Thursday, April 21, 2011

Good morning!

I just woke up from the most restful sleep I've had since I've gotten here. I bought a comforter yesterday at HomePlus, a strangely organized store that has basically everything. Some people at orientation were telling me I can return it, since my apartment will most likely have all the bedding I need, but knowing me and how much I love to sleep inside a fortress of blankets, I'm going to keep it. I am still at the hotel, writing in the dark. I want to yank open the curtains and yell, "Rise and shine!" but my roommate is sleeping and breakfast isn't for another hour.

Sitting through presentations has actually been helpful, even 3-hour long presentations where I learn nothing. Those presentations motivate me to think of ways to keep my classes exciting. As it turns out, I'll be teaching high school in Muan, and living in Mokpo, which is just 15 minutes away by bus. I was originally going to teach high school English in Boseong, but Koreans, it seems, change their minds a lot and like to keep us foreigners constantly on our toes.

I don't have much to report besides the people at orientation. I am charmed and delightfully disgusted by my Aussie friend and all the gross stories he tells me. After telling me some vulgar story, he'll act embarrassed if he drops food on his lap and say, "Oh great, in front of a girl!" And he spells out his swear words, which is a wonderful contradiction to his personality.

A couple muscular guys with gelled hair like to strut and preen, and both my roommate and I are getting tired of their obnoxious behavior. Yesterday at breakfast, I asked if I could sit at their table and they said yes. There was one available seat. But when a girl they're both competing for came in, one of them said "Let's go sit with her," and they both got up and left me sitting all alone.

We had a Korean language lesson yesterday and our petite soft-spoken lady teacher veered into stories about her married life. She said her husband doesn't share the household chores and comes home late after drinking. She said she planned to get drunk one night and physically fight her husband but she had a small glass of soju and fell asleep. In the morning, she had forgotten her anger. I laughed at the thought of this tiny, sweet-smiling woman fighting anybody, but I was glad that she was at least trying to establish more equality in her marriage. The fate of many Korean women in this Confucian society is to be treated as inferiors. We've been told we'll witness domestic violence, but there's nothing we can do about it. In the movie Asia and I watched last night, "To Wong Foo," three drag queens taught the women in a small town how to dress more confidently and lend that confidence to their personal lives, not letting their husbands beat them up. So maybe that's what Korea needs: gigantic, glamorous drag queens.

I'm going to get ready for breakfast now. I'll write more when something interesting happens.

No comments:

Post a Comment