Expat Dribble

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

7.30.09

Anyonghaseyo, blog. It’s been far too long! Swamped with work the past couple of weeks, as the start of our summer “intensive” classes began and the merger of our haegwon and another, dubbed “England”, ensued; I’ve been endlessly tired and without much time to spare between 12-hour workdays and other mundane, everyday activities. 

 

But, as usual, there’s much to discuss. Just to name a few: the catch of a “serial” rapist in the South Korean town I reside – Cheongju – who apparently targeted foreign women and yet somehow was never reported in the press; racial tensions re-ignited in the West with the arrest of an African-American Harvard professor in his own home, followed by Glenn Beck being an even bigger boob than usual; my receipt of $1,000 in unjustly-denied medical claims from my former American health insurance company/Fortune 100 employer in the wake of health care reform; and of course, my raging battle with a particular classroom of “monsters” – mostly 12- and 13-year old boys – who, despite their  regular defiance (swearing, hitting, screaming, pushing the fire alarm), apparently love me as their foreign teacher. I was received with a round of applause and shouts of “Yay!! Andrea teacher!!” when returning to the classroom after the merger – to which my reply was an exasperated, “Yay…. Heh.”

 

One of the mini-monsters,  a particularly unruly boy, riddled with ADD, around the age of seven or eight, gave me a good chuckle when I greeted him the other day by tussling his hair and saying, “hello little monster”. He responded with: “You BIG monster!” squealing and running down the hall. 

 

Meanwhile, I’ve been spending some off-time teaching English to and learning Korean from a couple of delightful girls who work the receptionist desk at the haegwon. If I do say so, my Korean skills have improved dramatically. In addition to learning to read and write (which I did online), I’ve learned all kinds of wonderful phrases like “open your books”, “sit down”, “be quiet”, and my favorite, “did you have a meal?” – which, when translated literally and in succession, actually means: “rice have you had?” Rice, the staple of the Korean and most Asian diets, is used in place of the word “meal”. Fabulous.

 

I haven’t had much time for fun little trips lately, although I did make it back down to Geojedo Island last weekend. We visited Haegeumgam Beach, which was, most assuredly, the most beautiful spot I’ve visited in this country so far. And of course, I forgot my camera. Lovely sandy beach surrounded by clean waters, mountains with lush green scenery, rocky cliffs and islands floating aimlessly offshore… it was truly paradise. There was one killjoy however, when a boater pulled himself ashore and used his ore to hoist a jellyfish roughly the size of a large watermelon out of the sea, demolishing it and leaving its carcass on the beach for all to walk through. Wading wasn’t quite as relaxing after that, for some reason. 

 

Anyong-hee-kah-seyo, for now. 

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