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Friday, April 20, 2007

누가 내 머리 위에 똥 썼어?

The title, in English, can be directly translated as "Who-subjectparticle my head on-at poop-pasttensemarker?"
Sorry, class in 3 minutes, no time to explain, not even those really strange photoshopped pictures in the middle. I'll try to write a little something up for Monday. Until then you'll just have to go on with your daily lives as if you weren't entirely engrossed in my activities.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Not a whole post

Because I have to muster a great deal of effort to recount the happenings of even the most banal weeks. However, since I've got 30 or so minutes to burn (both of tonight's advanced students are on field trips), I'll try to get some stuff out of the way. I can't deal with any traveling or other photo-related matters, though, since those take some preparation - I've got to bring the photos in to upload.

So, I'm not sure if I've mentioned this yet. March was the last month for Gemma, the Korean co-teacher. We had become pretty good friends, though we never hung out outside of work because her husband didn't want her bumming around with a stud like me. It stunk that she had to go, since she was really fun (in that teased-me-all-the-time) sort of way and also a pretty good teacher, as far as I could tell. However, her husband lives in the US and she was mostly killing time while waiting for some Visa issues to clear up, so now that that's all taken care of, she can go back. Maybe she'll come see me on my birthday or something. Which reminds me, happy birthday times 5000 to Jamal. In case you all have forgotten, Jamal and I have birthdays separated by only 2 days, unless you also count the 1 year in between, so we formed a hilarious (to us) and annoying (to everyone else) habit of incessantly commenting on the awesomeness and spectacularity of the other's bday. The ancitipatory stage lasts all through April and the other one lasts for a good chunk of May. Unfortunately we've missed out on most of it this year, but I'll try to make up for it a little. Happy birthday dude.

When Gemma left, we obviously had to get a new teacher, so we did. Her name is Ann (her English name that is. I don't know and am incapable of remembering her Korean name). We're still getting to know each other but I like her a lot. She too makes fun of me, but not quite as much as Gemma. I want to give an example, but doing so will require some background info which will prolong the joke and kill it. Nonetheless:

Those of you who have lived with and around me know that I'm generally a recycling freak. The same is true here. One of the cabinets in my apartment (which has excellent cabinet space, by the way) is reserved specifically for the sorting of recyclables. Anal to the max, and taking great pleasure in quirky forms of self-recursion (especially the awesome book "Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid") I stuff HDPE recyclables into a bag that is itself HDPE recyclable, and likewise for PP and "other", and for paper as well, of course. At school, I drink lots of tea (to ease my overworked throat), and the little tubes it comes in are "other" type recyclables, so I have a bag full of those. I also give other people lots of verbal harassment if they don't recycle, and so my desk has become sort of a rendezvous point for everyone's recyclable goods. I don't let people throw out cans or other things like that. Obviously, I get my fair and justified share of flack for this.

In a friendly ice-breaker sort of way, Ann asked me about my favorite actor. Most people, interested in simple conversation, have either an answer or a faux-answer prepared. I just said something like "I don't know...I'm a bit of a wangtta (outsider, outcast, dork)." So she said, "Well...who's your favorite recycler?" I know you're probably not laughing, but dang, it was funny. Especially coming from her - she's really softspoken, so it came right out of the blue. Bashing me like that is, counterintuitively, one of the best ways to get on my good side. Thus, I am enjoying working with Ann.

My Korean is also getting quite good, mostly because there is a (married, child-having) woman at the gym who likes to talk to me. We've had lunch a time or two - she showed me an awesome, cheap chinese restaurant where a bowl of jajjangmyon (noodles in black bean sauce) is only $1.50 and jajjangbokkumbap (stir-fried rice with the same) is only $2.50 - and this morning she gave me a spare bicycle. I think it's designed for a little girl, because there's not a lot of free space around the circumference of the pedal trajectory. If my foot is too far forward, my shoe hits the front wheel, and if it's too far back, it hits the grocery basket. Nonetheless, free bike. Its goofiness makes me appreciate it even more. Back to the language - I've had several "Ahhh, numerous disparate linguistic elements now appear to follow a rather intuitive pattern" moments. The case marker suffixes that you can put onto nouns and some other parts of speech are actually quite baller and are an easy way avoid the ambiguity that sometimes comes up in English sentences. And the tenses are really easy. And I'm slightly getting the hang of properly honoring the other person by using specific words, infixes, and verb endings, though honestly I don't care too much about that crap.

Also, the squash is coming along nicely. Some people I couldn't previously beat, I can beat now. Some people that I could previously beat, I wallop even worse now. Some people that seemed really really good before seem only really good now. Also, almost magically, I haven't had any of that elbow trouble that plagued me throughout my racquetball and pong years.

We've got a new foreign teacher, too, though I think she'll only be around for a few months. She's only come in about 5 or so times so far, so I don't know her too well, but she seems nice, lives on a US military base not too far from here, and has offered to buy me cheese and refried beans and tortillas. I really hope the PX on base has cilantro.

We talked about musicals in an advanced class yesterday. One of the questions in the book was "what are some famous musicals?" Obviously we said things like Cats, Cabaret, Phantom, Les Mis. Apparently there's a children's musical here by the name of "Nuga nae mori ssaso?" which can be roughly translated as "Who poo-pooed on my head?" Hilarious.

Bell just rang, I've got to go do about 45 seconds of prep work for the adult class, and then I'm outta here. Look for a big post early next week.