Friday, October 31, 2008

Will Farrell Life

Day 43

This day is a bad the Will Farrell movie sort of way.

Day 44

The Sequel.

Day 45

"Market Play"

"HOW much is it? TEACHAR!!!" tiny fists punch me in the kidneys. They just want my attention and don't know how to get it.
"WAIT. PLEase, please, wait a minute. Okay?"

Now i'll go stab some pumpkins and call it carving. It's Halloween.

A foreigner with fellow Foreigners.
A foreigner with non-foreigners.

Two very different types of interaction.
The week kind of ends like a Will Farrell movie. Kind of. In a way. In a nice way. Maybe more like an Adam Sandler movie. Early Adam Sandler.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Day 36

Hangul Lesson 2. Double consonants.
When did I mail a letter? I mailed a letter sometime. When will it
get there? Too soon? Late late? Time. Time and timing. Good Grief.

Day 37

Will this week never END!?!?!
I find it hilariously irritating that I am learning today, day two of Parent Day presentations, that I am the only teacher who will actually be TEACHING for every Parent Day.

Day 38

8:20 am, I promptly walk up to the hagwon. Today is "Workshop Day". Actually, it's Teacher Field-trip Day. We load the bus and begin the 2 hour drive.
We reach Hwawangsan and my gaze floats over 4 large coach buses. And the four coach-bus sized crowds. Persimmon sellers, onion stores...the area is known for the sweetness of these things.
Hike. A HIKE I say! Ropes, trembling muscles, rosy cheeks and all. The end is near.
Breath is coming fast but all is forgotten at the sight of fields of silver eulalias.

We spend time walking among the grasses and waiting for our colleagues. Finally together, we select a mat among the grasses and sit down to trays of food. The October sun is shining, but breezes keep us cool. Rice wine and water, odeng, the bus driver's wife has prepared side dishes for all, and there are food carts atop the mountain with an ajuma who serves us hot pa-jun and odeng.

An alternate route to the bottom consists of stairs and stairs. Rocks and stairs and rocks, ending in an adult-sized playground. Mrs. Lee races to beat us to the playground and instructs us through "today's course" as we reach the bottom. Monkey bar races, a wall climb, a battering-ram-like swing.

Finally back at the bus, we sit in the parking lot and play BINGO. It is an exercise in numbers. It is practice for next Friday's "Market Play". I lose my W1,000, but the excitement of parking lot BINGO is worth it.

We pile back into the bus and are taken into the streets of Daegu. We twist and turn through the city to end up in the center of a traditional market. It is enormous. I would love to get lost here for a day. However, we are under time constraints and, I discover, on a mission. Next Friday the hagwon will transform into a market. We are buying items to sell with "Prime Dollars" at "Market Play". Two hours later, we are at dinner, pleasantly exhausted and ready to go home.

Day 39

Sleeping sleeping sooooo tired. Why? Yesterday's activities, I assume. Putter, putter, clean. 5 pm rolls around and I catch a taxi downtown. I meet a friend and we go to Gumi for dinner and a visit to a foreigner bar. Thus far, I've been silently, but staunchly opposed. I'm cracking a little. We have dinner, which consists of more wheat than I've had in the past month and a half. After dinner, we stick around for drinks.
Korean drinking game.
Luckily I don't lose. Loser buys a pitcher. The game consists of standing around a tree-stump and pounding nails into it with the wrong side of the hammer. Each person gets one try per turn, women get two. I am the second out.
Nore-bang. I have done Karaoke twice in my life. I hate it. This is a little different. A little. It is after 3am, for one, and the only person I know in the room is a flamboyant man from New Orleans. The rest are British and Canadian teachers from Gumi. He shoves the microphone in my face and I join him in the chorus of one, two, three songs, more...We met in Gumi before Anglea left. At her goodbye dinner, actually. Oh, Nore-Bang. I am done for the evening.

Day 40

Train back to Gimcheon 2pm, meeting the Bety(sic) Girls (the store we met in is called Bety, the icon is Betty Boop.) I am late, hung over, and hungry. Where is my coffee?

They are also late, it's okay.
The romantic hopeful of one of the girls is driving us to Jikji-sa.Im You Hee, the youngest of us, is my primary company. She speaks English best, and on the way to the park, we dance in the backseat to music from her cell phone.
We stroll along, stopping to drink spring water and stare at the statues of guardians at the entrance to the temple area. They are beautiful. The painting on them and on the ceilings and walls of all of the temple buildings are amazing. Gold? Is the iris of his eye gold? My questions and their commentary are kept to a relative minimum, as the language barrier between us is great. I see 1,000 Buddhas, I see 1,000 paper lotus flowers hanging from the ceiling, I see sincerity and curiosity in the eyes of old women and children with their parents coming to see the perhaps oldest temple in South Korea. Im You Hee takes my arm and Lee Kyeong Eun walks next to "the Hulk" in her 12 cm heels, which make me only a head taller than her.
"You like tea?"
"Come, we get daechu tea. Traditional Korean Cafe."
The server, who knows my friends, brings us 3 hot cups of tea, one iced. The tea is thick, more like a sweet soup. It is opaque and in it float sunflower seeds and dried bits of daechu, which has no English equivalent. The closest I've heard is "jujube". In the bottom of the cup are ground peanuts. We split go-gu-ma (sweet potato) and drink our tea. Lee Kyeong Eun looks up phrases in "the Hulk's" phone and speaks in English through its techno voice. She is telling jokes and our shoulders shake with hushed laughter.
The wind blows leaves in swirls outside. Finally it is getting cold.
We head down to Jikji Park, and go for Stroll Part II. Statues and fountains, cell phone photo ops and a trip to the "rainbow toilet". The building is decorated with rainbows, that's all. Nothing mind blowing. They tell me of a light show at the fountains at 7pm. It is cold and I need to get something done this evening. We leave the park and make pseudo plans for next time.

Day 41

What? What happened? Another day where I wake up later than anticipated, work seems to start too soon, and I lose the night in a maze of trivial information.

DAY 42

Another Parent's Day at the hagwon. Another hour of undue stress and tension so thick it felt like I was speaking into a wall of wet cement. Blank stares as response when I ask the students a question that's not pre-written in their notebooks.

Somehow my count is off. I am positive that I am due for a writing date with myself tonight. It is tonight, the writing date. I look at the calendar and discover that I stood myself up two nights ago. Thinking about it now, I knew it then, but got wrapped up in going to bed early or not...and magically settled on tonight as the raincheck.

cold remedy:

TEA: ginger, daechu, pear.
a far cry from my former ginger, garlic, cider vinegar, lemon, honey, cayenne concoction as far as common palatability is concerned.

Vitamin C: orange juice, kiwi fruit

Sleep...uhh...somewhere between 5-8 hours, right?

SOUP: Kimchi jjigae, daejeon jjigae, the Korean version of miso. Mashisayo.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fire Flowers

Day 31

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!!! Get out of the house before 10 am, I say to myself. That is the goal. Nearly, 10:10 and I lock the door behind me. A morning walk into downtown past old women squatting on the street shining persimmons and thrusting bags of peeled garlic into the air for me to see. Someone is behind her metal cart filling small dips in a cast iron pan with oil, dough, and bean paste. The sun is shining and I climb the stairs to step onto train yard bridge. I complete my errands and chat with Im You Hee, who wears dark blue contacts. I am back before noon and quickly out again. Werrrrrkkkk.

Day 32

Train station 10:35. I'm late. 10:40. 10:50. Mark highsteps past me asking "Did you buy your ticket yet?" on the way. I barely utter "no" and he's 10 feet away. Nicole walks in explaining that the train we're catching leaves at 10:54.
Our seats are separate and I end up next to "Freddie", a businessman from Ghana. He gives me chocolate bars and offers to buy me an international phone card so I can call my grandmother. "Give me your phone number, I will call you with a phone card number."
Uh...thanks, Freddie, but I don't know..."You will come to Seoul soon?" No.
Haeyundae Beach and Pacific Shells. Coral? Too Beautiful.
I draw them in the sand, making patterns, getting wider wider.
Away from shore, Korean Krishnas (?) drum and gong their way along the walk. No one pays them much mind.
Subway into Busan. Destination: Gwangalli Beach. People People it is 5 p.m. the beach is half full. The streets are half full.
4th Busan Fireworks Festival. Fire Flowers is the Korean term.
7 p.m. peoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeo
This must be what it is like to be a blood cell. Veins of people are striving to reach their destination in time. Must. Sit. Before. First. Fire. A crowd of 1.5 million people is on the beach. Or trying to be. I am one of them.

8 p.m.
Notes from the show:
Busan Bridge grows a glowing vine first red, then slowly colors cascade to the water.
Battleships or fakes. Shoot, they're shooting at one another with gold and red and smoke and the gold moon hangs low over a cityscape and WHAT are these flying flames?? Bird Kites!!! Glow gold red and stream green flying flaming over crowds and water. Phoenix. Phoenixes? Pheoni? The gold moon climbs higher slightly and stays large. A globe. Lazers? Do you see those lazers in the smoke? On the building! Oh! Light show!
What is this music? I can ignore it. I will listen to the story these "fire flowers" tell with my eyes.

Later...wander, wander, subway, wander, sleep.

Day 33

A morning train takes me home with Standing Room Only.

Taxi! Gimcheon Science Festival, please. I point to a street-lamp with a flag indicating the dates and times of the Festival. A student has a booth, I told her I would go. Too bad I don't know where it is or how to get there.
The driver nods and drives in the opposite direction. I figure he knows where he's going...until he stops at an intersection near my house and asks Right or Left? Stunned, I shake my head neither. He lets me out and gives me a W300 discount. Thanks, Driver.

What do thirteen year olds like? I try to figure it out and end up watching Hannah Montana, Jackass, Funny Home Videos, and Mr. Ed...some clips of Faith the Two-Legged Dog, and finally decide to look into some Mad Libs. I think that's pretty close to what they like. I think.

Day 34

Address postcards. Gluestick stamps to postcards. Post postcards.

Day 35

On the way to work, I remember that today, parents are coming to watch my class. No sweat. They're a good class, I'm a good teacher. It's fine. Until Mrs. Lee appears and is a flurry of nervous energy and Yuna, my co-teacher, is trying to explain to me the lesson plan, but can't fully and so enlists the aid of Cindy.
"What is going on?" the 3 o'clock "bell" goes off. It actually sounds more like a cell phone alarm. I ask for the folder I'm to teach from this hour.
"Mrs. Lee didn't tell you?"
"Tell me what?"
"You're supposed watch students. They have.."
"Practice? I'm supposed to listen to them practice for this weekend?"
"Where??" I am guided by the elbow by Sally to a room downstairs. She leaves and students file in. What is going on? I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I ask students in the room to start their presentations. Mid-presentation, other teachers file in and sit down, other students come in and sit down...15 minutes into it all, Mrs. Lee comes in.
"Candida! sit sit sit come come come come, sit." What??
She rapid fires words at the room, sets up a fake podium bustles through the front of the room and instructs students to start over. She motions to me and asks me to go upstairs to practice for the 4 o'clock class.
"Very important day, today." Okay, I'll go practice.

How did it go? Oh, fine. It went fine.'s fine it's fine, slightly awkward, I mean just fine. great! fine. The kids are great. Timing is a little off and there's extra time in which Yuna and Mrs. Lee are mouthing "Speaking Time again Conversation Time again Sing A Song again" Okay.

After class, I think about the fireworks again. I wish for a camera. I wish for...I want to...the flaming kites. I can't believe they were real. Luckily, total strangers Sheri & Trav were there, too. And they made a video.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Room 1 Room 2

Day 26

What I learn:
insight as tooooo...well, nearly arranged marriage. Insight as to what "Seon" is.
Seon, as per my understanding, starts out kind of like a blind date, with family involved. Two people get together, see how things go, report back to their families...if there's a second date, there's essentially an agreement that the relationship will result in marriage. It's possible that the marriage won't take place for a long while. The romantics will get to know one another, but it's unlikely to be called off.
The woman who teaches me how to make dukboki and kimchi-jigae does so while telling me about her seon date the day before. I (and a multitude of others) had accidentally called her while she was on it.
She's perhaps 3 years older than I am, but there is definite societal pressure on her to be married. Him, too. He's 4 years her senior. People get married, have children, remain extremely close to their families. The families of both are eager for their kin to be wed. And create more kin.

For the rest of the day "seon" is on my mind, until I accept that I just won't understand it. A walk with a friend at the base of Gumosan brings us past a zip-line among the trees. model traditional houses are passed by; clay pots, clay floors, clay walls, wood roof. they're beautiful. so simple.

Day 27

It is rare that I fully wake before sunlight. More common is a bleary eyed stumble to the bathroom at dawn, followed by a second look out the bedroom door at the light splayed across the floors of "room 1" and "room 2". It is yellow yellow yellow. I can go back to sleep now.

Day 28

Giving a presentation at my full time job? Who Am I??? WHO???
I am Candida and I bake apple pies for Korea.


The pie I brought to school is gone before I am back from my lunchtime errands.
I still can't remember which student is Weenie and which is Rudy. Jeniffer and Ansoni I have down. It's okay.

Day 29

Sirens are a-wailing at 2:03 p.m. I don't know why and have no one to ask. I just hear dogs barking and assume it's a test, even though it seems like a long one, and as soon and I write that it seems long, the sirens die down. Tornado sirens...Nuclear Plant warning sirens. Not police or fire department sirens.

printing printing postcards and the ink won't dry on one side.
The paper is not two-sided.
I didn't think of that.

Day 30

In the morning...I can READ! I Can Read. I can read the words. I cannot tell you what they mean. But I can read.

I discover how to use the floor heating system. I turn it on in "Room 1" and "Room 2" in order to figure out which rooms are which. Quite kind, the warm floor.

Later that evening...
Potato Sticks and Pizza snacks.

Both items are actually "potato chips". A friend brought them over. Really. I'll show you. It's like this is the snack bowl at our party.

What's in them? I don't know...outside of enough MSG to make my tongue numb in 5 seconds.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Direct Effect

Day 21

Immigration Office Day: Foreigner I.D.

I wake up.

I go out the door, I go back in the door, grab my I.D. photos, I go out the door.

I hail a taxi. "Anny-esseyo, Gimcheon Yeok, ju-seyo. Nayy," and we're on our way to Gimcheon Station.

I speed-walk into the station at 8:21 a.m. to buy a ticket.

I am on a train at 8:37. The correct train.

I begin to organize my things and realize that my passport, a crucial element in the morning's events, is not with me. I know exactly where it is. In my apartment. But, it's too late, I'm on the train. I send a message to my boss, who will be waiting to pick me up in Daegu Station at 9:20 a.m.

She picks me up with the native teacher for her school in Daegu in tow. Jeff is also getting a foreigner I.D. today. Mrs. Lee is efficient with her time.

We go to the immigration office, we fill out forms, she does her amazing magic talk to the government employees and they agree to letting me apply anyway, she will return with my passport the next morning.

It all happens within 30 minutes. Perhaps the shortest wait in a government office in my history. Most of that time is spent with Jeff watching American Baseball on some sports channel and me pretending to read.

She takes us to Costco (here???yes. here.) for pizza and a Bulgogi Bake. Jeff informs me of a Chicken Bake back in the states and asks rhetorically "Why isn't it cheaper here? it's like $2.00 back at home, it should be like W 1,500 here, food is so cheap..."

I watch a little girl kick a woman in the shins and run behind her mother's legs. They're all friends. It's okay.

Mrs. Lee and I drop Jeff off near his apartment in Daegu and move on to pick up her sister. I am attempting to make conversation with her (her English is not quite fluent) at a stop light when we are rear-ended. It's not bad, a fender-bender with a grandma, no one is hurt. She gets out and they exchange information, we continue on our way to pick up her sister and drive to Gimcheon.

The day counts as "long" before I even start teaching.
I skip yoga and grab a beer with Young-Mee (Veronica) after work.

Day 22

The 2nd Presidential Debate held in Nashville, TN on Tuesday, Oct. 7 was viewed live, by yours truly on Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 10 a.m. I watched it(perhaps like many of my many?)at . I've been attending each of the debates in a similar manner. I figure that this was worth mention.

"Oh, pork barrels."

Maybe "pork-barrels" can become the new "fiddlesticks".

Direct (economic) Effect: with the fall of the dollar, there has been a decline in the inflow of foreign currencies to South Korean markets. The value of the Won is sharply falling in conjunction with the dollar...the dollar deficit has driven the value of the Won down so much that I have taken an automatic $400/month pay cut in the past week, actually in the first several days of the past week.
I will simply wait and exist within the local (South Korean) economic market until the heaving and ho-ing of the world financial sector eases a bit.

Night number 2 of skipping yoga to go get a beer...this time I meet my fellow foreigners in Gimcheon. Danny, middle-aged U.S. citizen who has been in South Korea for years. He has a dog. He rides a motorbike. Matthew, a Briton who has been living in South Korea for eight (?) years, in Gimcheon since the Spring, also rides a motorbike. Nicole and Mark, I've previously met. They're from New Brunswick, Canada. She lives in Gimcheon and teaches at Gimcheon College along with Matthew and Danny. Mark lives in a nearby city. A larger city.

Day 23

I meet with my friend, Myeong Hee in the morning. She brings her mother's Sesame Leaf Kimchi** when she picks me up and we go to a bookstore, where she helps me select a children's "learning to write" book so that I can learn to read and write Hangul. The book is good; the images in the book are photographs, the words will be very useful in everyday life. She and I then had our first Hangul lesson in a nearby coffee shop. It was good, it will be a beneficial weekly event on multiple levels. Getting together with her outside of yoga and during the daytime, learning and practicing Hangul, getting out during the morning and doing something enjoyable before work...good things.Positive motion. I've decided to start doing yoga every other day in the morning, every other day at night. Positive motion. Hiking the trail behind my house to have hula-time at the top. Positive motion.

everyone needs a mantra.

**my sentiments are much the same as those presented in the link. I had it upon arrival in Korea and then I was a little unsure, but man, really. So good.

Day 23

Persimmons are turning color from yellow to orange/red.
I dream that I emailed a friend. In the afternoon she writes me.
I dream I I discover that I did neither.

Day 24

Oh, Friday! Morning yoga proves more rigorous than evening. I feel it for the rest of the day. After work, Young-Mee and I meet with Bruce, the traditional medicinal practitioner for soup and a beer.

Something I must mention about Korean restaurants: it is not unusual for the waiter to bring a campstove-like-thing to the table. Frequently, there is small gas range built into the table. The server brings the dish out in a pan, which has curved sides, but is not quite a pot, and lights the range. The dish is brought to a simmer before being served and eaten by people at the table. Quite convenient as far as hot food getting cold goes.

Day 25

I spent the morning cleaning up after the weekly destruction of my home. Not destruction, know, wear. The afternoon was golden. New crispness in the air along with the smell of burn-piles. Clear skies and a yellow ginko tree called me into the outside. I was inspired to go to Jikji-sa, a temple and temple grounds just outside of Gimcheon, one of the oldest in S.Korea, actually. I was thwarted by the bus line.
But that's O.K.!! I walked downtown and wandered through small streets. I took a turn into a corridor where I felt called to front of a clothing store. "Anneyeseyooo," I heard. "Hi!" when they realized that a foreigner was standing in front of the store window.
"Do you speak English (oh please oh please oh please)?!?"
"A little??" accompanied by pantomime.
"Okay, can I look?" again with much pointing and gesturing. The women nod and I enter the store. The clothes! I want to wear those clothes instead of the ones I have on. Everyone here is stylish. The clothes I opted to bring: catchall, non-descript, very plain clothes, are starting to bore me. I motion this sentiment, gesturing the length of my arms and legs, and the general large size that I am in comparison to the average Korean woman. We laugh together as they are astonished, really, when I stretch out my arms.
They make efforts to speak with me, and I use my very limited Hangul to speak with them. I am invited to sit. Our ages are given, and I am the same age as the shop owner. They invite me to eat with them. Kim Mi Mi is the shopkeeper of "Betty" "Because I am very cute! ah?? Like Betty(Boop)! Yes??" And she is. Truly.
"Come back today! Come back tomorrow! Come back forever! I am English Master! You Hangul Master!"

I made friends.

Today was a good day.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday's Child

Day 16

My work day starts around 2 p.m. most days. I take my shoes off, put on slippers, and walk into the school.
Classes are 1 hour long. Either I teach for a full hour (later in the day), or I teach for half an hour (earlier in the day).
I have 7 Korean full time co-workers and one Australian part-time co-worker. He and I are the Native Speakers on staff. Mostly, our duty seems to be to facilitate conversational ability. Korean is nearly an exact opposite of English. Learning English is difficult, and most Koreans start in early Elementary. Primarily, the focus is on the rules of grammar (as there are MANY), pronunciation, reading, and writing...but not necessarily comprehension or conversational ability.
I teach people from ages 8 to adult. Not speaking Hangul is a real handicap with the younger students. Luckily, I like to draw. So do they. I've seen a pretty priceless P-U-P-P-Y. it was quickly morphed into P-I-G. "P" words.

Sometimes the kids kind of sound like little robots because Hangul stresses every word equally, unlike English, where there is a cadence to speech. It's strange for them to learn the cadence. Although to be fair, if I even get to the point of speaking Hangul, I will probably sound like a slam poet all the time.

Day 17

Today is day one of a three day weekend. It is the National Foundation Day of Korea. The story of National Foundation Day follows, as told to me by Mercy, a co-worker:

"Hwan-Woong was the ruler. There was a bear and a tiger who wanted to become human. Hwan-Woong said go into the cave for 100 days and eat garlic and mugwort. They went into a cave but Tiger became impatient and left. Then...ahh...defecation? defecation?? is that the right word?? auhh...defecation! (Mercy says with a slight grimace) so..the bear! auhh, yeah..not pretty! but Bear (she moves her hands over her face) and stayed in the cave and came out of the cave a woman. Beautiful. She marries Tan-gun's father and has Tan-gun. His children are the people of Korea, but I don't really believe that. All people are really made by God."

"A myth? Korean mythology."


"It is good."


On this day I go to a traditional resturaunt with a co-worker. Bibimbap followed by a stroll around a pond of lilypads reaching to the sun. A true spectacle. She also takes me to an art store to help me get what I need. I've approached this art store before, and not speaking Hangul, was shooed out. In the evening I eat blowfish.

Day 18

Please see "Special Edition" blog.

Day 19

I feel like leaving the apartment.
No move is made to do so.
Except at 5. Badminton date is canceled.
Rained out.
Try to download The Host...a Korean horror flick.
I go to dinner with Badminton friend.
And we make a date for the morning, instead.

I experience a very "Lost in Translation" moment in the late evening. I have gone to E-Marte, and while being lifted to the second floor on the angled moving walkway, I am struck by the surreal nature of midi-muzak, florescent lights, yellows, and pinks.

Day 20

Monday's child seems as if it has had too much coffee.
If going to shows has not wreaked havoc on the workings of my inner ears, certainly these sweet voices will.

A new adult class in the evening. They are teachers. Milton, the oldest, after learning "Miss, Mrs, Mr, Ms" calls me Ms. Pentagon.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Special Edition

1. I bought a printer/scanner
2. I have a story to share, using visual aids.

Today I took a bus in Korea for the first time. I like the bus a lot. There was decorative fabric hanging around the top of the ceiling and it was more like a coach bus than a city bus. It was too bad that I missed my stop.

A co-worker had invited me over in order to show me where bicycle shops are. I was directed to take the bus to his wife's apartment complex. I told the bus driver my destination and took a seat...
through downtown...
past several apartment buildings...
a few shopping areas...
and finally...
Once the bus driver realized that I was still on the bus, he ordered me off, and returned most of my bus fare.

I first stopped at the nearest apartment complex, assuming that this was the place...but not so. After much confusion, "I don't understand" expressions, and laughter, the elderly security guard told me "taxi".

I started to walk down the street, waiting for a taxi to honk at me. (Philadelphia is not the only place this happens.)

The taxi never came and soon I happened upon two teenage girls. Hoping they spoke English, or at least understood it, I approached and asked for help. After much expression of regret, one of them indicated that I was to follow her. Using her cell phone translator function, we communicated small amounts.

First she asked if I was going to visit a friend. I essentially affirm that.

I try to describe him.

I attempt to convey my misfortune.

Finally after much walking, we reach the Woo Bang Apartments.
I tell her that because I cannot call him, I must embark on leg 2 or 3 or 4 of the journey/adventure. She decides to come with me.

She and I approach a parking lot security guard with the following information. Much pantomiming is involved.

An hour later, she and I are sitting in his office, simultaneously watching a Korean drama and still trying to undertand what's going on...

The security guard tells us that a hagwon teacher will return. "What time?" I ask "I don't know." He wants me to wait longer.

And finally...

...and so, another day in South Korea. Please let me add that although the above story centers around slight misfortune, I and my teenage helper were thoroughly delighted with one other's company. I think. I will take the bus again, and I will get off on the right stop. Without missing my stop, I never would have seen steam billowing out of a handsome drama star's ears and nostrils on T.V. in a parking lot security office! Things are going well, and I'll be posting again in several days.