I’ve officially crossed the three week mark here in Ulsan, and everything is going well for the most part. I try to keep track of the funny little things I find here to post, but I usually just end up forgetting about them and not posting. For example, the other day I finally decided to buy myself some sort of device for heating food, so I can stop living off cereal and yogurt. I purchased myself a “Fly Pan” from a home goods store near my apartment. It closely resembles a frying pan in every way, shape, and form, but because the packaging so proudly declared it not a fry pan but a fly pan, I will stick with than moniker. On the same note, I bought a pack of “Mixed Nets” which, to the naked eye, would appear to be mixed nuts.
I had a big day on Friday when I understood for the first time something one of my students was saying to another student in Korean. First, I should note that the kids aren’t supposed to ever speak Korean in class to begin with, because I’m sure the majority of what they’re saying before I start yelling at them to stop speaking Korean is along the lines of, “Look at stupid Seaweed Teacher. She doesn’t even know we call her Seaweed Teacher. Baaahahahaha.” Yet on this particular occasion, in one of my more rambunctious classes on Friday, I was able to distinctly pick out “Your mother is a man.” Yes, ladies and gentleman, my Korean has officially progressed to the level of eleven year old boys’ insults to one another. Unfortunately my small victory was lost on my students. Immediately after I proudly chastised the student (it should be noted that said student is Kevin of constant homework avoidance fame) by saying that the other student’s mother was not, in fact a man, but most likely a lady, he simply smiled back at me laughing and saying, “Teacher, Teacher, I say his mom a man! [insert laughter at his own hilarity here]” Apparently he found his insult so brilliant that he couldn’t trust my understanding and felt the need to translate for me. This is the same kid who, after choosing an English storybook for his weekly book report, brought in his own copy of the same book in Korean which he apparently had at home to show me his genius ability to cheat on his book report. He still didn’t do the book report. I hope he never plans to pursue a life of crime, because if he eludes the police for even a day, he will undoubtedly run down to the station to tell them the details of his crime so everyone can appreciate his work. At least he keeps me entertained.
In other news, this city has more mosquitoes than anywhere I’ve ever been, and they all seem to want to have some sort of Korean mosquito orgy in my apartment. I counted over twenty bites on my body the other morning. I looked like some sort of walking case of full body herpes. Apparently they sometimes come up through the drains. I’ve plugged all the drains up now, and that seems to have helped.
The school has finally sent in our applications for our foreigner cards. They were waiting for the two other foreign teachers who arrived later to have their health checks finished to send all the applications in together. They apparently do not see having a phone or a Korean bank account as pressing issues. Anyway, now that the applications have been sent, it shouldn’t be too long until I finally have internet that is neither stolen from my neighbors nor requires the purchase of a $4 cup of coffee. Until then...