Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears....

Sun Oct 19, 2003

I’m feeling rather ill right now with some sort of pre-winter bug, so bear with me if this entry seems disjointed, I beg you.

I didn’t have an exceptional week in any way, worked late most nights, but have been on an even keel. One amusing thing I remember is that one of my six year old boys, Henry, told me he keeps on having dreams about me and his father fighting! And in the dream his father always wins of course. I can just imagine getting my ass whooped kung-fu style by an irate parent. Seriously though, I hope I’m not incurring too much psychological damage on these poor children. Birthday party on Thursday. Another six year old, a tiny boy called Arnold received a tiny scratch on his face from Jacob, so Arnold’s dad came storming into the school threatening to disfigure Won Jang Nim’s face and wanted to confront Jacob. When he saw Jacob, however, a boy just as small and frail as Arnold is, he softened up and just told him to be a good friend. It happened in my class (gulp), but a lot worse violence happens that doesn’t leave any scars. Kids are so quick to lash out, it’s hard to stop them in time unless you have eyes in the back of your head.

Unfortunately, we had to work yesterday, on Saturday, because it was an open house. We were supposed to try teach these potential kindergarten students some rudimentary English while there parents got the presentation and tour. They all wanted to be with their mommies though so every single one of them was screaming and crying their eyes out and of course they’re terrified of foreigners. We just ended up blowing bubbles and making clay people and playing with balloons to amuse them until we could escape. What a nightmare. Anyways, afterwards Won Jang Nim took us out to dinner in the seafood restaurant that’s housed in a gigantic garish pirate ship just outside of town. There were all kinds of weird and wonderful sea creatures to eat. My old friend the live octopus was there too, but now I’m pretty good at quickly chewing the severed tentacle before it wraps itself around my tongue. I gladly escaped the inevitable Norae-bang session afterwards.

Today, as I already mentioned, I’ve been feeling ill, but I went on a nice walk in the woods, which were indescribably peaceful today. The crisp autumn weather and blazing sun, the chirping of the crickets, the dragonflies buzzing around my head, the frisky but tiny birds and squirrels in the trees, the fresh air, ahhh, I really do like living in the ‘countryside’ after all. I was poking around the abandoned army encampment on my favourite hill and found a rusty unopened tin barrel of ‘decontaminating agent’, according to the label it causes stinging eyes, burning skin and lung damage, but it supposedly keeps nuclear contamination to a minimum. Scary stuff, somebody should clean that stuff up, not me though! Then I went to the cemetery and stretched out in the sun like a lazy dog, tired and glad to be alive.

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