Monday, October 24, 2005


had a pretty fun time friday night. took some great pictures to prove it. got home. wait, didn't i have a camera? oh that's right, it must be somewhere in the city of daejeon. the only place i could guess to look at was this random asian club we went to, because that's the last place we actually took pictures. so saturday afternoon i went back with alisun and melissa to look for it- nope, wasn't there. and the guy working there remembered us from the night before and figured the most likely thing that happened was somebody found it and ran away with it. sucks that my first "major" investment here is now lost. the good thing is, the camera wasn't incredibly expensive and i wasn't too fond of it anyway and was thinking about upgrading it. guess i'll have to do it even sooner than planned. so i won't have my camera for when my parents visit (this friday!) but at least they'll bring their camera so i can download them onto my computer.

in other news, did a whole lot of nothing the rest of the weekend. spent way too much time at starbucks and e-mart on saturday when we were really planning on going to a mountain, but we were so slow in getting ready that by the time we got together there were probably only a good 2-3 hours of sunlight left.

sunday i spent the whole day at the jjimjilbang and ate the worst meal i've had by far. it was just me alisun and melissa, and our favorite ajumma sat us down for a meal and we had wonderful sidedishes including a great tofu dish. then she set down the plate of meat that we couldn't quite identify- after we made her draw a picture of the animal, it turned out to be pork. ok, coming from the girl who was a vegetarian for 7 years before coming to korea, i'm pretty proud of how well i handled eating this meat. i kid you not, all it was was bone and fat- maybe a random piece of meat here and there. i ate a few pieces- squishy is really the only word i can use to describe the flavor. i got full rather quickly and couldn't eat anything else- i always feel like a failure when i can't even finish my rice, but i just think my body would have objected majorly if i put anything else into it. alisun handled a few pieces, but played the "mix it around in my rice bowl with a few veggies" card, so i think i ate the most meat out of the three of us (melissa's a veggie who can only handle eating fish right now). at least it wasn't dog, although we were really scared for a moment when alisun tried telling her i got a puppy named kimchi and she started pointing to the meat. it was then that we made her draw the animal just to make sure she didn't just serve us a cuddly canine. i don't think we have to worry about that though- we just figured she misunderstood what we were saying, because dog meat isn't something you're just randomly served here, and when she found out that's what we thought she was saying the meat was she started cracking up then saying she'd never serve that... well, gesturing more than verbalizing it considering she doesn't speak english.

oh and i had by far the cutest moment in teaching to date last thursday. well, let's back up a little bit. first of all, about 2 weeks ago i had sent an email to my family mentioning my favorite student, martin, who is just so cute and incredibly smart. he's really funny and can act up every now and then, which i almost prefer in a kid- i'd take one of the kids who are smart with a little "bite" in their personality any day over the ones who are quiet and always do as they're told. anyway, the very same day i sent the email we were reading a story in class. the story happened to be about gloria, who happened to be african-american. martin, out of nowhere, goes "black people are stupid and poor and crazy." whoa, there. let's simmer a little bit. he didn't say it maliciously, he actually had his trademark "look at me i'm so cute" martin face. so, not wanting to make a big deal out of it in front of the other students (it's a small class of 5) so they wouldn't catch on to the message, i quickly said that wasn't true and he wasn't to say that again or there'd be hell to pay. well, i didn't really say that last part, but i'm quite sure my tone implied it.

anyways, after that, my view of martin was a bit different. it made me wonder how racist of a country korea actually is, because frankly the vast majority of the country is made up of koreans, with races of african descent being few and far between. that's not just a thought that a 10 year old boy comes up with on his own, i'm thinking maybe his family or some other type of media had an influence on him. ok, so you're probably wanting me to get to the good story now. martin totally redeemed himself last thursday when they were working in their workbooks and i was going around checking them. martin asked "teacher, is this ok?" so i went to check it out. they were combining sentences and the answer was supposed to be, "she isn't very athletic and i'm not, either." but martin had, "she isn't very athletic and i ain't, either." i kind of laughed and said no, it wasn't gramatically correct. then i started to wonder where he heard the word "ain't." i mean, it's just not a word they're taught in english class. so, i asked what made him want to say it and he said "well, i thought, 'ain't no mountain high enough'..." that just took me by total surprise and i started cracking up. oh martin, you're so cute, even when you're racist.

and with that, i will leave you with an inspirational thought brought to you (capital letters and all) by my bag of Foodream brand sugar:

"Our dream is to bring you the most satisfaction and Beyond Happiness." how kind of them.

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