Thursday, September 30, 2010

Scoring Digits

This is the note a man gave me at the bar last night after declaring himself my first Korean friend. It says: "Junho - friend...?? 칭구 [ching gu, the Korean word for friend] - ha ha. - [A series of symbols which I think are meant to be numbers and represent his phone number] - calling!!"

Also in the course of the evening he hand fed my co-teacher and I popcorn and told me repeatedly that he was waiting for my call. I think he's a keeper.

My family should also note that upon telling the bartenders that I lived in Texas their immediate reaction was "Texas Cahinshaw! Texas Chainshaw" followed by chainsaw noises and pretending to cut one another with imaginary chainsaws.

Bar adventures aside, everything's really good here. Today is our first day of teaching, but the classes are going to be really small until the 11th because a lot of the kids have midterms at their public schools until then. This is good for me because I don't know how many little hellions I can keep under control yet. Ok, that's all for now.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stealing Internet

So I’m alive and well here in Ulsan, but sadly, without internet for the next few weeks. I arrived in Seoul Monday night which was Monday morning in the states, but because my flight was delayed out of Seattle and because customs took FOREVER, I missed my connection from Seoul to Ulsan. Luckily, my new co-teacher Emily (I’m not making up that little term co-teacher, that’s really what the other kids I teach with are called) waited for me at the Seoul airport where we were supposed to meet up. We stayed in a hotel by the airport Monday night and took the first flight to Ulsan in the morning.
    The flight wasn’t so bad. The only exception was the halitosis ridden, open mouth breather in the seat next to me who thought it was perfectly acceptable to break the plane between our seats with both his arms and legs, leaving me with approximately 75% of the airplane seat space which was rightfully mine.
    Anyway, once we got here the director of the school and two of the teachers came and picked us up at the airport and took us to our apartments. My apartment is super small, but basically what I was expecting. I was going to make a little video of it and post it on here, but I forgot to do it before I left this morning, and it’s really messy because my idea of unpacking was taking everything out of my suitcases and putting it on the bed and floor.
    Emily and I also went out yesterday morning after we arrived and bought some things we’d need for our apartments (we live right next door to one another). She’s taught here in Ulsan before, so she knew her way around and where to go for little luxuries one would generally enjoy  having in an apartment such as, oh, I don’t know, toilet paper, which my apartment was sorely lacking upon my arrival. After that we went to the school and had our first day of training. We work from about 2pm-9pm because the kids are in public school during the day and then come to  English school in the evening. Apparently there are two other foreign teachers coming, one from the US and one from South Africa, but they both had some problems with their visas, so they’re not here yet. Until they get here Emily and I are teaching their classes, so I have really little kids for the first two classes of the day, intermediate kids in the middle, then one class of more advanced kids, and another of intermediate kids at night. There are nine class periods a day, and each of us has one class period off. We’re doing training and lesson planning until Thursday, and then we actually start teaching on Friday. I’ve been keeping my eyes out when walking around for some good switches with which to whip the misbehavers. If I fail to locate one before Friday I’m going to just have to use a nice hardwood ruler in the interim.
    Anyway, I can’t get internet until I get my alien card (I wanted to hand in a passport picture of ET to make it a true alien card, but the official people weren’t too keen on the idea, though they did not the strong resemblance) and that should take a few weeks. In the mean time I’m stealing from Starbucks. Ok, I’m off to get lost trying to find my way home again. It’s hard to remember your way around here because remembering the street signs is nearly impossible because I first have to sound out the Korean name, and one I stand on the street corner doing that for about five minutes squinting at the sign like a mongoloid, I forget the eighteen syllable name after about ten steps. It’s really quite ineffective. Annnd, on that note, I’m off.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Blog: The Prologue

    Have you ever found yourself thinking, wow, I really wish I knew more of the insignificant details of the life of Kim Fitzgibbon? Me neither, but just in case that thought ever does happen to strike you, perhaps after sitting in front of the microwave for too long or having an anvil dropped on your head Wiley E. Coyote style, you now have this resource available to you providing you with all those details for which you so desperately yearn.
    I tend to think of blogs as self absorbed and pretentious...which is perfect because I’ve really been looking for a place in which I can condemn the silly bourgeois, post modern ideals of the people around me while simultaneously championing my own vastly more intelligent and superior beliefs. Joke. This is just an easy way to tell about all the silly/fun/weird things I encounter in Korea.
    Ok, I’m about half way through a five hour layover at the Seattle airport, and I’m now off to do some duty free shopping and be swindled by the airport currency exchange people. Stay tuned for further developments. In the mean time, for your viewing pleasure, I'm really looking to meet a man with some political power on this little sojourn...

 I spy a love connection.