Okay, so with a little free time today because the gym was closed for some reason or another (there was a paper taped to the window but it was in Korean, however I gather it said "Closed"), I was able to put up some pictures of things I talked about in earlier posts. So if you’re interested check them out. Otherwise I kinda just wanna catch you all up on some of the events that have gone on in the 3 weeks I've been here. The biggest event so far was on my second day in Korea. It was the schools annual teachers party. It is basically an eating, drinking, Karaoke feast, and it was a lot of fun. At the time I barely knew anyone, but that didn't stop people from being really nice to me. That has to be the best picture of the night...can no one say "Paul YOUR IN THE DAMN PICTURE!!! SIT DOWN" nope, not when they don't speak your language, they just take your camera and then make you look like a fool. It was an awesome night. There was some rookie teacher hazing where we had to sing in front of a schools worth of teachers into a spoon, during dinner. But it was all in good humor. It was my first real taste of the culture. You had to take your shoes off at the door, sit on the floor, and they cooked the food right in front of you. I couldn't sit indian style for more then 10 minutes at a time though, who sits Indian style anyway? I thought that was just for little kids, but that brings me to my first goal to accomplish in my year here in Korea: Get in better shape, strength & flexibility. I felt like a moron not being able to sit the way everyone else was, not like they cared, but I did. When I went to my knees the woman next to me laughed and told me that’s how kids sit at the table in Korea when they're getting punished. So before this trip I always said I was unflexible, like it was a disease I caught, but it's not, it's something I can change so I'm going to change it. Here are some more pics of the night: Me with Mr. Jong
Me with Rachel (another English teacher) and Mr. Kim (the principal) who is a really nice guy, funny, and one of the best English speakers in the school, thank god.
Here is just one table of the 3 that the school was taking up:
Can you see the one white guy in the picture?
That's another foreigner, his name is Paul and he's from Canada. Yup that's right. 3 white people in a school of over a thousand and we have two Paul's. Not cool. Because of this confusion they have made up nicknames for us. His include 'Big Paul" and 'Superman" while mine are 'handsome Paul', 'small Paul', and apparently they kids have some Korean nickname that translates to 'skinhead'. I found a ton of irony in all of this for a number of reasons. They said having two Paul's was too confusing for them, but I teach classes with 12 Mr. Kim’s, 9 Mr. Lee's, and 5 Mr. Pak's. What's so hard about 2 Paul's? Also when anyone referred to me as small Paul...I was bigger then them. It wasn't very PC but it was pretty funny. As for the kids referring to me as skinhead. Everyone here seemed to love to talk about my bald head when I got here. I would say nearly all of my first conversations where about it. I'm not really sure what they thought about it, but they loved saying "so you're going bald, huh?" Or something close to that like "no hair?", "Him hair, you no" all prodding at the same idea. There is even a teacher who is an acupuncturist who wants to give me treatment to help me grow my hair. And yes of course, he's not only the president, he's also a client, he showed me before and after pictures. Alright, well this recap has gone on long enough. You can check out the rest of the pictures from the teachers party night on my Picasa page. I was really dragging today, if I bored you I hope I can cheer you up with a short video from Big Paul: