You have failed and now you must Daegu!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Daegu in 1954. Shocking. It looks nothing like this today, I assure you.

I was goofing off at a PC room with Su-Jin and I googled myself. Apparently, my comic reviews have been quoted.

Scroll about 3/4 of the way down.

Strange feeling. Someone actually read my reviews.

I lost my phone in a taxi this week and I actually got it back. After realizing what I had done, I called the phone and the cabbie answered. He didn't speak a word of English, so I apologized and ran to my school for some assistance. We dialed the guy up again and he answered. He agreed to bring the phone by the school when he was back in the area. I lost my phone around 1:30 and I got it back before 5. I lose a cell phone in the States and its guaranteed to be gone forever. This country can be kinda cool sometimes.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Quick update.

Yes there are pictures. In just under 6 months. Thank Su-Jin. I still don't have the pics off my cell phone, but I think this should keep everyone happy for a day or two.

Baseball season starts in less than a month here and ballgames are dirt cheap. I can't wait.

I was kicked by a student the other day. He wouldn't stop playing with a mechanical pencil, so I took it away. Then, he kept acting up, so he got tossed from the room. He wanted his pencil back. I said, "After class." He came in my room after class demanding the pencil and shouting. I said, "Stop screaming." Then he kicked me. I put the boy in a headlock and marched him to Mrs. Kim. He was lucky I didn't break his neck.

Then, today, a Korean teacher gave the same boy a board marker. He chose to use it to scribble in Korean on my board. I had a brief argument with the teacher. Here is the conversation in chat form.

ESL4LIFE: he asked for it
UnderMyDewoskin: SCREW OFF!

*online host* UnderMyDewoskin has left the chatroom


*online host* UnderMyDewoskin has entered the chatroom

UnderMyDewoskin: /stomps around menacingly, glares at the wall

*online host* UnderMyDewoskin has left the chatroom

enCHOI: Hey everybody! It's Mr. Choi time!!!

Also, a parent complained that her child didn't understand the story and didn't do the exercises in the back of the chapter. Apparently this is my fault. Why I'm not sure. Mrs. Kim asked me to go over the story with the class(I do this, usually 3 times), ask questions(I do this, as long as the class isn't running around screaming) and have the kids do the exercises(I don't do this, just because I'm too busy doing the first two and stopping monsters from running around and screaming). I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing. Hopefully, the kid will pay attention next time and not spend the entire class picking his ass. I wish I knew which kid it was. I'll try to ask tomorrow. Personally, I think this is a job for the Korean teachers. The reason they are there is to assist with comprehension. I don't know, maybe they can explain the story in a different language, like, I'm not sure, KOREAN!!!! Frustrating week. ^_^ :-(

My TOEFL classes are rocking though, these kids actually seem to enjoy hanging with me and talking about essays. I'd like to try the same tactics with my monsters, but they simply will not allow me to.

<---Su jin being cute.

Me posing in a new shirt. The girl on my chest is Su-Jin

<----An actual singing room in Busan.

<----Me being cutesy at Krispy Kreme in Busan

<----Die Pig!!!!

<----Me at the beach in Busan

<-----Happy couple!

Monday, February 19, 2007

One more thing...

I am absolutely hooked on Marvel: Ultimate Alliance for XBOX. It is a sick, sick game. I'm not a big fan of games like this. I didn't like the X-Men game and I didn't like the JLA game of similar design, but this game is awesome. There are 20+ playable characters, the storyline is interesting and I got used to the over the top view. I didn't like some of the puzzles, most were way too stupid to be any fun and asided from some of the major villains, most of Marvel's villains are lame. I'm not saying DC has the market cornered on bad guys, but come on. Rhino and Shocker show up twice in the game. These guys aren't exactly what you'd call 'Heavy Hitters." Why not use two other Spidey villains? Maybe hype the upcoming movie? Use a Daredevil villain(now, he's got a Rogues Gallery). I guess Stilt-Man and The Oddball weren't returning phone calls the week the game went into production.

Happy New Year! We just got finished celebrating the Solar New Year!

I had originally planned to spend the weekend with Su-Jin in Fukuoka, but plans had to change. So, we spent the weekend in Busan. We stayed at the Novotel Ambassador, it was right on the beach. When I say right on the beach I mean that we had breakfast next to it.

We arrived very late Friday night, got some dinner and went to bed. We both wanted to get up early for the breakfast buffet. It was funny to see Koreans presented with other options for breakfast than kimchee and rice. They'd stand and hold their empty plate for a while and then circle the buffet trying to figure out what all the strange food was. Welcome to my fucking world.

It rained most of the day Saturday, so we checked out the downtown area and some of the big department stores. I still can't find anywhere other than Seoul to buy video games and movies.

On Sunday the weather was better, so we went for a walk on the beach in the morning. Then, we headed to the "Sports Complex." In Busan, all of the stadiums are in one big area. The baseball stadium is about the same size as most large minor league stadiums in the US. Seating maybe 15,000? Then, we headed to one of the university areas for coffee and shopping.

Dinner on Sunday was an adventure. I wanted to go to a microbrewery, but we think it was out of business. So, we headed to the beach for one of the seafood restaurants. I wanted crab and Su-Jin wanted sashimi. We wound up getting sashimi. It was a simple miscommunication. One of the sides they served with the meal was squid tentacles. The problem was that they were fresh and still moving. Then we ordered rice. It came with a large pot of Korean soup called dwinjon jjigae. I like dwinjon jjiggae. There were vegetables in it, so I chose to dig around a bit and see if there were any really tasty bits at the bottom. I discovered a fishhead the size of a fist at the bottom, complete with eyes. I could only imagine the look of terror on my face. The sashimi was really fresh and actually quite delicious, but the tentacles and fishhead were enough to put me off my dinner.

After dinner, I purchased roman candles(legal here!) and chased Su-Jin around the beach with them. Seriously, I only chased her a little. :)

We left Monday afternoon after another round of shopping and goofing off and returned to colorful Daegu. Good vacation. I still can't find a real Korean comic store or a video game store worth going to. Arcades are much more plentiful in Busan, as are movie theatres. It's was nice to get out of Daegu and out from under the ever watchful eye of Mrs. Kim for a weekend. It was great spending time with Su-Jin. I'm starting to think she likes me... :-)

Classes were tame until Friday. All the kids were excited for the weekend and those that showed up were determined to take it out on me. I was a punching bag. I was probably punched at least 50 times by small Korean fists on Friday. I had enough when a girl that comes up to my thigh decided to slap me in the back hard enough for it to hurt. I marched her to the Korean teacher and had the following exchange:

Korean teacher: (Korean speaking)
Korean girl: (Korean speaking)
Korean teacher: She says she wanted to say, "Hello."
Me: I taught English for Kids:Book One. It does not mention fists when saying, "Hello."
Korean teacher: What should I tell her?
Me: There are other ways to say, "Hello." "Hello," for example.
Korean Teacher...Ok.

Jerks. I couldn't get on the train to Busan fast enough.

Friday, February 09, 2007

There are pictures of me at both these websites. Just click on photos and do your best. Yeah, that's what I look like these days.

Patrick and I thought it would be another normal night in Daegu. We couldn't have been more wrong. I hung out with Su Jin for a while and then we met Patrick at a foreigner bar downtown. We called the drama teacher at LIKE and asked him to join us. He showed up fifteen minutes later with three of his friends. Patrick suggested we go to Arabian Nights. Arabian Nights is the largest night club in Asia. Read that last sentence again. Daegu, South Korea has the largest night club in Asia and possibly the world. It's about the size of the United Center. It's a little expensive at roughly $40 American per person, but supposedly its worth it. I don't know because we couldn't get in. One of the drama teacher's buddies was only 20 and they wouldn't let him in the door.

After some angry words, we went to another night club called B&B. They sat us at a crappy table on the upper level, we moved to a better table and received our set. That's the thing about most night clubs here. They offer sets instead of regular menus. It cost about $230 American for two bottles of scotch(Cutty Sark and J&B), 6 crappy Korean beers, a massive fruit plate and "Death by French Fries." They also offer a service called booking. Night club employees will round up girls and drag them to your table, sometimes forcibly. The catch is you have to give them some of your set. The first two girls sat down at our table, Patrick and I both said "Hello" in Korean and they ran away. This happened about 25? more times during the night. We wanted to break 30. After some drinking, we hit the dance floor. I was busting out the bus driver, the drama teacher was gorilla pressing one of his friends(I'm not kidding) and Patrick was powersliding across the floor(I'm not kidding).

The biggest highlight came when a guy at the table next to us decided to kick over his table. The table was COMPLETELY full of bottles and glasses. Then, once the table was restored, he kicked it over again, further smashing the bottles and glasses. Some loud words were exchanged between his girlfriend and the table next to him. The best part was that the guy was doing his best to look like the Asian villain from any car or motorcycle movie. We stayed until around 5am and called it a night. A fun time was had by all.

My favorite part was that I had roughly a dozen of the girls say that I was handsome and then follow that with a comment like, "I thought you were Korean." I'm not sure how to take a comment like that.

Classes were tame this week. I am now doing 3 debate/essay classes. I love these classes. They actually feel like teaching and I know the kids don't hate my guts, in fact most of them enjoy me. So far....

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Su Jin cooked me a FANTASTIC dinner on Sunday. It was bulgogi(beef) with kim chee and rice. Delicious. :) She's as good of a cook as she is beautiful. Aww.

Also, the link of the week...

The Rex Grossman face everyone! "Failure is a stinky cologne."

We found out last week that Patrick is a noraebong(singing room) star. He's not necessarily good, but he takes things to another level in terms of energy and prescense as well as volume. He could be heard in the bathroom that was around the corner from the room we were in. He and I teamed up for a duet on Saturday for Night Ranger's Sister Christian. It was Patrick and I, along with Su-Jin and her friends. I will never forget the look of sheer terror on the Koreans when we hit the first "motoring." It was priceless.

Classes were fairly tame and we added a new teacher to the mix. Her name is Ruth, she's somewhere around my age and she's from Ireland. I also instituted a "No Korean" policy. First I ask the class if they want jelly candy. They always say "yes." Then I write in "No Korean" on the board and three slashes underneath. If they speak Korean, I erase a part of the slashes. If I speak Korean I add slashes(it's only fair). So far, its worked. Especially with the younger kids. I have one class that just doess not get it and has yet to receive any candy in three 40 minute periods. I did such a good job with one of my classes that they signed up all their friends. So, it went from English class to hangin' wit a foreigner. It sucks now, it didn't.

I received a compliment in front of Mrs. Kim. My TOEFL kids asked if I could teach them on Saturday. She told them I don't work on Saturdays. I don't expect them to storm the school should I be fired, but five minutes of pouting wouldn't hurt.

I'm now in Physics Brians' room. I had to clean out his fridge. It was disgusting. He is a condiment freak. He had at least 50 bottles of stuff in there, all half empty. I tossed most of the stranger ones. I'm just glad there wasn't any rotting meat or vegetables. I would have saved them and returned them when he gets back from Thailand. "You forgot something..."

The room is at least 20 times less depressing than my old room. 100 times less depressing when Su-Jin comes over. I have a TV stand, a desk that isn't falling apart and a balcony. There are worse ways that I could spend the next 7 months. One of them would be my old room.

It's nice being away from Chicago while everyone is mourning the Chicago Bears' Super Bowl loss. I had a "Michael Corlene" moment with them on Monday. Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in. I was tired of the Bears. I had been hurt too many times. Every mediocre team, every "lucky" lightning in a bottle team, every team that just plain sucked. Every one of them just hurt too much. Then a Bears team made a Super Bowl and I was back in. Tossing my hat at the TV and swearing every time they handed the ball to the Colts. Before I used to laugh and actually hope that things would achieve "Football Follies" level ridiculous(Kordell Stewart vs the 49ers, anyone?). Not Monday morning. I was calling my dad and my friends to bemoan our fate. (It was really cool to talk to everyone, although I noticed Kotch slipped out the back while Sellers was preparing the noose, well played)

I'm done with the Bears. I just can't take these guys anymore. I'm declaring free agency until they get a quarterback. Everyone else in the NFL has figured out that you need a quarterback. The best QB the Bears have had in the last 40 years(not counting Kyle Orton, he's a weapon far too deadly to ever unleash on the rest of the league, but with him on the bench we made it to the Super Bowl, coincedence?I think not) was Jim McMahon. I hate to break this to everyone, but they won't be making his bust in Canton anytime soon. Without even looking, I guarantee every other team in the league has had someone better in that time period.(Except Arizona, they're not actually a team, but a charity case) Until a change is made at the QB position, I'm done. Seriously. I have the White Sox to torture me for the next few decades until I die.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Quick update...

I'm picking the Bears tomorrow.

The Bears are staying outside the city and the Colts are staying downtown. Guess which team is going to be partying more?

All the Bears have been hearing all week is how much their QB sucks and how they don't have a chance. They will have a major chip on their shoulder heading into this one.

I'm playing the "Bet the other way" card for the third straight week. Vegas stays open for a reason.

More tomorrow after the game. I will try to call Hassman and I will definitely talk to my father during the game. I'm also exciting for McMorning tomorrow. Real breakfast!!!