate enough. Patient enough.
In the end, though, I resented her emotionally hijacking my work environment.

I can't really believe that things ended as they did. Liz managed to really stick it to my boss, and I feel bad, because the woman deserves better than that. My boss did end up calling her brother to let him know we were worried. Today when she told me that, and followed it with, "And now I don't want to talk about her anymore."
I looked right at her and jabbed the air with my finger, "Egg-ZACT-lee!"
I feel the same way. And so ends the saga of Elizabeth. She's persona non grata at my school, and she's no longer entitled to any of my mental energy. If I start to think about her, I'm going to conciously change my stream of thought, to think about Kevin getting eaten by a giant squirrel, or Rory giving himself a crazy haircut, or this cat.

Last words on Liz, though: I wish her peace.

So things are looking up. Ha! Judy and I have put in our order for a "HAPPY" teacher. Judy wants her to be young and pretty as well, and while I don't care about that, it couldn't hurt. It'll be good for the students too. Good for everyone.



I have mentioned, in posts from this and last week, how things have been not so good at my school. Last week, I had a dream one night that I went into work and my co-workers hadn't shown up. Things have been so tense and gloomy, and the center of the storm has been Elizabeth.

Yesterday, however, things were cheerful and happy, with kids showing up at the staffroom door with their rehearsed line: "Happy Birthday! This is for you!" with their little outstretched hands holding little presents. "Thank you! I love it!" I declared, opening my kitschy little gifts from the stationary store across the street. My boss came in with her son, and (YES!) an ice-cream cake from Baskin Robbins! Yay!
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Those hunks of what looks like marble-cheese was actually white chocolate. The ice cream was cherry, chocolate, and toffee vanilla with candied almonds. Yummilicious. The next break we enjoyed some chicken that had been ordered. I was happy I hadn't eaten breakfast before going to school!

But Elizabeth had none of it. She pretty much said nothing all day, but when she had to speak she did so in this small, defeated voice. I've heard it before. In fact, I asked Karen to come and talk to me in private, to let her know that this has been going on for almost a week. She said Jane had mentioned she thought something was wrong last week. I told Karen it was like before. Like last February. I told her I was concerned. I told her I didn't know what was wrong, but knew I probably wasn't going to find out, even if I asked.

Today I came to work to learn Elizabeth quit this morning. Just like that. After over three years.
I called Karen to ask what happened, and was told - well, nothing - pretty much.
So I called Liz, who sounded drugged.
"I'm sick," she said, barely above a slurred whisper.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"I'm so sleepy."
"What? Now, or in general?"
"Now. I don't want talk."
"Liz, I'm worried about you. Are you ok?"
"I thank you for your calling." *CLICK.

I called Karen back and urged her to contact Elizabeth's brother. Nothing's right about this behaviour. It's exactly like before, except this time there was a call to say she's not going to be in. Ever.

I can't go to her house, because she moved a few months ago and I've never been there. I have no idea where it is. No one knows. I called her tonight, and the phone rang and rang. No answer.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

BBM5 - My Package from the States!

Finally another Blogging By Mail swap came around, this time hosted by the lovely Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness. Blogging by Mail is an exchange of food goodies by Bloggers from around the globe. I finally got my package mailed out this morning (about 3 days late - sorry partner) and as luck would have it, when I arrived back at school MY package from Lindsey at Wildflower in the Wind was waiting for me. All the way from Connecticut to Korea in only 5 days! Yeee hah!

I've been so lucky with my BBM partners, they've been generous and thoughtful, and this time was no different! Check out my bounty!
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Mmmmmm! Comfort food! Oh - I love this stuff! Macaroni and Cheese, some N"Awleans Jambalaya mix, and not photographed well - some goat cheese and herb potato chips and (MMM!) some white cheddar Chester Cheetah Cheetos Cheezies! Ha ha ha! Oh, and right up in front there are some sliced Parmesan bready crispy yummy things. Mmmmm!
But wait, there's more!!

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I stopped by to visit my friends on my way home and to show off my goodies, and we brewed up a pot of tea. Lindsey has a tea business, and she sent me some pumpkin chai, and some ginger peach loose tea. We had the peach tonight and it was delicious. Also, there's a couple packages of Chai-mix, and a whole container of it! Chai's so sweet and yummy- perfect as the weather cools off! There's two kinds of instant potatoes (and gratin and one garlic mashed) and I'm going to eat a bowl tonight.
Oh, and,...
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Allllright! I really want to eat this with some kind of sauce - like I would back home. My mind's blanking - it's not tzadziki-- tahini? Yoghurt based? I'll sort something out and blog it when I do. I love falafel!

Last, but certainly not least,...
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Crystal Light and Slim Jims! Pink Lemonade! Meaty goodness! I love it! Seriously, I want to bring Crystal Light to the masses here. I had a neverending glass of pink lemonade going on all day today, and all the students begged to try it - and they did - and proclaimed it delicious. There's no such thing as PINK lemonade here, and no such thing as sugar free fruit drinks. Three almond Trader Joe's croissants didn't manage to make it to photo time. They got all eaten up very shortly after the package was opened at school. They were good!

Thank you Lindsey. Your package is OUTSTANDING and I'm blown away by your generosity! I'm very grateful and this is exactly the kind of package I'd send to myself!

Actually, I was informed of this BBM round by my last partner, Eva in Belgium, right before sign ups closed, pretty much. I'll try to be more on the ball and post of the next round - hopefully there will be one, well in advance! I'd love to see another blogger from Korea sign up!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Birthdays Rock

I surely won't feel as crappy as I'd have like to have felt tomorrow. I screwed myself by essentially shutting down the small quiet party I was at, in search of a louder more boisterous norebang experience. I didn't take into account I live in a tiny, sleepy, lame-ass town- which closes down early, especially on Sunday and even more so in a typhoon.

My friends had me blow the candles out on a huge bucket of Baskin Robbins ice cream, but I didn't get a bite out of it.

After they had dropped me off, so very early, and returned a few minutes later with a couple rolls of toilet paper and a present of Japanese noodles I'd forgotten at their shop, they caught me crying.

At this age, I suppose that's what you're supposed to be doing. Especially when it feels like much of what you're doing with your life is a waste of time.

**UPDATE: This post sounds so pissy! I should have mentioned I was crying because I got a sweet e-mail from one of my friends, and it made me weepy. I wasn't being a suck because I didn't get ice cream! Everything's cool. Life's good. And as it turns out, I DO feel fairly crappy this morning! So there ya go!~
Why does my blog font look so huge and blocky?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Uh Huh!

What's that you say Kamikaze?
What's that you say, with your furry face, eh?
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It's party time?

Yah, baby! You gotz that right! It's PARTY TIME!!
"WHY?" you say?
Because it's my Birfday!
So it's time to PLAY!
And surely feel like crap the next day.
Which will be okay.
Because it'll still be my barf-day!

I like sharing my birthday with my twin brother. Because we're in different time zones, it means I can extend my birthday for about 36 hours. His birthday doesn't start for 13 hours, while mine is a GO in about 15 minutes.

Here's my brother (along with my mom) extending his heartiest barf-day wishes for me!
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Happy birthday, Jeff!

I'm off to my birthday party, organized by my friends, who are closing their restaurant 4 hours early to celebrate with me. Oh yah! Party time indeed!

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This cake is bananas. Bee-Eh-Enn-Eh-Enn-Eh-Ess. This is the same pic I stole from somewhere and posted last year, and just like last year, I didn't eat it. (But I want to!)

I expect I'll get a cake tomorrow at work (along with waaaayyyy too many presents from the Korean equivalent of "The Dollar Store." All my students know it's my birthday.) With the amount of times I mentioned "Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Cake" last week, I'll be surprised if I don't get one. Regardless, I look forward to eating whatever cake I get out of a dixie cup with chopsticks. In icy silence.
Good times!
Surely the blinding headache that my hangover will showcase will make me appreciate the lack of yabbering.

Nightmare! (Well, Daymare, really.)

This morning, well, afternoon really, I woke up with a jolt - unnerved by the crazy dream I'd just had.

In it, I was standing beside the dock in the lake that's in front of my family's cottage. There were waves, not huge ones, but definitely higher than there ever are on the lake. Paint Lake is small, and it's completely surrounded by large tree covered "mountains." (They're not technically mountains, but they seem too big to be considered just hills.)

I looked out into the water and I could see this crazy looking fish bobbing around. He looked like an Australian Aboriginal painting of a vicious fish head, with all kinds of colourful lines all over him, one big staring eye, and jagged teeth. It came closer and closer and finally emerged, but by then it had become a massive, dripping wet, grey Russian Wolfhound. It spoke to me in a language that was all fuzzy and clicky and I couldn't understand it.

Then it was gone, and when I squinted out into the waves I could see a little baby on an inner tube. The baby was there, and then it wasn't. Then it was there again, only closer, and then it vanished, only to appear closer yet again. It freaked me out. Finally, the baby was right beside the end of the dock. A cute little blond boy. He was wearing clothes, and I glanced around the empty lake looking for someone who might be missing him.

"Baby!" I said, "Why are you out on the lake all by yourself?" He smiled at me, and I noticed his skin was so pale, but he had healthy looking red cheeks. He gurgled and reached out to me. I moved toward him, thinking I would take him inside and heat up some mashed potatoes for him to eat. As I got closer to him, though, something about him looked "not right." He had such dark circles under his eyes, and he was buzzing.

"What's that sound?" I asked, as I walked chest deep in the water so I was right beside him. The baby wasn't smiling anymore, he was kind of glaring at me. I pulled back on the little red plaid jacket he was wearing and reeled back, seeing that it was full of wasps. Like, FULL of them. It was almost like he was made of wasps. I knew it was an un-dead baby as I quickly tried to run away - through the water, with my arms flailing to ward off the wasps that were pouring out of the baby's jacket.

It was the stinging that woke me up.

I'm thinking I might require some psycho analysis.

WCB 67- I'm Ready for My Close-Up

"Why for you put the camera in my face?"
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"Stop squishing my head!"
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"Oh, great. Now I'm stuck in your armpit. This is completely undignified."
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"Keep it up, and I will eat your bionic leg off while you're sleeping."

Kamikaze's not in the best of moods. Still, I think he's lovely.
Harlemgrrl, I promise, I will post Kamikaze walking soon. He does walk, though he often prefers levitating from place to place. Or flying around and eating stuff, as mean Kevin documents.

For more weekendy cat blogging and to see Luna, who looks like she could be Kamikaze's svelte cousin, visit CatSynth dot Com!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Here She Comes

They don't name typhoons with girls' and boys' names here. But with a name like "Shanshan," she's gotta be a "she." And she's coming here. Though it seems like she's a way off yet, it seems like we might be experiencing her effects already. Since I finished work, it's been raining a non-stop heavy downpour, and the locals have been pointing to it, saying "Taypo rain." I've been told it's coming tomorrow, but by the internet's figurings, it'll get here Sunday.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ice Ice Baby!

My boss has stopped coming regularly to school, and the new manager has settled into her position. I already mentioned this before, and as I said, it has been interesting to see what's happening between the Korean teachers and her. Interesting, yet sadly predictable.

Tuesday was icy cold at work. The staffroom was rife with tension and bad mojo. I didn't really know what specifically was going on but knew something was up. Interaction between Jane and the other two was curt and short- to the point of being (in my mind, anyhow) rude.

My two co-workers sat beside me before classes and during breaks, discreetly writing notes to one another and secretly passing them back and forth. Once they were read, and faces were made, the words were erased, and then the space where the words used to occupy on the paper was blackened with a pencil before the paper was ripped up into tiny pieces and disposed of. The words were apparently that damning.

My staffroom is a tiny catty class of middle schoolers, it turns out.

I'm sure there's more to the story, but part of the reason for the stoniness is that Jane had the audacity to ask Elizabeth to fix a coffee for a mom (one of Elizabeth's students, actually) who had come in for a chat. Elizabeth was, I was told, "really upset" by this. Apparently her job description doesn't include coffee-making for student's moms.

Funny, but my job description includes "Do what you're asked to!"

I know that I wouldn't be asked to make anyone coffee, but if I were - I'd make it. I mean, why the hell not - it only takes a moment. It means opening a little package of coffee mix into a dixie cup and then sauntering over to the water machine to get some hot water. Presto. Copy. I mean, coffee! However, I teach back to back classes all day long - and the ten minutes I get in-between is just enough time to visit the washroom and change books and materials for the next class, pretty much. However, the day that Elizabeth was asked to make the coffee, she had taught a total of THREE hours. It's not like she's crazy busy during her breaks either. She eats peanuts. She stares blankly at a book with her hands in her lap. Sometimes, when the phone rings, she answers it.

My co-workers (and myself) have had it easy with our owner/boss. She's fair and friendly and kind. She's also not very demanding, and really stresses out about having to "manage" us. Once I realized what a considerate person she is, I took her direction and requests calmly and cheerfully. "Sure I can do that!" At my old school, the Korean teachers were expected to do everything, including vacuuming, and cleaning the toilets. Their "breaks" were frenzied- creating teaching materials, or talking to visiting moms, or writing out the huge daily reports that were required. When Karen requested that we write reports, I said sure, while the K-teachers said "hell, no!" and they managed to get away with that!

The Korean teachers don't seem to do well with change. They're not doing well with Jane. So far this week, my school's been a tense, joyless place to be. I'm hoping things will get better. Today, the owner stopped by for a few hours - and Elizabeth went kind of catatonic, speaking to no one. Judy came around today, though, and I was relieved. What a trooper too, she'd had her wisdom tooth yanked out just about an hour before arriving to work!

Ah well.
Let a smile be your umbrella, I say.
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Mmmmm, Intestines!

Last night I stopped by my friends' restaurant. I was hoping to get out of there early, just enjoying a meal with them and skeedaddling, but as is often the case, I got sucked into staying and drinking too much!

We actually ate a delicious meal of gochujang buldeji - which is pork, kimchi, and onions in a delicious spicy sauce. I tried to replicate this meal at home on Sunday and failed, though the concoction I cooked up (which included tofu as well) wasn't that bad at all. Just as dinner was finishing up, though, a woman I met months earlier came by and screamed with delight at meeting me again! She insisted we drink some soju, and since it's unheard of to drink soju without some kind of food, she ordered more meat. Only I'm not sure intestines are considered meat.

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Here they are, all gooey looking and plopped on the grill.

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They are actually tubes - as you can understand, and they grill up all tubular.

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Until you cut them down the middle, and then into bite sized slices.

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And you eat them with other stuff, in this case a bowl of bean sprout soup, some garlic and some bean paste, another bowl of special intestine sauce which I'm sure is bean-paste based, but includes spicy green peppers, evil sesame leaf (I hate the stuff) and peanuts. Oh, and a bowl of sliced onions with some kind of brown sweetish sauce and wasabi. Yummy.

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My friends' restaurant is very 'old school' - with rocks for a floor. I've watched men at other tables spit and drop bits of bones into the rocks. I guess they figure because it's not an actual floor, it's okay to be gross. My friend tells me they have a hell of a time cleaning up when someone pukes in the rocks. They've got to scoop them up into a bucket and wash them. Gross.

Pig intestines and puke. This is a charming post.

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My buddy, who really doesn't speak any English at all, was happy.
Then she was getting really upset, because she didn't seem to believe that I understood how much she loves me. I mean, she loves me. Really, really loves me. Berry Berry much lobuhs me.
I was laughing and told her I understood, but she was getting more and more agitated. I was kind of worried she was going to cry.

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But then she passed out.

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And the intestines were getting over-cooked because no one was eating them.

The Demonic OverLord Soju, and his Evil Henchmen Beer and Smokes.
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Oh, you wicked trio, what a headache you give me. You make me so tired and hungover. I don't love you. I berry berry hate you. Stop laughing, you asses. I'm serious!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Oh And,...

More from MSN:

PETA Attacks Steve Irwin.

Again I say, PETA schmeta!


I came across an short article today on MSN's homepage that called out Mrs. Urban (aka Nicole Kidman) for being a diva. The article notes that she "infuriated" the staff at the swank Dorchester Hotel in London by insisting that they change all the lightbulbs in her suite from 60 watt, to dimmer 40 watt bulbs.

How DARE she!!

Man, that staff better thank their lucky stars I'm not staying in one of their suites. At over $3,500 a night, I'd be demanding some of their bellboys come up to shove some wires up their asses, stick bulbs in their mouths, and BE my lamps!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Grilled Dinner

Finally, here are some pictures from the dinner I had last Friday.

We went to a restaurant I'd been to once before. The middle of the place has regular western chairs and tables with grills built in and big smoke sucker chimneys hanging down over each grill. There are individual rooms all around the edges of the restaurant and down one hallway as well, where you take of your shoes as you step up into the room, and then sit on cushions at a traditional low table. My boss looked over the menu and ordered some stuff. It's always a surprise to find out what I'm going to be eating, which is kind of fun - but can backfire if the waitress comes back with a heaping plate of chicken feet. Not this time, though.

Beef was on tap.
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Here it is grilling up nice with some giant mushrooms and garlic. Both my boss and I agreed that the "samgyepsal" at this restaurant (pork) is more delicious, so after we gobbled up this meat, we ordered pork.

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This is the first time I've eaten steak tartar in Korea. It was so attractively presented, and then it was all mixed together. Yummy! I especially loved the pine nuts, but didn't like how the sweet pickle and "lakyo" (shallot?) juices were running down into the center of the plate and messing with the taste of the dish.

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Seasoned spinach and bean sprouts. Nice panchan.

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Some more stuff, sesame oil and salt, and bean paste to dip the meat in, along with rice and a bowl of denjang jjighae which was brought out at the end of the meal. I was given the choice of this salty fermented bean paste stew or mool neng myun - chewy buckwheat noodles in a sour/hot/sweet cold broth. As it was, I was too full and could only manage a spoonful or two of rice and soup.

The aftermath.
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Bear with me, folks. I'm trying to kick my butt into gear. I've been seriously unmotivated and uninspired these days. My two suitcases are still mocking me, lying exactly where I dropped them, and still half unpacked. I'm trying to pretend that I'm not experiencing some kind of burn-out, but I think I am. Ah well, the weather's cooling off which pleases me to no end, and I think maybe my mood will lighten with the sweeter temperatures. My friend told me tonight it's frickin hot in Tokyo, which I don't understand- as we're quite a bit further south! Today was gorgeous and tonight is downright chilly. I love that I have to go put on a pair of socks now.

So I have to go.
Put on socks.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Ok Go!

My brother sent me a cool link.
Love the song, love the choreography!
Check it out:
Here it Goes Again, on treadmills.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Antigen Squared

This morning I found an interesting e-mail in my inbox from my brother.

Hey Jennipoo,

Trying to get outta here, but wanted to send a quick note to tell you that you will be Antijenn to the power of two. My Honey-Sweetie went and put another bun in her oven!
Are you ready to take on the challenges that will lay ahead?????????????

This is by far the most exciting e-mail I've had this year! Especially since I was fully convinced after talking to "Honey-Sweetie" (my high school friend Lori- aka my brother's wife) when I was in Canada, that I was never going to have another niece or nephew. Turns out she was unknowingly harbouring one in her belly! HA!

I sent a quick reply, as I too was having to get outta here (my apartment) congratulating them, and scolding him a bit for letting me know his exciting news like he did. He replied,

I was going to tell you via carrier pigeon, but I thought this would be quicker. I knew I wouldn't be able to speak with you until at least this weekend, and mom and Dave know already, so I thought you'd like to hear from me instead of second hand.

My little four year old niece knows already, and I'm told she wants a baby sister, and would like her to be named "Flower." My brother has already started calling the new baby the same name he called Leah before she was born.
No, I don't know why either.

I'm so happy, though, and hope to do a better job of spending time with the new baby than I did with Leah, whom I've only seen for about two weeks total since she was born.
What happy news!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I'm Here

In kind of a funny way to confirm I wasn't just dreaming about how things are here, my first class of tiny boys who don't know any English was interrupted by screams from the street below. I watched, along with the rest of the neighbourhood, as a harrabogi (grandpa) and halmoni (grandma) went at it down on the sidewalk. They yelled back and forth, with the man threatening to beat the woman with his umbrella or fist every once in awhile. She shrinked back everytime it seemed a blow was coming at her, but resumed screaming when she realized she still could. I didn't intervene. I was up in a second floor window, and my students were taking turns climbing on my back. Finally, the man forcibly dragged the woman down the street and into a buiding.

After work, I was called over from across the street by the owner of my favourite restaurant. He was drinking soju with a bunch of men and women, and they had a frypan fired up, grilling hunks of samgyepsal outside a butcher's shop. He doesn't speak English. When I first met him, he'd greet me with a handshake that included one of those discreet palm scratches from one of his fingers. I'd always extricate my hand and slap his arm, admonishing him for being bad. Lately he's graduated to generous bear hugs when he meets me. Sometimes he sits at my table at his restaurnt and attempts to recall every English phrase he's ever heard.

Today, fuelled by soju, he landed his face in my chest and made some "bublubluuubaaaah" sound as he nestled his head back and forth before I could manage to land my hand on his forehead and shove him away. His drinking companions thought it was a riot.

Often, I'm a clown here, poised to unwittingly entertain.

I noticed a bus coming up the street, and begged off, saying I had to go, and ran up and jumped on. A dollar fare was worth getting away.

A few short minutes later I jumped off to visit my friends at their restaurant on the other side of my little town. As I waited to cross the road, I watched a fast svelte mid-sized dog with a badly broken back leg run right down the middle of the street, until he turned off on a side road behind me. In truth, I could be anywhere, if one were to guess by tonight's events. But yet, I'm here- watching things unfold around me.

And the moon, looking bright and full, watched it all with me.

More Canada posts to come shortly.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Alright. Expansion.

Visit my previous post if you're not sure what I'm talkin' bout Willis.

I love animals. I've thought about what I'd like to do if I won a substantial amount of money in a lottery, which is never going to happen, as I don't buy tickets, but still. I'd buy myself a fancy hat and maybe a couple subscriptions to some magazines I miss reading, and then I'd open up a bunch of animal shelters in Korea and start a PR campaign to try to perhaps shift attitudes about animals- especially the homeless ones I see wandering the streets daily. Often called "dong-ge" (shit-dogs) I see these mutts wandering the streets, picking through the piles of garbage in my neighbourhood looking for a meal, and trying to avoid being hit by cars and scooters who seem to actually veer out of their way in an attempt to flatten them. It's a hard-knock life, being a dog here. Especially if you're big and delicious looking, chances are you'll end up soup. Then again, there are many other countries where it ain't easy being a dog either. Cats often don't have an easy time here as well. As I've said before, most Koreans are scared of cats and their knack for reading people's minds and stealing people's breath. And fish.

If you are a dog here, and you actually have an owner, chances are you'll live outside, tied up to something. Forever. Unless you're small and yappy and have your ears and tail dyed bright pink, in which case you'll spend your time in some girl's purse or backpack or pocket. I understand how seeing the same dogs, day after day, tied to the same spot with no apparent attention from their owners can grate on one's nerves. As far as intervention goes, be it feeding or befriending or setting said dogs free, well I don't think that's a good idea. I've done it though (NOT set any dogs free, but fed a couple of them - search "Barky" on this blog and you'll know what I'm talking about.) Now I've got these two dogs following me around whenever they spot me, waiting for food to come out of my bag. I kick myself for thinking they might become reliant on my generosity, and also because I don't want to become known as "Crazy Dog Lady" in my neighbourhood, like I'm St. Patrick - but with dogs instead. And in Korea instead of Ireland. And with a bag of doggy treats instead of a flute.

But it's not awful being a dog here. Maybe I've just tried to harden my heart because I couldn't bear it if I were, say, a card carrying PETA member. I'd never get any work done, being required instead to stop and protest every few meters.

I mean, what do I do about this?
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They're on their way to a pot.
Do I whip out my bolt-cutters, set them free, take them home, and name them Stewie, Soupy, and Chow-Chow? No. Do I wait until the truck owner comes out and lash into him?
There's nothing to be done, as far as I can figure.
People eat dogs here, even if they do look like Huskies.
And have cool laser-beam eyes.
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And as Charles notes, (see previous post)there is something to be said about my cultural values versus the collective values in place in this or any other country.

A long time ago, when I was just about to graduate from highschool, I remember applying for a cultural exchange program "Canada's World Youth." My best friend had urged me for a couple years to join - as she had spent 6 months in British Columbia and Africa. As it was, I wasn't accepted into the program, which was fine by me because the thought of spending 3 months in a mud hut in Mali with bugs the size of my fist freaked me the hell out. The interview process was quite intense though, and I spent a whole Saturday with a bunch of other hopefuls at a group workshop thing. There, we participated in various team building exercises and discussions. I remember we had to work in groups to figure out some moral issues one might encounter about being submerged into a new and different culture. One of the dilemmas was whether or not we would attend an important cultural event in which we were faced with happenings which went against our set of personal beliefs. I think an example listed might have been something where animals were sacrificed. I remember saying I would attend the event and suspend judgment. I was there for a cultural experience, afterall, and wasn't going to miss out on something important in my host country because it conflicted with my own sense of what is right and wrong. I was the only one in the whole room who thought that way, and I wasn't swayed by the rest who tried to convince me to stay put in the mudhut and expunge our moral outrage together.

I never found out what the answer the facilitators were looking for in that scenario. Perhaps they weren't even looking for a "yay" or "nay" but rather a resolution and sense of conformity in the group. I dunno.

I have intervened here on some occasions. Last winter when I passed a pet store and saw the birds dying because their water was frozen, I went inside and pointed it out to the owner. I was polite about it, too. Likewise, passing caged rabbits everyday last summer, who never had water to drink even though it was stupid-hot started to really bother me. So I went and bought a water bottle at a pet shop, and then drew a picture of a happy rabbit drinking from the upside-down bottle (really, just to ensure they figured out how to attach the bottle to the cage) and then asked my boss to write a nice note, "Here's a present for your rabbits!" (Actually, the original note written by my other co-worker was something like "Hey Dumbass, rabbits need water to live." She took my joking suggestion at what the note should read literally.) It's better than painting up some protest signs and marching back and forth in front of a pet store or a property. It's something.

Surely the stupidest thing I ever did to intervene was to jump into the middle of a fight I came across in the streets of Masan when I first came to Korea years ago. The wasn't because I'm against public displays of violence (though I'm surely not FOR them either) but rather I worried that the two guys beating the one guy were going to actually kill him, and I wondered about what watching a man die in front of me was going to do to my psyche. Really, I pleaded for someone to do something for a minute or so. There were quite a few people watching the fight, but no one stepped in. I jumped in, lowered my head, and begged "STOP!" hoping the sight of a white woman with her arms out might shock them into halting their kicks to the guy's head. It worked, but the adjummas watching went nuts, yelling at my Korean friend to get me the hell out of there. Afterward adrenaline took me over, and it was about 2 hours before I stopped involuntarily shaking. This was something I did without much thought, any thought really, to the possible outcome. Not a good idea sometimes.

I've wandered off here. To wrap it up, though, I'd really suggest open-mindedness when it comes to being a guest in another country or culture. You will inevitably come across things which may go against your own personal sense of right or wrong, but it's best to remind yourself that your beliefs will almost never match up to another's. Listening to my co-worker talk with her mouth full of food every single day makes we want to jab a letter opener into my ear. But I say nothing, because I realize this is my own personal thing, and besides - she's not doing it to piss me off.

I think if you feel you really must intervene, do so thoughtfully and considerately, keeping in mind where you are and that the system of values and beliefs is bound to not match up with yours. Sometimes it boils down to a honey versus vinegar thing. Most importantly, consider that every action has a reaction and consider the possible consequences of your actions. It often makes like easier if you just consider things around you as they are, instead of slotting them into "good" or "bad."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

PETA Schmeta

Charles, at Liminality, wrote an excellent post on hate mail. Coincidentally, I wrote a not so nearly eloquent one on hate comments just last week.

The reason that Charles recieved the hate mail was because of a post he'd written a long time ago about another blogger's response toward dogs in his neigbourhood. Let's link it up, the original post inspiring the hate mail is here, and its follow-up is here.. Read those, (I recommend them, as they're excellently written) and you'll know what I'm about to talk about.

I've been thinking about what I read from Charles for a couple days now. It couldn't have been more timely, as with having witnessed a village where they butcher dogs first hand (here) and stewing in my own thoughts about the subject, I'm just about boiling. But not in an angry way, as "boiling" might imply. I think I mean that I'm ready to try to get off the stove.

I recently read an article about Beyonce being "attacked" by PETA members for having taped a baby alligators mouth shut during a photo shoot. That BITCH! Taping up an alligator's mouth. How DARE she! (Fume, fume,....ahhh puh-lease.) When I read that article, I have to admit - I rolled my eyes at PETA while wanting to wag my finger at Beyonce for not making some kind of delicious alligator soup. Yah, PETA, EAT IT! The article I read (not the one linked) noted another PETA protest of P-Diddy having penguins at one of his parties. Poor Artic seeking penguins. They were scared out of their ice loving minds. Turns out, the penguins were of the warm weather inclined kind and trained for entertainment. But still, how DARE P-Diddy exploit helpless penguins (and again) blah blah blah.

I thought about the dog I'd seen hanging in a window, and the many other dogs hanging in coolers nearby. I thought about the dogs and many other animals I would, by my Western sensibilities, consider cruelly treated. Where the hell is PETA? Oh, I figured out, reading the gossip columns, they're busy condemning movie stars. I'll guess they're doing some good work in other areas, but their persistient persual of the high glamour, high profile, bullshit cases makes them seem desperate.


The essay written at Liminality, (and here's where I urge you to go read it, if you haven't already, raises a whole host of other issues. I won't bother commenting on his "hate mail," it is what it is, and Charles responds wonderfully to it. What I've been thinking about are the posts which started it all.

When I read Shawn's post alluding to the fact he'd set captive dogs free, I too wondered what had become of them. Were they better off? My mentality matched Shawn's at the time. "Poor dogs! Thoghtless owners! Yay, liberation!" That is surely an understandable response. But is it the right one?

Let's explore this tomorrow.
My eyes are rolling in back of me head, and Kamikaze hasn't been fed for more thn 12 hours. Quick,...someone call PETA to protest me.

I will expand tomorrow.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

WCB 65 - Naptime

Kamikaze sometimes lets me cuddle him until we both fall asleep. I always wake up with a sore cramped arm, but it's worth it.
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For more weekend cat-blogging goodness, be sure to visit guest host's Bonnie's site!
Ah - it's time for another nap!


So, yes. Here's some thoughts on last Friday. We did have a speech contest at school and the kids were unbelievably well behaved! Usually the K-teachers walk around with sticks, whacking the kids that are talking or fidgeting or bothering other kids, but Friday there was not one whack. The reason they were so quiet and attentive was the presence of the new teacher/manager. She started last Monday. Her name is Jane and so far I love her. Her English IS really good, and with the kids she has a no-nonsense approach. I think it's a good thing, as the students know the other Korean teachers are pushovers. (Notes the Queen of the Pushovers!)

Jane has very quickly become comfortable with me, and hugged me from behind twice last week. She's also very sharp, and will put me down in a joking way which I think is funny. Last week she maintained a running "nobody likes you" gag which made me laugh. The kids are kind of terrified of her, and she put the last class of really badly behaved boys in their place, saying something in Korean along the lines of "you will behave yourself here, and if you don't like it, there's the door." Go Jane! Actually, the K-teachers seem fairly intimidated by her as well, so it'll be interesting to see what happens in the next while, especially when the real boss stops coming every day (which should happen the week after next.)

Speaking of badly behaved children, I'm really a little worried about the boss's son. Everything he does reeks of brattiness. I shouldn't say "everything." He fell asleep in the car on Friday and was noticeably better behaved as he softly snored. Seriously. The kid seems to really have something wrong with him, and I hope when his father returns toward the end of the month he'll sort him out. He's a bright kid, and even though he doesn't speak English very well at all, he has mastered two other languages, "Scream," and "Whine." He's well on his way to fluency in "Wail" as well. In my class last week, he had a FIT because another kid wouldn't give him a scrap of paper on which I'd written the word "elephant." He slunk into a corner of the room and had a melt-down. Finally, I snatched the elephant paper out of the other student's hand and popped it in my mouth. "Oh!" exclaimed the one sweet little girl in the class. In Korean, she urged, "Hey Kevin, stop crying. Jenny ate the elephant." This made Kevin cry harder, and I had to resist the urge to drag him from the classroom.

We went out to dinner Friday after work, the Korean teachers, the boss and her son, and Jane and I. It was a welcome dinner for Jane. Throughout the meal, Kevin ran around the room screaming, and went around snatching up all the side dishes he liked - hiding them under the table so he could gobble them up. He knocked over a full glass of beer into Elizabeth's lap while reaching across the length of the table, being a smartass. He thought that was a riot. I glared at him so hard, he finally stopped giggling. I know it's not entirely his fault, his behaviour gets results from his mom, who babies him while treating him like a little prince. When his mom stops coming to school everyday, so will Kevin. (Phew!) She asked me, half jokingly (I think) if it would be ok if he joined the class on the days she (and he) are there, and I laughed and said "absolutely not!"

More odd behaviour. At dinner the meal was delicious. (I'll post some photos later.) The atmosphere was cheerful and Jane and I and the boss talked a lot in English. Oftentimes during previous dinners out, the other three ladies speak almost exclusively Korean just like they do in the staffroom. It was refreshing. After Elizabeth had eaten her fill, she slid back from the table and rested up against the wall, pulling her giant silly bag beside her, and she started QUILTING! I wondered if this was acceptable behaviour here, and realized that it's definitely NOT! Dinner and drinks with the co-workers are actually taken quite seriously in Korea, inasmuch as they're bonding events with frequent "gambes" (cheers) and declarations of "one shot!" I thought it was a snub to us other dinner companions and definitely strange behaviour toward the guest of honour and Elizabeth's senior Jane.
"Elizabeth!" I said, "Stop quilting and come back to the table."
"Why?" she asked.
"Because it's WEIRD, and we don't go out together very often!"
"We will go out again at the end of September." (We have another Market Day which is always followed by a dinner.)
"Yah," I said, "But I'm going to bring my sewing machine and make a dress at that meal."
She eventually did come and re-join our group at the table, where Kevin managed to spill some cola on her - because, you know, the beer he'd spilled in her crotch earlier was almost dry by then.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


I promise to write more about today. It was kind of an odd day. We had speech contests at school and that was odd. Afterwards, I went out to dinner with the staff and that was odd. I stopped by at a WA BAR - mostly because I desperately had to use their facilities, and ended up writing all the reports I was given as "homework" for the weekend. Yay me. Then I cabbed it back home to me neighbourhood and popped by my friends' restaurant.

And volatile.

The same jack-off that was present the FIRST time I was there came and got seated at the table right beside me with his back to me. Apparently being an aggresive asshole wasn't a one time deal, as he did the same thing tonight: turning around and verbally assaulting me along with these aggressive punk "WHAT?" gestures.

Unfortunately, I've not grown as a human being, so after the second time I struck back with an English tirade about him "turning the fuck around and stop being an asshole."

The third time he turned around to be a dick I rolled my eyes up heavenward and stood up to leave.
"I hate this guy," I said, pointing at his face. "If I stay here," I said to my sweet friend, "I'm going to throw something at him. You don't want that, eh?"

No, my friends didnt want that. They urged me over to the PC Bang for a little while until my nemisis left. I now know the guy is a dick in Korean as well as a harrasser of the English. (So I was told.) His buddy with him looked embarrassed, but the two girls with them were as sour faced as their jerk friend.

As I walked past to leave, Jerk stood up and held his hands out, "I'm sorry," he said, in a tone that implied he wasn't sorry at all.
"I don'tuh know Englushee."

"Do you know this?" I asked, as I raised him my middle finger flag.

I was just going to type something akin to "I know, maybe I should be more tolerant,..blah blah blah,..." But, please!

Rude is rude wherever you go, and I strive to never be rude until someone calls it out. General rude I can handle, but rude directed right at me? Well, let's say I'm not so good at turning the other cheeck.

I suppose it's lucky I never signed on to be Jesus.