You have failed and now you must Daegu!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sad times here in Daegu.

Katie left for Seoul today and Physics Brian is leaving on Thursday for Thailand. Katie is taking a job in Seoul in March and Brian just accepted a job offer to stay in Daegu for a different school.

Brian had promised the Kims' that he would work until 2/10, but he got the offer and wanted to take a vacation. He spoke to Mrs. Kim on Saturday and she hung up on him. Ouch. The only thing that could possibly quench her rage was removing the oven and microwave from the apartment complex. I can only assume that it was immolated using ancient Korean magicks. Mrs. Kim had long held a grudge against the common area and this was the perfect chance to enact vengeance that had been years in the making. Every time she wandered onto the second floor the microwave would sit on a table, its filth-encrusted hinges mocking her. Mocking her! How dare it mock Mrs. Kim!

I was fortunate enough to use the range on Sunday to cook dinner for Su Jin. So, the range did get a proper send off. I went down to the 2nd floor to warm up my bagel on Monday morning and I was met by a note and an empty table. Dinner was a success, I made a pan-fried steak with red wine and some mixed vegetables in olive oil and basil. She claimed she liked it.

I'm not sure what the hell is going on at LIKE, but there is definitely some backstage drama. Mrs. Kim has been treating everyone poorly for the past month and everyone is walking on eggshells or maybe its just me. I have slightly more hours this week. 34 classes up from last weeks 31.

I saw Su Jin for most of the weekend. She came with to English Club at one of the foreigner bars on Friday, hung out for a while on Saturday and that whole dinner thing on Sunday. Things are going really well and we are both very happy together. :-)

Tuesday marks the end of morning classes. Everyone is thrilled. Some of us are going out to celebrate including the Korean teacher known as "Angry Teacher." I've never seen a guy more instantly pissed off than he was. It should be interesting.

No predictions about the Bears....yet.

This is going to keep Zwirb up for months....

Monday, January 22, 2007

All I have to say about the Bears is wow. If I had to pick one game to watch this year, yesterday's would probably be it. I'm not sure if they can handle the Colts, but I wish I were back home watching them try.

Maybe that's why they're back in the Super Bowl. I left Chicago and took all my anti-Bears bile with me. No one has been a greater critic of this team than me, but at the end of the day, it is what it is and I have to tip my cap.

The game started at 5AM Daegu time. I took a three hour nap, watched the game and dozed for two more hours before heading to the gym. Then Korean food for lunch and fighting monsters in the afternoon and evening. It was a tiring day.

I picture Kotch frantically sewing together a jersey made of half of a white Peyton Manning jersey and half of a dark blue Brian Urlacher jersey.

Is there any chance the Bears break out the orange uni's for the Super Bowl? Just to make Sellers orgasm for the entire game? If only George Lucas could produce the half time show.

Pitchers and catchers report in less than a month.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Follow up.

I finally made it to the Batman bar. Completely depressing. Other than the logo on the place, there is nothing that has anything remotely to do with Batman anywhere in the bar. I was pretty bummed out by it all. :-(

We played a game. Picking out a random object in the place and then trying to explain how it was related to Batman. We were all stumped by the cow skull made of steel that was hanging on the wall.

This week also went by way too fast. It's starting to become a theme in this country. Time seems to fly.

Classes were easy enough. I was asked to teach at the Manchon school on Saturday and agreed. It was only five classes and the kids at Manchon actually behave. I'm used to turning my back for two seconds and having Korean children running and screaming at the Samduk school. Not the case at Manchon. The kids actually stay in their seats. It was a little eerie at first. The Manchon school is well organized and well run. I'm not sure I can go back to my school after this. It's just not fair. If I had to make a sports comparison, I'd say Manchon is the San Antonio Spurs of LIKE. A good team put together by a good manager and they've never made any stupid panic moves and they're incredibly well organized from top to bottom.

Drama class was interesting this week. I had the kids on the stage with a Korean teacher on Thursday. The Korean teacher was PISSED. The kids were a little rowdy, but nothing I haven't dealt with easily 500 times before by now. He totally lost his shit with one kid. It was nice to see that most of the kids don't behave much better for Korean teachers than they do for me. Other than that, this week was uneventful with no fatalities, injuries or crying kids.

I saw a lot of Su Jin this week. We probably hung out four or five times this week. Some of my foriegn friends are starting to feel neglected. Sorry guys. I can only imagine how all my friends and family in the USA feel. Damn, I'm a selfish bastard.

I did watch the first half of the Bears game last weekend and I plan to do the same this week. I'm not impressed. I'm taking them over the Saints this week. Everyone is picking the Saints. Vegas stays open for a reason. The Rex Factor is canceled out by the dome team in 30 degree weather factor. The Saints are under tremendous pressure to win and the Bears really aren't. I think this could be a factor in the first half. Bears 27, Saints 17. Hello SuperBowl! I still can't get excited about this team. Now Arsenal on the other hand...

We had a big birthday bash/going away party for one of my good friends at a foriegner bar last night. It was tremendous fun(free shots, it pays to get cozy with the bartenders here), until around 4:30. Then, everyone got mean. Not everyone, just some of the more drunken ladies. The birthday girl and her friend who was visiting from Seoul got into a major tussle. The friend was drunk and making an ass out of herself. The birthday girlwas drunk and tried to stop her. At least that's how I understand the story. I was busy outside arguing with two friends about my relationship with Su Jin. I freely admit I have had my head in the clouds for about two weeks. I have thought of my friends, but I haven't been in contact with them much. I didn't even realize it until one of them angrily confronted me about it. I made the Peyton Manning Face the whole time(think stunned disbelief, like I threw for 350+ yards, but my team is still losing 24-20 in the final seconds). I was trying to figure out if I had lost my mind and I was hallucinating all of this or if everyone else had suddenly gone crazy and I was just a victim of their insanity. I guess I was being an ass, but my phone hasn't exactly been ringing off the hook. I don't really think I consciously did anything wrong, but my friends' feelings are hurt. I will, in all likelihood, do the right thing.

I've been inviting to go sky diving in July with a former Korean soldier and his unit. I always thought this country would kill me, at least now I know how.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

I went to CostCo today. CostCo is always an adventure in Daegu because either the cab driver gets painfully lost or the store is packed full of Koreans. Today, the store was packed FULL of Koreans.

Highlights include me purchasing a mattress pad. It's big and soft and my room is at least three times less depressing with it. Thomas, Vegan Brian and I were stopped by a Korean family. They want to make their son big like us and wanted to know what breakfast cereal could best accomplish this. I told the kid to eat some galbi and do some pushups.

I picked up some more bizarre Asian energy drink. This stuff is like rocket fuel. There are other brands that I am afraid to try. There's one called Bacchus D that supposedly contains nicotine. I'm afraid to touch the stuff.

Su Jin sent me a text saying she was "depressed." I did my best to cheer her up, but my phone ran out of minutes. :/

Supposedly its going to hit 50 degrees by the weekend. I'm glad I'm in Korea this week.

Ohdaewoskin: My prediction on the Bears still stands and you can take that to the bank!
ZwirbCo: I'll take you to the bank...Matt...the blood bank!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

This week went by way too fast.

I've seen a lot of Su Jin this week. We talk on the phone every night. Read that last sentance again. She is 100% Korean from Daegu and we can talk on the phone. She's awesome. We meet for coffee, try to find me some sort of dinner and then end up relaxing at a soju hof or getting hot chocolate at my favorite restaurant. She's a fantastic girl and I'm really, really lucky to have met her, let alone be dating her. We're also painfully cute together. You guys have no idea.

There's a new bar in downtown. It's called "Batman." I may have to stop in as soon as I finish this post. I'm sure it's only going to be a disappointment, but that doesn't mean I can't build it up in my head.

My week was fairly easy at work. I'm 75% convinced that the Kim's have 0 confidence in me as a teacher. Everyone else is loaded with hours, but mine have stayed about the same. Either they like me and are rewarding me with fewer hours or they think I suck and are trying to give me as little as possible. I know most of my kids that I have like me. Most of the monsters have quit. Maybe that's the problem. Too many monsters are quitting. I really have no idea what is going on and no one is talking. Patrick thinks I'm being a pussy. He's probably right. If I were getting loaded up with hours I'd still be complaining. Whatever. We'll see what happens when the morning schedule ends.

I have yet to have anyone die on me and I show up sober and on time. I think that's half the battle. I should probably just enjoy it, but I fear I may be coming home sooner rather than later. Whatever.

Not much to report other than a lot of Su Jin. We celebrated our one week anniversary today. I bought her a Minnie Mouse cell phone charm and took her out for a heart shaped pizza. Like I said, too cute. If we start dressing alike and getting pictures taken every weekend I expect an intervention.

I did go out to dinner with Fat Brian on Wednesday. We had the following exchange,

Brian: You know, I've been a teacher here for over a year. If you have any questions, go ahead and ask me.

Me: Thanks.

I can't say he's a bad guy, but he does come off as obnoxious at times. It probably just comes from being fairly isolated.

Tall Brian leaves in less than two weeks and Katie leaves in less than three. I'm going to miss having both of them in Daegu.

My prediction for the Bears? I'm calling it a Bears win. 24-10. Here's my reasoning. No one is picking the Bears. This is a perfect game for "figure out what everyone else is doing and go the other way." Shaun Alexander plays like he's carrying the same piano that Anthony Thomas had for every season except his rookie year. Expect a wintery mix and a temp of around 20-30 degrees in Chicago. If the Bears throw fifteen passes, I'll be impressed. The Bears will avoid the gallows for at least one more week. It's all going according to plan...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Weekend classes started this week and so far, they are a lot of fun.

My first class is a drama class. The kids are all asleep, so its my job to get them awake and speaking. No problem. I just turn on the full force of my personality and they are defenseless against it.

My next two classes are TOEFL classes, no problem. I've had most of these kids before, so they know I will treat them fairly and not put up with any bullshit. I assigned homework and they all did it. Everyone knew that I would make the next forty minutes of class very difficult if they didn't. I treat the TOEFL kids like adults as long as they allow me to. I have two boys who are best friends in one class. One if roughly 6'5 and the other is 5'2. Their nicknames are Stretch and Big Man.

Morning classes are easy. It's having to come back in the afternoon for classes that's difficult.

I like to play with the younger kids and they really seem to respond to it. It makes the classes much more fun and the students are more willing to listen if they think they get to play with the big kid afterwards. Well, I kinda dropped one. She was swinging on my arm, lost her grip and did a face plant. She cried, I comforted and then I felt like a monster for the rest of the day until a more seasoned veteran teacher told me the worst story he has ever heard. A teacher had a kid who was throwing pencils. The teacher had enough and put the kid in the corner and threw the pencils at him. On the third pencil, the kid turned around and the pencil hit him underneath the eye and it stuck. The kid was bleeding and screaming. The parents complained, but nothing ever happened to the teacher. I guess I'm not that awful.

I had a FANTASTIC date yesterday. I always worry that when I date Korean girls its always going to turn into an expensive English lesson. This time it was more of a French lesson. I told this to my friend Daren and she responded with, "Matt, I didn't know you could speak French." We met for coffee, went out for sushi, then went to a dvd 방 and watched "The Sting" and then I took her for hot choco. A fun time was had by all.

Today I was lazy and my guts are killing me. Korean sushi has been known to tear me up. No more Korean sushi.

We have a new teacher, his name is Patrick and so far he's a pretty cool dude. He likes comics and baseball. We can't be enemies. He's a Marvel Comics fan and an Atlanta Braves fan.....hmmmm maybe we can be enemies. ;)

I was able to get a hold of Zwirb, Ben, Brad and Mark this weekend. It was really cool to talk to you guys, really cool. It keeps me from going crazy. I can only ask Korean children if they like orange juice so many times before I want to tear my hair out. It was nice to ask Sellers if he likes orange juice.

My new favorite emoticon. --*. Close one eye and give an angry look with the other. Awesome.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

For perhaps the final time...I give you....the Art Shell face.

I wonder who's on the other end of the head set? His travel agent? His fishing buddies? Is it even plugged in anymore?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

This weekend was a blur. I found out on Friday that I would have four consecutive days off. Thanks for the notice guys. Thanks a lot.

I went out Friday, Saturday, Sunday and just hung out with friends and watched movies in my pajamas.

The Friday and Saturday were fairly normal. On Saturday I had a drunken Korean guy try to makeout with me. He finally stopped when I told his friends to tell him in Korean that if he tried it again I'd turn his goofy Korean haircut into a landing pad for AirMatt to land punches. He stopped and I went home because I was fairly irritated. This dude would just not stop, I'm all for a joke, but it was one big awkward party.

Two of my friends stayed out all night Saturday. When I say all night Saturday I mean that I got a phone call at 4pm the next day asking me to come rescue them at a department store because they were hungry and delirious. Both were quite a sight and one threw up on the way home.

New Years eve finally kicked off around 9:30 pm. We all got dressed up. Brian wore his interview suit, Daren looked STUNNING in a white strapless, Keddie wore a razor sharp black and white polka dot dress with fishnets and I wore my new grey(with a subtle pin) pants and a cashmere sweater. I know, I should tell this story at parties, but it was a lot of fun to get dressed up and go tear up Korea.

We started at Outback Steakhouse. Keddie lost a bet to the rest of us and had to buy us Outback. She had a hard time getting over a boy. It got to the point that the rest of us didn't want to hear his name, so if she talked about him, we got Outback. We made the bet on Friday. I said, "This is the easiest steak dinner I've ever won." Brian, Daren and I won the bet the next day. Outback taught us a painful lesson. Korean chefs don't understand how to cook a steak. I asked for medium rare and I believe my steak was still mooing. It wasn't pink so much as bloody. Brian asked for well done and recieved medium. Yikes.

We met up with Thomas and some of his friends before dinner and walked with them to "Bell Park" a few minutes before midnight. The entire city of Daegu went to see the bell. There was some kind of concert(we couldn't really see, there were too many people), then they rang it once at midnight. Everyone applauded softly, then fireworks went off ten minutes later. We tried to sing Auld Lang Syne, but only Thomas knew all the words. This was the most anti-climactic New Years' I have ever been to.

We met up at the foreigner bars and partied there for a while. Brian was pretty tanked, but he still managed to get two phone numbers. We were all impressed. I was bullied into going to a dance club around 4. It really wasn't that much fun, but they didn't make us pay a cover. Keddie bumped into one of her Korean boys and had him take us to a Korean bar for soju. I was fairly irritated with a Korean girl in our group who decided to make some anti-western comments. An exact quote was "Why would anyone want to date a western guy?" It unfolded like this...

Ohdaewoskin: Man this New Years has to be one of the funnest ever. Nothing could ruin my mood at this point.
Ohdaewoskin: what
Ohdaewoskin: excuse me
Ohdaewoskin: I do not appreciate your slanderous attacks nor will I condone said slanderous attacks
*LicenseToPout is clutching flowers and crying profusely, stopping only when she thinks she is not being watched*
Ohdaewoskin: I further my contention that I do not appreciate your comments and suggest that you desist in use of said comments
Ohdaewoskin: Now you're just being silly. Aren't Korean girls the ones that bleed men dry, fly into hysterics at the slightest percieved offense and just generally act like brats 99% of the time?
LicenseToPout: I do not speak-y Englishy.
*LicenseToPout has left the chat room*
IAMMRCHOI: Hey everybody! It's Mr. Choi time!

Sunday I just goofed off with Daren and Keddie. We watched some TV, ate donuts and then went to Burger King for dinner. A fun time was had by all.

New Years eve wasn't special because of the holiday, but because of who I spent it with. Daren, Keddie, Brian and Thomas are probably my closest friends here and it was a lot of fun to spend my ridiculous four day weekend with them. Even when I had Korean dudes groping me, Korean girls throwing baby fits and drunken friends calling me at 4pm in the afternoon, I still had a lot of fun. They're all very special people and are legitimately worthy of starring roles in this blog. Korea wouldn't be half the adventure its been without them.

It will be nice to fight monsters again tomorrow. Class begins at 8:50....I'm calling in sick.

Link of the day....

The Rex Grossman face ladies and gentlemen! Complete with teammate about to puke as Rex walks off the field with a stunned look on his face.