I believe it was one month ago today that I arrived in Ulsan. Since then, I feel I’ve settled in quite well. I live in a fantastic apartment. I have “inherited” and purchased some great stuff for said apartment. I have a tiny group of herbs and plants growing (although its been a week since they’ve sprouted and aren’t growing all that much it seems). I have come to be in possession of a little toaster oven, rice cooker, toaster, kettle, and (wait for it)… a pasta maker. Obviously the pasta maker is going to be a grand ol’ time… you can look for future recipes and posts on another food thing. I have a few good yoga mats to start practicing massage on for hopefully a few future clients. And I’m completing the first month teaching.
I have students from ages 10-15. The younger students are great. They’re excited to learn and bring out a fun side in me. They get excited about a pencil case, for goodness’ sake. The older ones are in that stage of
learning what it means to be a douche assholism puberty. I’m trying to take it with a grain of salt but some of them just sit there. Literally sit there. I ask a question: “What do you like to talk about?” Nothing. “What things do you like?” …..”What?” “I asked you what your interests are. So we can have a conversation about it next week?” “What?” (((BITCH PUHLEASE! You understand me))) “What do you like?” “Nothing, teacher.” Bullshit. “Nobody likes ‘nothing.’ What sport do you like?” “What?” “WHAT (((mother f********))) sport DO YOU LIKE?!” “Oh. Soccer.”
Geeeeeezuz what was so hard about that? Oh wait, he’s playing on his cell phone and copying answers off the Korean Clueless Cher behind him. That class isn’t the worst. Out of the 6 of them (formerly 7), 2 of them answer regularly, 2 of them will occasionally answer, and 2 will just sit there mumbling or saying nothing at all.
My devil class has 2 good students out of 9? Apparently they’re new so they don’t know to behave poorly like the others. But I reward them for being good. There are 2 boys that can be pretty bad. And a few girls that just giggle and talk in Korean and then cry when I tell them to leave for being rude and disruptive. Hey, if you don’t do your homework and come to class and talk in Korean during ‘English only time’ you’re going to get a frustrated teacher. And just when I thought I was lucky enough to get to show their parents how shitty they are by giving them the reports and monthly tests, I find out that they don’t have to take the tests because they’re in Middle School Exam Prep. AKA 2-3 weeks of students not showing up, not taking tests in my school, and falling dangerously behind in class. I care. I feel like maybe I shouldn’t but I hate that I feel that I shouldn’t care. But caring is what I do. I take my jobs seriously. Why shouldn’t I? But I get paid regardless. So maybe I should care less and stress less. But I don’t know how to do that. I am the hard-working outcome of two hardworking (potentially) work addicts. We take our shit seriously.
I had a great time this past weekend (long 5 day weekend due to Chuseok – Korean Thanksgiving) with my galpal Chelsea. We’ve been friends for 20 years thanks to our mothers being besties. We went to the neighboring city, Busan, and explored and partied til all hours of the night. We spent money that I didn’t have and every second was worth it. I even enjoyed burning the roof of my mouth on a stuffed crust Pizza Hut pizza… sorta. I enjoyed the pizza..not the mouth burning. Freakin’ cheese gets me every time.
I’ve met some great people and have had some fun evenings. Some were as simple as a bottle (or 3) of wine or sangria and having good conversation. Some involved getting quite drunk and dancing at Beat Bar (where the night goes to die, apparently). Others involved singing my brains out at a noribong with complete strangers. Then there are my nights alone, where I watch whatever show I’ve downloaded, and cook. I’ve also watched the Korean-dubbed movies like Legends of the Fall and Puss in Boots. I never realized how similar to Puss in Boots, my handsome Boboboy is. Miss that lil punk.
I’ve stayed in touch with my family. I’ve Skyped and Facetimed and iMessaged and WhatsApped and Vibered.
The time flies here. I just CAN’T wait til I see the first paycheck. And then a better second paycheck.
PS – I still don’t speak a lick of Korean. I can barely say ‘Hello’ politely.