Today is Tuesday, December 2oth, 2011.
It has been 10 months and 3 days since I first set foot in Korea. The days are getting ridiculously short and the temperature is about as cold as it is going to get here (sudden cold snaps notwithstanding). The leaves are all down from the trees – which took a full 2 months longer here in Busan than it usually does in Ontario – but there is still no snow on the ground. Most likely I will not see any snow in Busan at all – sudden cold snaps notwithstanding. I do however plan to try to go skiing at some point, as there are several resorts within a few hours of Busan that might be worth checking out.
In terms of adventures and accomplishments there isn’t much to report. Last weekend I travelled to Gyeongju for a frisbee game, which was a little cold but very enjoyable. Gyeongju remains my favorite city to visit in South Korea – It is a little more rural and something about it reminds me of home I think. Other than that I’ve just been winding down the days at school. Classes are basically finished (winter break starts Thursday) and the students know it. This week I’ve been playing a game in my classes that involve students guessing whether a given statement about me is true or false. Its enormously entertaining. Most of the questions are simple Tom Teacher trivia – like ‘I know two languages – true or false?’ or ‘I had a pet dog when I was young – true or false?’. There is also a ‘Photo Challenge’ segment of the game where I ask a question, such as “Which one is me?” and show the students two pictures of kids who look like me and one which is actually me. The students have to guess (or deduce) the correct picture. My favorite is the “Which one is my family?” question. Students regularly get this question wrong and – oddly – tend to mistake my family for the family of the Queen of England (which is one of the decoy pictures). Strange. The game is entertaining for me because it feeds my narcissism, and entertaining for the students because they get to learn more about me and see pictures from when I was their age.
My plans for winter break are coming along nicely, I am making plans to visit Japan for 5 days in mid January. I have the trip mostly planned out – I just need to get off my procrastination facilitator (also known as my ass) and make the reservations –> I understand that this is arguably the most important part of planning a trip.
Last week I attempted to do something refined, sophisticated and cultured. As you may have guess, it had disastrous results. It all started two weeks ago when my co-teacher gave me an early Christmas present – two tickets to an opera at the Busan Cultural Center. She told me the tickets were for the coming Wednesday and in an uncharacteristic display of trust in others I believed her, without even looking at the ticket. Serves me right.
I go ahead and invite a friend of mine and we meet up after work to go try our hand at enjoying ‘the arts’. We aren’t sure if we should dress up or not so we both wear our work clothes (which are fairly formal in Korea) and taxi our way to the Cultural Center. Strutting through the front doors I reach into my pocket for the tickets (not just any old pocket, that night I was being ‘refined‘: they were in my inside jacket pocket, so I looked like a boss as I pulled them out). The usher takes one look at them and informs me that they are for the *following* Wednesday – one week later. My friend and I promptly turned around and did the walk of shame out of the theater – which was twice as humiliating because all the Korean patrons got to snicker at the unrefined waygooks who couldn’t read the date on the tickets. In my defense, not only did my co-teacher get the date wrong, but I failed to check the date, my friend failed to check the date when she took a picture of the tickets to show her co-teacher (in order to get some things translated) and then even her co-teacher failed to notice the date when she translated the tickets for us! The walk of shame was pretty humiliating, but thank goodness I was with a good friend of mine who I am comfortable around – if it was a real date (or, I shudder to think about it – a first date) it would have been really uncomfortable.
In the end we decided to see Blitz – the new Jason Statham movie. Some might say that this choice was the exact opposite of cultured. It was a sweet movie though, Jason Statham kicked alot of ass and did you know you can buy BEER in the cinema in Korea?! Well you can! I’d like to say there is a point to this blog entry, but like most of the ramblings encompassed in the last 50 posts; there isn’t one.
My final thought on the subject of my experimention with the ‘fine arts’ is this: I suppose that when it comes down to it you can take the boy out of central Ontario, but you can’t take the central Ontario out of the boy.
Anyway stay tuned because tomorrow I will once again lace up my shiny shoes and take a second shot at the Opera.
That’s all for now.