You have failed and now you must Daegu!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Matt, Kyung-su and Stephen. Together again for the first time! Stephen is another of Kyung-su's Australian friends. He moved from China to the land of Kangaroos and giant beers when he was 6. For those who may or may not be interested, he is not gay.

This is the first day of vacation for my school. Other than myself, the principals and the secretaries no one is here. I'm also convinced they forgot to schedule teacher training. First, no one can tell me my schedule. I was told to show up at 9. I did. I was then told that I had teacher training now. I assumed it would be a lesson, but I guess it's just practice for those who want it. No one showed up. I get the sinking feeling that no one is going to show up all week. This could be a long, boring week. I leave in 4 hours. I have about twenty minutes of actual work that I need to do for the week. I have to stretch it across 3 days. There might be a few extra posts here by the end of the week.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Stressful times in Daegu.

This was probably one of the least fun weeks of the past 16 months. Quick question. Who is more mature, a 27 year old white dude or a 50 something Korean woman? I've been trying to figure this one out all week.

The trouble started last Friday. We were served a bean soup-like substance for lunch. Having filled my tray with meat and rice, I slopped some of the bean dish onto my rice. Some of the older teachers at my school thought this was funny for some reason. I don't know why. I see Koreans mix their soups with rice and kimchi all the time, I do it and it turns into a gag concert. The volume and duration of their laughter was a little too loud and a little too long. I responded with, "In the US, we have a saying. Keep your eyes on your own plate." I proceeded to eat quickly and leave. I freely admit that my coworkers laughter hurt my feelings. I went about my business and didn't bother anyone for the rest of the day.

Now, two of the older teachers have decided that I hurt their feelings. I guess they felt that we were friendly enough that they could openly mock me. I guess, I disagreed. My co-teachers claim that the situation is simply "different cultures." I object to that for at least one reason. When I make a mistake here, it's "Oh! Stupid foreigner." When Koreans make a mistake, it's a "cultural difference." I never laugh at my coworkers when they do something that I view as strange, but they can laugh at me and call it a "cultural difference." I'm done with this bullshit. They can pout for the next 8 months for all I care.

Either way, the office is now one big awkward party. Not good times. I'm not apologizing. I've done nothing wrong. They hurt my feelings. I don't feel the least bit bad for what happened and it's not fair that some stupid, Korean hags with "cultural differences" want to piss in my coffee. With any luck the situation will get so bad that they'll be found hanging in their fucking closet come April.

We've reached winter break. I get to lead teacher training classes and winter camps for 3 weeks. Then I get my vacation. 28 days to go....

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Nude Year!

I spent the weekend in Busan with Su-jin. We stayed at the Lotte Hotel. I'm gonna tell you something. The Lotte Hotel in Busan is nicer than the Lotte Hotel in Seoul. Seriously, of all the nice hotels we've stayed at, this was the nicest and it had the best location. We were pissing distance from some really great restaurants, shops and bars. Great location. Worth every penny. Much better than the Novocore Ambassador on the ocean. The staff also spoke great English. They should be proud. (Eff you SeaHawk Resort!)

We actually used the Lonely Planet guide. We(Su-jin) found a restaurant in the guide. We tried it and it was excellent. Score one for Lonely Planet.

It was a fairly lazy weekend. I wanted to rest(I still can't adjust to these early starts) and Su-jin didn't object. We did make it to the Busan National University area for coffee and shopping. I bought sunglasses.

Christmas was rather dull. I got McMorning(I also got an awesome Korean Koffee Mug from Mickey D's) and hung out at a pc room until it was time to meet Su-jin for dinner. We went to an overpriced Korean joint, but the food was really good. I should've gotten my lazy ass to a Christmas party. I'll try not to make the same mistake on New Years, although I hate New Years 40x more than Christmas.

I picked up a Japanese baseball game for the 360. It's a cool game, but I can't read a fucking word. No English option on this one. I'm going to attempt an exchange for either Halo 3 or NBA 08 today. I'm totally fucked. Actually, I found an FAQ online that explains most of the menus, but I'm sure I'll never be able to figure out 20% of the game on my own and that bugs me. I can hit a little, but the pitching is too difficult. Bonus points for the shamed pitcher hanging his head every time I let up a homerun(often) and the disgruntled manager that appears to want to leap out of the screen and strangle me.

I miss baseball. Offseason sucks.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas

It took five tries to get these pics posted. The computer kept crashing everytime I tried to do more than one. I also attempted to "strangle" the computer. It didn't help and I think my coworkers thought I lost my mind.

We had the officialy DMOE Christmas party. I begged Su-Jin to go with me so my coworkers could see that I'm not a miserable bastard and that Su-Jin is in fact real. Also, I'm trying to undo some of the damage I did by asking questions. Showing up to this and acting sociable was a big step for me. Next, the kiss ass thank you email. I detest this shit. Should I ever run a business, I'll give bonuses to people who keep to themselves and don't feel the need to bullshit me every five seconds.

The party was a bit of a snooze. I was happy to see some of my fellow Kamp Krusty refugees, but there were a few I could have done without.

We also had the day off yesterday because of the election. My guy lost, but I can't vote. They elected a conservative. I feel better already. I hung out with Kyung-su and another of his Austrailian friends. Good times. Pictures will be posted when Kyung-su sends them to me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I mentioned recently that I was asked to play volleyball in a small tournement featuring 8 teams with teachers from local elementary schools. Today we played. I'm proud to say Wa Ryong Elementary fucking dominated.

We destroyed the first team we played, 25-16. The game featured an awesome block by yours truly. Some Korean guy attempted a spike on me. It turned into a block party. Strangeness then ensued. The Korean guy playing opposite of me did what might be called a jig for about 10 seconds. It was bizarre. I can only assume he dipped into the soju a little early. They had a massive spread of Korean appetizers for each time. Included were beer and soju. At a school. And foreign teachers are called irresponsible.

Game two featured some controversy and some poor officiating. The ref claimed I touched the net. I did not. After I screamed at him for ten minutes, I gave up. Joking. I didn't protest. I took it like a man. Again, we won. This time 25-20. I dominated again. Another couple blocks. They need to learn that you don't bring that kool-aid to this gin party. It was on to the finals.

Game three was the closest of the three contests. We won 25-23. More questionable officiating. The principal of the opposing team hit the ball twice in a row. Illegal, but they had homecourt advantage. We rallied in the second half and won on an ace by a one of our fifth grade teachers.

MVP? Our Headmaster. He might be 60, but he's ten times the athlete I'll ever be. I think he could probably kick my ass. Seriously. He was all over the place. He and the vice principal were devastating. Most of the younger teachers just watched the two of them take teams apart. I would get involved when the ball came my way, but I just let them do their thing.

Just another victory for the mighty Wa Ryong Empire. Hail Wa Ryong!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Unless you like basketball, especially fantasy basketball I suggest you skip this post after the first paragraph. You're going to be bored.

Everything is set for my vacation. I can't wait. Everything is also set for my Christmas weekend. I can't wait.

Now, my fantasy hoops team. Never before have I had a team this stacked. My starting five is as follows.

PG- Chris Paul
SG- Kobe
SF- Paul Pierce
PF-Kevin Garnett
C- My Chinese homeboy and "Matt Dewoskin All Star", Yao

That's my starting five. I dealt Al Harrington and Zydrunas Ilguaskas' corpse for Chris Paul and my future Chinese homeboy, Chairman Yi. Then, I spun Tayshaun(one of my favorite fantasy players of all time) and Tony Parker for KG. I never like trading guys like Tayshaun Prince. He's a "glue" guy, he won't dominate, but he doesn't hurt you in any categories and is good to go off for 30 points, a bunch of boards and a couple of assists at least 3 to 5 times a year. Tony Parker I hated since I drafted. He's French and for a point guard with Tim Duncan on his team, he doesn't get very many assists. I love all five of these guys, well, except Kobe. I still can't root for Kobe even when he's on my fantasy team.

The rest of my roster as follows

Kevin Durant, I wish he'd take better shots, but I'll trade some FG% for another guy that will average 20 a game.

Raymond Felton, solid player on one of the most bizarre rosters in the league. He made Tony Parker expendable.

Rajon Rondo, put him with Tayshaun on the "Matt Dewoskin All Stars." I'm going to be drafting him for the next decade. He's had some of the goofiest stat lines I've ever seen for a PG.

The Ghost of Grant Hill, I rolled the dice in the last round and added the ghost. He's officially a lifetime member of the "Matt Dewoskin All Stars."

Jamario Moon. Probably the 2nd best rookie in the league right now behind Durant. The only problem? He's a 27 year old CBA castoff. He's mainly here for blocks and boards.

Bassy Telfair. He's starting until Randy Foye comes back. I'm fine with him as a backup. Has there ever been a more overrated guy than Telfair? To be fair, he was a former Jailblazer and stuck on a putrid Celtics roster. He's in a bit better situation in Minnesota.

Jason Maxiell. Here for blocks, boards and FG%. That's it.

Josh Childress. Before his groin got hit by a bus,(I can't see the games, so I'm assuming that's what happened) he was having a fine season. He's also here for his awesome 'fro.

I get the feeling I'm going to add another banner to my collection. That's right, two banners in total and the right to call myself, "The Champ."

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Matt, Kyung-su and Wen before we rolled some cigarettes and pounded a few beers. Strange fact, all three of us have Korean girlfriends. For those who are curious, Wen moved to Austraila from China when he was 6.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Some days I am completely impressed by how helpful people in Korea and then there are days like yesterday.

I had questions about my winter camp schedule. My vice principal told me that I have to work at my school, while the DMOE told me that I had to go to an all girls high school in my area. I didn't care where I worked, I just wanted to get everyone on the same page. I asked "Elisha" three questions. "Where am I working?" "When am I working?" "What hours am I working?" She answered none of them. She told me someone might call me this week. I asked,"When can I expect the phone call?" Her answer? Not sure, but I should call. Okay fine, "What's the phone number?" Answer? I don't know, but here's a Korean search engine(she sent me a link to and suggested I try to find the number that way). I felt frustrated for at least 3 reasons. 1. Telling me to go to Naver is not helpful. 2. I asked at least five legitimate questions. She answered none of them with a straight answer. These are not, "What is the meaning of life," or "Why does Sellers suck at video games?"Where am I working? When am I working? What days am I working? The DIRECTOR of the zarking program should have access to this information. 3. Everyone else has this information, except me.

Somehow, she found the energy to make a phone call. She claims my emails were "unpleasant." I don't know how to make, "What is the phone number?" more pleasant. Maybe add a please. Whatever. I didn't know we had to lick each others' asses and call it being "professional." I tried to explain that referring me to a search engine is not helpful. She claims it is. I can't wait for her to ask me for something. "No problem. Just ask Naver, motherfucker!" Oh, wait more, pleasant, drop the motherfucker. Mark my words, she's going to get someone in a lot of trouble before she leaves Korea and takes a job as the most annoying HR manager in the history of time. I can only hope Zwirbco is hiring that week.

Seconds after this conversation a really nice Korean guy wanted me to play in a teachers volleyball game. I almost punched him in the face. He just picked the wrong time to bother me. I agreed to play volleyball today.

I met Kyung-su and his Austrailian friend, Winn(sp?), on Monday. We had a great time. The bar we picked was dead, so the bartender took a liking to us. A couple free beers, some free soju and fresh squid. Squid and soju isn't so bad. We had a great time. I'm looking forward to meeting Kyung-su's other Aussie friend in a couple weeks.

One of my fellow teachers has a problem. His co-teacher stopped talking to him. He came in terribly hung over, fell asleep in class(how he did this I have no idea. I couldn't if I wanted to) and she stopped talking to him. She leaves notes on his desk now. Yup, these are my friends.

I heard a random kid on the street singing the chorus to "Fucking USA" yesterday. Awesome.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Quick update.

My flight is booked. I fly on 1/26 and return to Colorful Daegu on 2/8. I can't wait for my vacation. I'm very happy in Daegu, but it will be nice to see everyone, read comics, eat AMERICAN food and watch the NBA at a decent hour.

I finally met Su-Jin's puppy, Dalong. She likes me, but she hates English and thinks that I am too tall. She's not unlike my students. Speaking of, I have 90% of my kids saying please and thank you. This is a habit I like.

I had a reunion of sorts with my friends from the Pohang Experience. We're all still talking and no one has punched anyone in the face....yet.

I miss baseball. The offseason sucks.

No new adventures worth updating, but Su-Jin and I will likely spend Christmas weekend in Busan. Just to get out of Daegu.