Ian and I slept until 10am this morning. Sounds fun, but we had to do lesson plans. Which meant no run. The sleep was good, though. I haven't been feeling very well. I haven't really been feeling sick, either. I feel like I'm in a perpetual state of "coming down with something."
It was WAY too warm at Ha So today. The thermostat was set to 27 Celsius. That's a little over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It was not exactly pleasant.
Today flew by. Thursdays always do because our material is fresh. For my last two classes (my two most fluent groups), I decided to ignore the book just talk to them for the most part. In the first of the two, we discussed the ways in which America is different from Korea and vice versa. Unfortunately, the students didn't really start to get brave until the end when I was met with "Americans keep guns" and "Korea is one country and America is made of many." It was so awesome to address culture in such an open way. I only wish the students were less shy with their English. I'm sure as they get comfortable with me, they'll have more confidence in their skills and talk more. My last class today closed with each student asking me a question. They were pretty predictable, like "Do you have a boyfriend?" and "How did you know to come to Korea?" but it was still fun. I'm amazed at how the fetishism over being a foreigner is equally flattering and frustrating.
I got an email from Ian today chronicling an mini-adventure he had right before work.
"So I didn't pack myself anything for lunch today, but being the large man that I am I decided that I would need to eat something in order to refrain from devouring my students. I walked about a block down and found a small restaurant that sold Kimbop and, being that it is one of the only things that I can order, I did so. It was average, mild in flavor, but filling. Most importantly it is very very cheap. One roll is about 95 cents US, I ate two. But what was really nice was near the end of my meal and small child, perhaps one and a half or two came to my table, crawled onto the chair and sat down. I offered her some of the sides that inevitably come with any Korean meal. Her mother swiftly moved her away laughing, but luckily for me the child came back again. This time gladly accepting my offerings. It was one of the only things that has happened here that made me feel really normal. It was quite a pleasant way to start work."
I thought it was a cute story. It was weird to read it, however, since he didn't preface his story in the email. It left me thinking "Did he mean to email this to me?" Anyway, there's a little bit of Ian for you. This time sans violence against Korean women and children.
Ian tried to make cheese last night.
This is one of the most disgusting pictures I've ever taken. Milk turns my stomach, so the smell of hot milk was not my favorite. You're welcome.
We couldn't find real cheese cloth, so Ian tried to make due with a look-a-like. Unfortunately, it wouldn't drain.
So, Ian created this contraption to allow it to drain slowly overnight in the fridge. Sadly, it... didn't. So, we had to throw it out. All our dreams of nachos and sandwiches were a little premature.
Chun wha gave a fruit today that I had never seen before.
It looked a bit like a wayward tomato, but it tasted delicious. After classes I asked her if it had an English name. "Yes," she said. "Persimmon." The look on my face was probably priceless. I felt so dumb. I can't believe I've never eaten or seen one before. Apparently, that's what I came to Korea for.
So, Ian and I will be going to Chun wha and her husband's house on Saturday afternoon. There we will be fed Chuseok leftovers and liquor. It's less like we're participating in Chuseok and more like a Chuseok after party. I'm happy to be included. Plus we'll get to meet their son and daughter, who are our age.
No plans for tomorrow. In an ideal world, we'd travel, but the lack of funds and inconvenience of the holiday makes that impossible. Tomorrow I'll post about Chuseok, since Mom was the only one who chimed in on what she wanted to know. :)