Tuesday, July 13, 2004

They had us start teaching today. Yesterday we observed the classes and today we taught...these Koreans don't mess around. I think it went okay. I don't really know, I have never done this before. They asked us at the end of the day which class went the best/worst and I couldn't even dissociate between any of my classes! They were all just one big blur of kids. We are working from 11 until 9 for the first week and I can see already I how tired I am going to be by Friday. After two solid months of unemployment and the lax schedule of j-school, the Korean work schedule is going to kick my ass.
I have good news and bad news. Good news is, we have a television. In my former life this wouldn't have been a good thing, but here it provides me with a soft place to fall at the end of the day. The bad news? One of the only English stations is the American Forces Network. The military presence here is still quite strong given that S. and N. Korea are still technically at war (although this most be the longest cease-fire in the history of man kind) and I am being forced to watch the military propaganda between shows. "Ally McBeal" - report human trafficking - "Who Wants to Marry my Dad?" - Don't sell or buy on the black market - "The Simple Life" - Don't point your guns at Civilians. It's a schizophrenic experience to say the least.
Our bedroom window faces the main street (and by street I mean alley) and I have been sitting and watching the streets below like it's my own private soap opera. Ay home, we live our lives behind closed doors. Here, everything is public. Mr.Lee and his friends drink outside the shop every night and their laughter, even though it makes no sense to me, makes me smile. The kids ride bikes in circles in the streets, often narrowly escaping being hit by a car. They fight and scream at each other. Last night I heard a sole voice singing as he walked into the darkness. There is a crazy lady who hobbles up and down the streets calling for someone who never answers. It's real. I find it fascinating to watch and it makes me feel connected to my neighbourhood and to the people around me, even though I cannot understand what they are saying.

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