Sunday, November 2, 2008
Boos, shoes, 'n' blues
None of the Korean kids had much idea about Halloween. George supervised the preparation of the school for the holiday, hanging shredded streamers at the head of the hallway, putting black construction paper over our classroom windows and purple construction paper over the overhead hall lights, and hanging a few bats and spiders at strategic spots. It all looked pretty spooky. I brought in mini-chocolate bars for the kids and had to teach them all that you don't get a treat by shouting "Teacha! Candy! Candy!" So now they know about Trick or Treat. A few of them had witch hats or capes on; I predict that Halloween will be big here in five or ten years.
Today, Sunday, I was supposed to go hiking on Palgongsan with Micah, but he canceled at the very last minute. Actually, that's just as well; I'm still pretty beat from going up the mountain several days ago and I was mostly going to go to show him around. I was already partway downtown, having taught a class for the absent Heeduk, so I decided to go on down there and find some running shoes. Mine have worn down pretty quickly; the sidewalks here are bad for me, literally from head to toe. (Ha!)
So I located some New Balances at a smallish shop and then found Hami Mami's for some French toast. (It's okay now to not call it Freedom toast, isn't it?) I'd been to the little Hami Mami's Western-style brunch restaurant by Camp Walker a couple of times, but this was the real thing, the one run by Hami herself. It's in Club That, the jazz bar/restaurant that draws a lot of English teachers and other Westerners. There were a few Yanks there today, and to tell the truth it was nice to hear American spoken. I had actually been there once before, saying goodbye to Curtis, up at the tiny third-floor bar. The place is kinda mismatched and funky in a way I like, sort of like the Rongovian Embassy back home, all grown up. I'll be going back to Club That some evening in hopes of making some new friends.
I'm planning a get-together with some of the friends I've already got, Obama supporters who work at LIKE. On Wednesday morning, we're having an election-watching party (a Democratic party) at my place. Maybe a half-dozen people, which is all the apartment can hold, will come. I found a site that streams MSNBC and CNN (and F-word News) live and one of the guests is bringing a wireless router so we can set up several laptops. We'll have brunchy stuff and maybe, I hope, a little champagne. It will be a great party... if we win.
To tell the truth, I'm a little worried about the election; Obama's way ahead in the popular vote, but that includes huge margins in New York, California, and Illinois. He's only a little ahead in a lot of battleground states, and between the hammering about taxes and the (incredibly suspiciously timed) illegally leaked info about his illegal-resident aunt and possible buyer's remorse by the undecideds, they might flip. It's just possible he could get 52% of the popular vote and lose the electoral college. I don't expect it to happen, but it might. I'd like to say that I'd just die, but I already died in the last two elections.
Anyway, I went looking for mugs and glasses. I walked several blocks west of downtown, where I had never been before, to the huge Seomun Market, and found something I'd rather not have seen (see the post below this), which is still haunting me, but no mugs. I took the bus back and stopped at E-Mart and found the most darling mugs on special. (That adjective was in solidarity with those opposing the anti-gay measures in California and Florida.) They have happy cartoon donkeys on them! (The mugs, not the people opposing... oh, never mind.) If our side wins, I'll give the mugs to my friends as souvenirs.
It will be a great time if we win. We'll paint the town Democratic blue. If not, we'll be the ones who are blue.