A Year in Seoul - video by Maddy

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I could use a drug store human about now

I love the charge that hangs in the air after a thunderstorm; the way the sky tints a sickening yellow adding an edge to a dismal gray day. I can't relax. I feel excited for no reason at all. For two weeks now I have barely slept. This is my first flirtation with insomnia and its somewhat fascinating. Normally, I am a healthy sleeper. I need 7-8 hours to feel my best, no more or less. Lately, I average about five. I stay up entire nights to do things like go to Incheon on a Wednesday and watch a soccer game that I don't know anything about. It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Presently, the storms have receded to nothing more than rumbling threats on the edge of my mind. They threaten my Saturdays but stay safely out of view. The sun once again fills the sky, spiking temperatures and causing restlessness all around. The heat has made my students much more difficult to handle, but also much more hilarious. My third graders have gotten in the habit of coming into the classroom calling, "Hello moto" like little parrots. The students have also been coming up with some interesting answers to my questions.

me: What do you call somebody who works in a pharmacy?

6th grade boy: Ummm... drug store human!!

me: What do you want to be when you grow up?

student: Crazy!

I also have a friend who asked his students what the currency in Mexico was and they answered "Nachos!"

They have also decided that every white woman in any powerpoint I show looks just like me. It doesn't matter how old she is, or which class I am showing the picture to, its always, "Oh, look, Brittany Teacher!" And they do this with complete sincerity. Come on, I can't really look like the forty year old woman with the chin length haircut... can I?? I decided to ask my coteacher about it and she confirmed my suspicion: we white people all look the same.

I know, I know, its a common stereotype that you are tired of hearing about. Or wait a minute...

Apparently my coteacher's mother doesn't even like to watch American films because she can't tell the characters apart. So really, I can't blame my students, because that thirty five year old female scientist with brown hair could easily be my twin sister.

Also amusing was the day I wore a dress to school for the first time. Its taken three months, but I wasn't in the mood until the weather got hot. I had several conversations that day that went something like this:

Korean Teacher (with look of complete amazement): You look nice today.
me: Thank you.
KT: you are wearing a dress.
me: yes... I am.
KT: Oh, is it a special day?
me: No, not really. It's just hot.
KT: Oh, because you always wear pants.
me: Yeah, I usually do wear pants.
KT: But today you are wearing a dress so I thought maybe it was a special day.
me: nope, just a regular day
KT: Its just that every day you have on a shirt and pants....

Either Koreans really don't like change or I need to start dressing nicer at school.

On a totally different note I have some fun weekends coming up. I am going camping at the beach on the east coast this weekend, then next weekend will be biking and more beach on Jeju Island. Jeju is off the southern tip of Korea and is known as the country's Hawaii, however I am fairly certain there is nothing even slightly resembling Hawaii in Korea. It is supposed to be really nice though and Maddy and I are taking the trip with a meetup.com group so we will meet a lot of new people.

Then in July we have Mud Festival. Basically it's exactly what it sounds like: a big group of people (mainly foreigners) gather at the beach, drink, and throw mud at each other all weekend. What could possibly be better?? I mean that. Mud is the best. Oh, and I also have my bungee jumping adventure coming up the last weekend in June (see my poll ----->).

I have had a blogging lull lately now that I have settled into a routine. Everything that used to seem strange has become normal and all the things that used to be normal feel strange. I've been rambling on about nothing a lot but hopefully I will have more to say now that life is getting eventful again. Thanks for bearing with me (and if you bailed long ago you don't even know I'm writing this or that I am giving you the finger right.... now.)


  1. Got you beat. One class with an adult, we're talking about how the government finds out data, averages, and so on.

    me: "How do you think the government finds the averages of when people get married?"
    student: "Naver?"

  2. i want to visit you so very much! when you coming home? never?

  3. omg hahahhaaaaa lol @ nachos.

    and yeah the same thing happened when I started wearing more dresses and skirts when it got hot. Apparently I look more "feminine" and "it's much better this way"....lol.