i am now a korean toddler. my big verbs (as opposed to 'to sleep', 'to eat', etc) are a few different versions 'there is/is there', 'to want', 'to be', etc. this week i cemented my toddler status as i learned how to ask 'what is this?' and 'what is that?'. luckily, like a toddler, i am cute, so when i ask people these questions over and over (and even worse, when i tell people things they already know like 'that is a spoon') they smile and tell me. but i am also a 30 year old man, with a literary/tragi-comic bend so i try to make jokes. last night i made a joke that seems to be successful. i think other professions would have more wonder as to the source of the laughter. did they laugh because it was entertaining to see a foreigner fumble through a joke in korean? did they laugh to be polite? did they laugh because they didn't even understand what i said? so many questions. thankfully, these are things that with koreans i do not think about. this may explain some of my happiness here.
young recently showed up to my house with a bike 'oh, when do you get a bike?' 'ahh, kabinkabin, after...my job. walk home. fucking cold. and, my job, drinking, drinking, drinking. so, fuck. and then, walk by school, no money taxi, and then, thank you jesus heungnim (older brother--a joke i have introduced into korean) whoooaaa, no young makes cylindrical motion with hands you know?' 'tire?' 'no no no' young repeats cylindrical motion with hands 'lock!?!' kevin begins to laugh 'yes, rock. no rock, so' young makes peddling motion
a charming, but powerless man stands in front of his classroom
'everyone say 'nig-ga'' NIG-GA 'okay, now this is a form of the word 'nigger'. do any of you know the word 'nigger'? it is the worst thing you can call a black person.' OH, OKAY
''homie'.' HO-MEE 'good. now this is slang for friend.'
'now this is 'blazed'. everyone say 'blazed'.' BLA-ZEDUH 'no, BLAZE-D' BLAZE-D 'good. this is the past tense of 'to blaze'. it is a verb. do any of you know what marijuana is?' befuddled looks 'can i see your english to korean dictionary?' types in 'marijuana', shows it to a student 'tell them that word.'
a student has asked for some book recommendations. she says frankenstein and potrait of dorian gray to be easy reads, but currently finds sherlock holmes difficult (which i get given the puns and clever talk). she specifically then says this:
I really like fantasy novels like twilight or pendragon but I want to read other kinds of books as well. It can be non-fiction or fiction.. I don't really care. But please don't recommend something too easy (something 4th or 5th grader would like) or too hard (something too philisophical or anything involved with advanced politics and economics)
any thoughts would be good. i keep thinking the stranger, but that seems somehow ridiculous (tho an easy enough read).
banned from japanese girls, korean ROTC, last train home, cold night, racist cabbies, who *are* you/what have you done with kevin?, so...you have an english accent, GOMORRA, liking 'webispodes/webisodic' but finding the name moronic, drunk dialed at 3 from ireland, what completely single person has sex sober before 10am, 강남>남부>강남>express>강남, pepperoni pretzels and kathy acker, everyone has shaved, UNI GLO, trinkets trinkets trinkets, jewslateforsubways.org, improv practice being better or worse than actual improv, spice smoke smoke walk, dr fish, these fish are bigger, shopping in korea: cell phone, socks, back scratchers, crab in bucket, bad chinese, learing the yong hand massage (마사지), garth marenghi's darkplace
in honor of j sirois. check out his blog, which includes his delicious new book cover design
school resumed this week, and, as always, i was the last informed of many significant things. to help combat this problem, i have started asking questions as otherwise i will never have *any* advanced warning of anything.
my classes seem pretty good this year, with only one or two dead classes where the students just look at me. i thought dead air was only a concern for radio.
my schedule is a bit nasty, i only have two classes on tuesdays which means i have 5 on wednesday and thursday. by thursday, students were comfortable with saying hello again, and it turns out that one of my first year students (i just met them this week) is already in love with me. sadly, 'all' of the people in love with me are western age 12-15, so it isn't very helpful.
today as i walked home, tired from my first week back to work, a high school boy called me over and asked me to buy him some cigarettes. while i have been in this boy's position before, what made the whole thing unique and exciting was that he asked all of this in korean AND I UNDERSTOOD. excitement got the best of me, i asked him 'how many packs?' and when he said four, i told him i would buy him two. then i asked what kind, 'mar-a-bo-ro-red-uh'. these kids are tough.