Expat Dribble

Andrea Avery Jackley: An expat with lots of dribble to write about.


As rainy season ensues, and thus it rains… and rains… and rains, life indoors has been fairly uneventful. My days are filled with plenty of time to write, sketch, work, and practice my meager Yoga skills. It’s also been quite conducive to catching up on sleep. One quest has been nagging me (and a couple of willing friends) over the past week and half, however: finding the perfect “hells club”. 

Yes, I said “hells club”; playfully, of course. That’s the Korean pronunciation for “health club”, and it actually comes out sounding more like “hellss club”. I picked up on this quickly, which served me well as I continually had to ask people where the particular “hellss club” I was looking for was located in the many multi-business high rises around town. Whenever I said “health club” they had no idea what I was talking about, but as soon as I pronounced my ss’s, all was well. “Oh!!” they would exclaim, and the lightbulb above their heads would be bright enough to temporarily blind the passers-by.  

So last week we tried two different locations, both with their pros and cons (one location gave us a nice view of rice paddies while working out on the ellipticals); and this week there’s yet another hellss club to discover; apparently in the Dream Plus building near the express bus station. The problem has been dragging ourselves out of the comfort of our homes and into the all-encompassing humidity and torrential rain to get there. 

We’re also rapidly approaching “intensives” at work – the yearly stretch of about five weeks when the children are on “summer break”, and subsequently attend their respective haegwons full-time instead of just in the evenings. I’ve been told our working hours will go from the normal eight hours at night, to about 10 hours during the day; approximately 10 a.m. to 7:30-8 p.m. On top of the preparation for this (I’ve had to pick out all new text books and prepare new lessons), our haegwon will be merging with my boss’s latest purchase – England Language Institute – during the intensives. 

We were able to meet our new coworkers during a late dinner sponsored by my boss last Tuesday. I was very pleasantly surprised by the friendly group from England, and am particularly looking forward to working with a couple of fellow foreigners – a man from Canada (and oooh! he sounds So Canadian! The fun I’ll have with that makes me smile) and a 23-year-old girl, sweet as she can be, from New Zealand. Her name is Sara, but with her intoxicating Southern-Hemispheric accent it sounds like “Sierra”.

So, not too much news to report as the thunder rumbles away above my tiny little corner apartment. The highlight of my weekend was the discovery of a great little Indian restaurant named “Hungry Eyes” (Eric Carmen – Dirty Dancing soundtrack, hehe), courtesy of some pals, that serves up a devine mutton curry vindalo and scrumptious garlic naan. And yes, they played “Jai Ho” while we were enjoying our meals.


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