Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Not yet

The boys in a happier time.

...still no Tiki. It's 9:30 on a Tuesday night, ten days and twelve hours before I leave Daegu for Seoul. Something's shifted in me about finding Tiki; when I first felt it, I felt terribly guilty, thinking that maybe I had taught myself not to care. But that's not it; I want him back as much as ever. Rather, my desperation seems to be gone. I am going to let him come back rather than trying to force it. I'll go out as much as ever, maybe moreso, as I don't have to work this Saturday. But I'll be open to his return; I won't try to will him to do so, thus transmitting my desperation. Maybe I'll sleep better too.

And so it's time to talk about other things. Let's see...

Heeduk's asked me to continue working the morning shift through my last week at LIKE, which is next week, even though the school as a whole is going off the summer schedule and back to evening hours. I'm actually relieved, as I've benefited from the early hours (except for waking up ludicrously early and worrying about Tiki) and in just one more week I'll be doing the early morning thing at St. Paul Prep.


Chris, who used to work at Manchon and has come back to help in the summer session, and I got into a discussion today about Koreans and their lack of English skills, and Anglos and the converse. His point of view is that we're in Korea, so it's our job to learn servicable Korean (fair enough) and mine is that, since all high school and college-age Koreans have taken English classes for years, they could try to help us out more often if we're having trouble, just as I helped a French tourist family rent a car in St. Augustine despite having gone over 30 years since my last French class.

Chris suggested that to start getting a better feel for the language and culture, I watch Korean family tv shows, which tend to be somewhere between soaps and sitcoms. (Each show does, I mean.) So I watched one just now. I didn't catch a word, but apparently Korean moms like to teach their teenage sons a lesson by hiring guys to move them onto busy subway platforms while they sleep. Who knew? (Actually, Hu Nu is a student of mine.) (Not really, but I do have a student named Yu Min [pronounced "you mean"].)


There's a letter in Korean that is the equivalent of "S", except when it's in front of the "I" letter, when it becomes kind of an "SH". Korean students should never say "Sit down."


I've been meaning to post something about this for many months: the most annoying thing about Koreans day-to-day is that they refuse to acknowledge that other people exist. What I mean is that in a crowded place they often fail to notice that they may be impeding someone else. The most egregious example was when I was on the elevator at E-Mart with a middle-aged couple that had a little two-wheeled cart. When the elevator stopped, I nodded to them to disembark first, they took two steps off the elevator and stopped to sort out their groceries, completely blocking the way so that I couldn't get off the lift. Another time, Ray and I were striding manfully along one day and a little guy, whom Ray literally outweighed by a good 150 pounds, crossed his path, a foot in front of him, without looking; if Ray hadn't stopped on a dime, he would have knocked the old guy's brain into Mandarin Chinese. The kids in school have no concept of single-file in the hallway; I feel like a humpback in a sea of swarming halibut every time the bell rings. And so on...


Since an optical computer mouse has no tail, why isn't it a hamster?


Come home, Tiki. Soon.

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