Jun 15, 2009

Chapter Nine: (Right About Now) The Funk Seoul Brother

This entry was brought to you by Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim.

I'm coming up on my 4 month anniversary already--1/3 of my time in Korea is over. That's not so long--sort of like pretending turning 25 is a big deal because it's "a quarter of a century." But it's not a small amount of time, either. It's further proof, I suppose, that time really flies regardless of what you have going on in your life. What's strange is I feel like this is my reality, that I've been here forever, but when I look back on my time here I might not even remember the first couple months.

The biggest thing going around recently has been the paranioa about the Pig flu. I've been doing my best to ignore current events and for the most part have done just that. But with alarmed parents phoning in, this one is harder to avoid than, say, the hyserics about North Korea. All foreign teachers at my school have had to get our temperature checked twice now. If we cough or sneeze on the subway or elsewhere in public, we will get glared at (worse than usual) and people may actually move away. Many Koreans think that only foreigners can catch this flu, and they are very suspicious of all of us showing any symptoms of any cold. The irony here is that any sick foreigner here has probably gotten it from working with Korean children, whose idea of hygiene is sucking the snot off their fingers before they rub them on your face and try to put them into your mouth.

My average break at school.

Conditions at the school have been far from ideal, but the more draining the week days, the more I try to do on weekends. In the last few weeks, I've been to Suwon (again), Lotte World (a Korean version of Disney Land), a zoo (called Zoo Zoo) Seoul Grand Park (self-explanatory), up Bukhansan, and ascended the Seoul Tower. This is in addition to patronizing places like various Wa Bars (a western style bar), various Garten Biers (Korea's version of German bars), and several Noraebongs until the wee hours of the morning.

The Teddy Bear museum at the top of Seoul Tower.

Panda Bear ride at Lotte World.

The Legend of "Sindbad" ride.

And continuing the recent trend of videos, here is proof that I am not, in fact, faster than water: