Fri Aug 22, 2003
Good evening one and all. First of all, I can see! Although I think I’ve merely become accustomed to sub-standard vision, that discomforting sensation of squinting through a fog has passed. I do tend to over-dramatize things, I know, but regardless I really was concerned. Tonight the other teachers were scuttling around in a working frenzy, and you should have seen the look of horror on their faces when I left ‘early’. It seems a travesty to leave before the whole group does, but it was nine o clock, I’d just had the longest week of my life putting in these damn twelve hour days and I was finished. So I handed Debbie my report cards and monthly syllabuses and said “Sianara baby”. “You’re going home!?” she says incredulously. Next week I’ll be putting in long nights doing phone teaching, so I think the disdain is unnecessary. I just have to laugh though at the Korean way of doing things. I don’t think they could ever fully comprehend the phrase “take it easy”. Lexically, of course they could, but not the psychological mindset that accompanies said phrase.
Anyways, it sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m not. Internally I am delightfully amused by Korean idiosyncrasies and the most I’ll ever do is shake my head and have a good laugh at it all. This is partly due to the fact that as a foreigner I am not a part of Korean society and am at liberty to exercise my own individuality without being ridiculed. In Korea, foreigners literally are “non-persons” that do not fit into the social hierarchy and there are no rules for interacting with foreigners, whereas there are rules for interacting with different genders, ages, occupations etc. as a member of Korean society. This gives one certain freedoms because you can justify your behaviour by pandering to the mystique and uncertainty surrounding foreigners. Of course this isn’t justification for boorish behaviour but as in the above situation, I cannot be reprimanded because I am somewhat above working doctrines. I have to go, American Beauty is on TV!