Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Oh Very Young and other stuff
Murphy got to Daegu yesterday to teach at Samduk LIKE. I'd been emailing with him, answering questions about what to expect, what to bring, and so on. He did me a big favor; at my request, he bought a pair of shorts at Sears back home and brought them to me. Shorts are absolutely indispensable when the hot weather comes and Korean men do. not. wear. them. You can't find them anywhere.
But here's the point: I took him around downtown a bit. We ate pasta and then he wanted some Starbucks coffee. So we stop in, I order my coffee, I look around and there are two attractive young Korean women sitting nearby. One flashes me a thousand-watt smile so I say hi. Murphy orders his coffee and comes over, and inside of thirty seconds he knows their English names (Olivia and Dorothy-- she made a point of saying she named herself after Dorothy in Wizard of Oj, as it's pronounced here)-- and their ages, where they go to college and their majors, where they spent a year in Canada (as they said in one episode of F Troop, "Ban-fuh-fuh"), and inside another minute they've got his email address and...
well, being middle-aged sucks sometimes. In my mind, I'm 25 and I should be talking to Olivia and Dorothy myself. Murphy, I bet, can have all the female companionship he wants. He's young, good looking, friendly, Navajo (he looks Korean enough that people have already asked him if he is Korean, but he must seem just a little exotic)... and he's taking a year off from Harvard grad school. :: envy envy ::
As long as I'm in Korea, I doubt I'll get any companionship of that sort. Korean women anywhere near my age don't speak English, and if they did, we'd have nothing in common. Maybe Cupid will send along a pretty 40-year-old who spent ten years in the States and likes her men roundish and extinguished (Oops... distinguished). I'm not holding my breath, however. At least I'm no longer sleeping alone; Tiki likes to cuddle up. Spooning, however, is strangely unsatisfying.
On the subject of women, but not romance, I really enjoy talking with Joanna, who's a 25-year-old teacher at our Samduk school. We have virtually nothing in common other than the fact that she's from Alaska and I've been over it, but we have really good conversations. I find I have always been able to talk more freely with women; somehow guys (in my experience) always end up playing a role, or at least always devolve into talking about beer, movies, sports, and Mrs. Emma Peel. (By the way, absolutely true fact: the character got that name because, in '60's telly jargon, Diana Rigg had "man appeal", or as they said, "M appeal.") You're welcome.
I hope they won't turn off my electricity. I guess they send bills every month, but I don't get them. The mailbox is actually on the house next door and nobody makes a point of giving me the bills. It's been four months. George at school helped me today and I found out that, theoretically at least, if I go to the bank and pay them 120,000 Won (90 bucks) tomorrow, I'm okay. I also ran out of heating oil this morning, but a call to George and his call to the oil company, and I was stocked up again with a half hour. None of that "He'll come between noon and five" followed by a call at 4:50 to say he's running late. Not in Korea.
Hami Mami's is closed. I'm sad.
I'm planning another Palgongsan hike on Thursday for anybody from school who wants to go. The cherry trees are supposed to be at their blossoming height this week. The trees that line the main road past school are all decked out in white flowers... not sure if they're cherry trees, though. Sadly, it's gotten cool and windy again, and the flowers are dropping. I hope we get out there before a really big wind comes along.
Raymond (not the Ray I've spent so much time with) is being let go at Samduk LIKE; a guy I know from another school is, too, and one more who's losing his job because the hagwon (school) owner is selling out to someone who's bringing in his own people. Hagwons aren't as secure as I'd thought. Raymond's my age and doesn't know what to do; apparently, public schools don't hire anybody over 55.
If you buy a new pair of earphones for your iPod and, that same night, leave them on your computer desk overnight, cats will shred the foam. Trust me on this.
You know how Monty Python, if they didn't have a good ending for a sketch, would just stop it cold? Well, I