1 Down, Only 51 To Go

by benrobins1

Autumn clouds hovering over the distant Janghyeon-Ri. Scenic.

Told you the reliability wouldn’t last.

Two days later – sorry about that, adoring friends, family and Google’s lost souls – we have finished our first week of teaching. As such, we are (in our minds) thoroughly deserving of any toxins we choose to imbibe.

Kang’s School is a marvel of Korean tutelage, as the swarms of English-spouting Korean banshees streaking up and down the corridor are a testament to (I’m fairly sure the abandonment of the ‘No Running In The Corridor’ policy is not a language-barrier issue…). Five teachers in charge of hundreds of variably-interested children and teenagers would probably be a certified death wish in many/most other cultures, but somehow the chaos seems to fuel the business.

Our colleagues, Eric, Amy, Sunny and Juliet (not to mention Director Jun) have been very supportive of the English gaijin flailing about the establishment, patiently explaining to us the do’s and don’ts of teaching in Korea (do make sure they don’t speak Korean in the class, don’twrite their name in red ink as it’s a death omen, etc. etc.). Unwilling photos of said colleagues undoubtedly to come.

Meg, midway through her school-renowned ‘I Don’t Like Beef’ anecdote.

We’ve almost remembered some of our student’s names and have practically abandoned the concept of ‘preparing’ for our lessons in favour of exploring the quasi-American superstores and dabbling in the bizarre range of snack foods available (for example, triangle tuna sushi requiring a Rubik’s Cube skill to unwrap – or ‘cheese sausage’ nibbles which are neither sausage nor cheese in appearance, consistency or flavour). More importantly, we have discovered the necessary stashes of security-boxed Cathedral City cheese and 1.2kg bags of pseudo-Crunchy Nut cereal at our local multi-story E-Mart, and are snacking like lords.

What will the weekend hold? Watch this space for future developments. Will we be dead to the world until late afternoon? Will we meddle in the affairs of innocent passers-by as we ask for directions and translations? Will I be subjected to a room of naked Korean men?

All of these unsettlingly probable prospects may or may not be on the cards. Tune in tomorrow/the day after/the near future for the confused and babbling antics of Benjamin and Megan…

In title and role. Lording over my personal domain, as it were.