You have failed and now you must Daegu!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas and Happy Nude Year!

This should be a massive update, so get a cup of cocoa now and park yourself for a while.

I guess I'll start at the beginnning. I've got a new workout partner for the gym. I'm hanging with one of the few British guys in Daegu. Thomas(his family name is Jones, so he chooses to go by Thomas, I applaud this decision), is probably one of the most interesting individuals I've met here. I've been helping him with his workouts since Monday, so that's the reason this gets put at the beginning. Not a terribly interesting opening paragraph, but it should get better.

On Thursday and Friday we did Christmas at LIKE Academy. My Aunt Randi sent me one of the Christmas trees from the "Charlie Brown Christmas", it's a fairly scrawny thing, with three tiny branches and one red ornament. My seven year olds destroyed the ornament in about 30 seconds. I should have just thrown the thing in the trash and cut out the middle man. I told the kids, "Oh no! Now this is a sad tree." I guess they got the guilt trip, so they pulled out oragami paper and started crafting candy canes, stars and angels for the tree. It was adorable. The tree is now a happy tree.

My big activity for the kids was making Christmas cards. I was surprised that the older kids got into it, I would have thought they were too old to want to do arts and crafts, but I guess its better than a lesson. The majority of the cards were painfully cute. Even the negative ones. I had one from a middle school boy that said "Merry Christmas" across the top with a picture of me lying in a pool of blood underneath it. "Who is that? Santa?" No, it is teacher!" "What is the red stuff?" "Teacher's blood!" "Merry Christmas."

I bought snacks for some of my classes, I probably blew 30,000 on bullshit. I bought pizza for one of my monster classes. I wanted to smooth things over a little. Didn't work, at least not yet. Whatever.

I hung out with Kee Young on Thursday. We were asked to leave a restaurant. After a few rounds of soju and sake(possibly the worst alcohol combo in the world. More on this later), he decided he wanted some eel. I said okay. He asked the waitress and she said they didn't have it. An argument started. I told Kee Young to let me do the talking. I think the exact words were "smooth things over." Things didn't go well.

Sake is a vile, slightly palatable drink. Soju is just vile. Combining Japanese with Koreans isn't a good idea, especially when the battleground is my stomach. I almost called out sick on Friday because I felt so shitty. Bizarre story. One of the girl's I met and went out with stalked me for one day. She sent three text messages and called three times while I was teaching. I called her during my break and she was in tears. She sent me a text later, I forgot to reply and she called me in tears again. I handed the phone to Kee Young so he could work his Korean mojo and see what the problem was, but she wouldn't speak to him. Her last words were, "I'm sorry Matt. Good bye." I picture her hanging in a closet somewhere in Daegu.

Big news! My cousin, Paul, is visiting Seoul in March. I can't wait. I high fived a random student when I read the email.

I worked on Saturday to get Christmas off. I was offered work on Saturday and get Christmas off or come in and type for 7 hours. I think I made a wise choice. I had to teach five classes. It's likely I won't see most of these kids again, so I was able to use all of my dirty tricks to get them to learn. I had fun teaching and most of the kids appeared to not hate my guts. I had to ask one boy to leave my last class. Every answer was "Teacher is crazy!" It got old. Fast.

Saturday I hung out with Daren and Keddie along with a few Korean friends and Western friends. We wound up taking a nap at one of the bars we were at. Daren and Keddie had a massive fight. Keddie had a bad break up and Daren was sad because Keddie was sad and it evolved into a small tussle. I stayed out just to make sure they didn't do anything they would regret and we would up taking a siesta on a couch at Old Skool.

Sunday was the Christmas party at Daren and Keddie's apartment. I made potato latkes and they weren't a disaster. The egg nog was a highlight. Rum is hard to find in this country, so we used 151 and a lot of it. People were drunk in fifteen minutes. The party was hailed as a success. Bizarre note, Andrew showed up for one minute. Literally. He poked his goofy canadian melon through the door, said hello and bailed. He took his shoes off and put them right back on. This guy is twisting my mind into a pretzel. Why even leave the house?

The White Sox just made a trade. I guess we're waving the white flag before the new year. I'm glad I'll be in Korea rooting for my beloved 06 Champion Samsung Lions. Seriously. I love my Sox, but I'm a little confused.


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