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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Position Opening

Just so you all know, my school is most likely going to hire another foreign teacher around the end of Jan or start of Feb, so let me know if you're interested. I can probably get you the job.

If you need some more convincing, read the other two posts I did today about corndogs and supermarkets and what not. And take a look at the video of my pad.


This building is on the corner of the street where I work. It's a pretty normal building, as far as I can tell, in terms of the different stores found inside. It's got some food and clothing stores downstairs, a bowling alley in the middle, an English school up top, and then above that, a Jesus Loves you sign. I'm not sure what that's all about

This is a photo of the street I work on, taken from a little overpass thingy that saves you the hassle of waiting for the walk sign. Way down on the end, I think you can make out part of the Jesus sign.

This is the building my school's in. We share the floor with the Oprah restaurant; if you could rotate the photo around the corner, you'd see our banners and what not On the ground floor, there's a convenience store, and above us there's a PC room, in which people chainsmoke for hours on end. I don't recommend going in.

I've also got 2 links for you, though I'm not sure they'll work. The first is a video of my room.

The second is an audio clip of the supermarket. Don't ask what he's saying, I don't know. I had a great success at the corndog stand just now, though, when I understood the woman when she said "dewo mot haeyo," or "I can't heat it up." Make sure to read the post below about heating corndogs and supermarket wildness.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Twice as Nice

It's a sad day when, after having studied intensively for a few minutes and gathered your resolve, you can put nearly every ounce of your Korean knowledge to use while trying to get a hot dog from a street vendor. I managed to use several phrases, like "how much is it?" "please heat it up for me," "I'm an American, so I don't speak Korean" "Ah, yes, please give me sugar," "No, ketchup isn't necessary," and Thanks." However, if there was a positive aspect to the experience, it was that when I asked her to heat it up, she simply took the already-fried corndog and dunked it into the hot grease-batter for another few minutes, resulting in an indescribably delicious double-decker corndog with TWO layers of fried dough.

Besides these C-dogs, I've also been eating lots of bananas. Mostly because they're cheap, but also because the store only sells them in gigantic 18-packs, which means you have to eat about 3-4 a day if you don't want them to rot.

What else...I think we'll be having some sort of Xmas party here. We're doing a secret santa sort of thing with the 5 workers here. My coteacher Gemma said that she's going to buy me a pack of condoms, and then everybody laughed at me. It's a very nice office atmostphere we have.

And now, some attempted links to pictures and video and audio:

Ok, that didn't work. Jeff, help me out here. Just to get you all excited: I've got a little video of my apartment accompanied by some fantastic commentary and a tinge of sarcasm, an audio clip of the supermarket, and pictures of the street I work on and my school from the outside.

Which reminds me, I meant to give a little description of the supermarket here. First of all, It's called HomePlus, it's owned by Samsung, and it's pretty huge. It's hard to compare it to a walmart, though, since it's on 4 floors (just like in Europe, they tend to build upwards here, since ground space is in short supply). The lowest floor is a garage, the highest is just some crap and miscellaneous sale items. The 1st floor is all food (both a food court and a grocery store), the 2nd is clothes and electronics and housewares and all that. The 1st floor is where you (IE I, an american) really feel out of place, both because of the numerous vegetables you've necer seen or heard of before (such as "dropwort"), the ridiculous price of cheddar cheese ($8 for an 8 0z. package of lousy cheese), and the store employees standing everywhere yelling at you. In the produce section, there's a guy with a mic hooked up to a speaker who keeps yelling things, probably about the sale items. And every aisle you walk down has a Korean girl between 18-25 in a short skirt stationed at the top, I suppose trying to tell you all about the specials. They mostly leave me alone, though one hovered over me the other day while I was trying to find detergent. Ah yes, back in the food section, there are also lots of free samples. Even though I stop by the store almost nightly on my way home, I haven't done my usual mooching yet, mostly because I don't know what the etiquette is at those little stations. Plus you have to pay at some of them, and I'm not sure I can tell the difference just yet.

So, that's that. Hopefully Jeff will figure out how to make the video and audio and other pictures available. Perhaps he will even post links in the comments. Once we get it working, we will all owe him many thanks for providing the necessary web space for this junk.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Address et. al.

Send letters/donations to:

Mike Roy c/o Hyun Sook Lee
Herald Institute
Bukgu Guamdong 766
Prime Plaza 4th Floor
Daegu, South Korea 702-280

Also appreciated would be any input on what sort of Xmas food I can make without an oven – preferably involving only 2 burners, as well. And no expensive ingredients. And also, nothing too smelly. Remember that I sleep in my kitchen, or maybe I cook in my bedroom, whichever way you want to put it. Anyhow the bosses might have me over for Christmas dinner, in which case I’d like to bring some homemade American food. Not because I’m generous, but because so far Korean desserts (not counting the sugared corn dog – that’s a category unto itself) have been on the lame side. For instance, the other week, some little 1 year old that the bosses knew had a birthday party, and for some reason or other I wound up with a box of treats on my desk. There were two types: the first were little dumpling-looking things that would have been delicious if filled with meat and veggies, but were relatively gross owing to the pseudo-chocolate bean paste filling; the second was some type of powdery rice cake that I can’t really describe other than with the words dry, excruciating to chew, and yucky.

Then, later on in the week, my boss got into some sort of fight (I wasn’t there) with the boss from another English center upstairs, who later apologized by giving us a cake. Each of the other 4 school employees (IE 2 bosses, secretary, and my coteacher) had a slice, then gave me the remaining half. It was alright, but there was something a little funky about it that prevented me from eating all 4 remaining slices. I could only choke down 1.75 before I got this slimy sugar overload feeling.

I’m not complaining, though, about the way my employers and coworkers and even students indulge my tendencies to mooch; so far, in addition to those desserts, I’ve been given numerous tangerines, treated to various homemade, incredibly labor-intensive riceball treats, bags of chips, bags of little fried snacks sort of like you get with Chinese soup back home, and handfuls of these awesome little fried things. I wonder if they’ll stop giving me all these goodies once I get my first paycheck.