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"So I guess this is where I'm supposed to introduce myself. I'm a Canadian male teaching ESL in Seoul, Republic of Korea. This will be my second stint teaching ESL, only this time I'll be teaching at a High School, using my actual teaching experience to use. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me - no question's too small. Take care, and enjoy the ride."

Other Blogs of Note

  • Student in Korea
  • Seoul Man
  • The Daily Kimchi
  • Surviving South Korea
  • Books I'm Reading

  • "Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire" by Niall Ferguson
  • "Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World" by Haruki Murakami
  • "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order" by Samuel P. Huntington
  • "The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth" by Benjamin M Friedman
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  • the Korean grind....

    Living and working in a foreign country has its highs and lows, and each come with their benefits and disadvantages. For one, the language difference can sometimes spurn you to "want" to study the language harder, so that the next time you have a problem, you are not relying on the same people to help you out. It can also be aggravating, when, for example, the Korean lunch delivery man blamed me for moving my "dirty-dishes food basket" on him, when it wasn't me, but merely the security guard at the school, trying to help him out.
    (two point note here)
    One - Korean food always comes with free delivery, as long as you order from a Korean restaurant close to where you live - which is virtually a guarantee, since restaurants over here blanket every free wall-space with advertisements. Two, they deliver all of their food on reusable bowls, plates, and silverware (say for wooden chopsticks). It's very refreshing, considering they could always use paper, or something disposable - the fact that they're doing the reusable also creates more work for them as well - and yet it remains so cheap...)

    Okay, so back to the story. Living here can have both benefits and disadvantages - and this holds true for so much more than just languages as well. The nice thing is that sometimes, the strangest events can happen that make you smile, and forget about all of those other things that aggravate you to death. Here is one example which sticks out in my mind, having happened not too long ago.....I'll post another story in a day or so of the same variety :) Enjoy!

    For those of you who remember, a Korean Sauna is a bit of a harrowing experience the first time for a foreigner. For those of you who would like a previous re-counting of my first Sauna experience, you can read about it HERE. So here I was after going to the gym, and I was just finishing up my whole shower, when i feel this child somewhat staring at my, in a "look at me" kind of way. Now, sometimes my workout-finishing time will coincide with the end of the children's swimming lesson. The showers and hot-pool will be inundated with all sorts of children of all ages running around, the "Ajushi" shower-man trying to tell the kids to stop running, and the swimming instructors getting out as quickly as they can. So I'm just about to head out when I notice a small boy staring at me. He was holding out a huge bottle of shampoo, and by gesture, was asking me if I wanted some. So I said "a/sah" in Korean, which made him giggle quite a bit (a/sah is Korean for "very nice"). So the little child tips the bottle over, gives it a huge squeeze, and nothing but a huge "fart-like" sound emits from the bottle. Both the child and I laughed a little, and then, as he goes to shake the bottle for the second "go", as he brings it down, the child squeezes a blob of shampoo into my hand so big I could have washed my hair for a month - it was flowing out of my hands. At this point, the child looked almost scared, as if I'd tell him he just wasted the shampoo by pushing too hard. So, instead, I said "a/sah!" with extra emphasis, stuck it all in my hair, and said "Kam/sa/ham/ne/da" - which is the English writing of "thank-you" in Korean. This brought a smile so big to his face, that he turned around, ran into the other half of the showers, and proceeded to tell all his friends about what just happened. This brought five other kids running to see if his story held-up, and once they saw me, and I saw them, I said "Boo!" and tried to chase them around the shower. Not the brightest idea, but the kids loved it, and I felt good about Korea.
    Story two is coming hopefully tomorrow
    God bless all, and enjoy the wonder of winter

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