my job suddenly feels a bit justified. this is helpful for me existentially. also, i am under the impression i am getting better at it. i am learning korean. at least taking classes. when a language has a grammar that is drastically different--subject object verb--bringing in native speakers makes sense. further, it seems the criteria to become an english teacher in korea, for koreans, is different than has been my experience with foreign language teachers in primary, secondary, and university. in the US, all of my teachers seemed to be (?) fluent. all of them had spent time in a place with native speakers of that language. this is not the case for the people i teach with. this isn't a knock on them, necessarily. it just is. i have had a korean english teacher who has never left asia who has a firm handle on english (listening, speaking, writing). back to my korean class. the fact that any languages translate is amazing, but, again, when the grammar is different, it blows my mind. for example (literal translation)
케빈씨: 용씨가 예기 있어요? Yong here is?
미현씨: 아니요. 없어요. No, not here.
케빈씨: 그렴, 용씨가 어디에 있어요? Then, Yong where here is?
미현씨: 용씨가 권주에 있어요. Yong Gwang-ju (a city in Korea) is.
obviously, my korean is v basic. when the grammar gets more complicated, and oh it will, things will even be further away from my native grammatical structure. right now, it has sort of a cute yoda effect.
other things of note
in august i went to viet nam, good country. haven't been to a place where i am clearly am more wealthy than the majority of the population before, which caused some discomfort. in korea (at least urban korea) i am nothing special economically. not rich, not poor. people with my job in viet nam live in a bubble. it is attractive in some ways (and the variety of food, and the skill with which it is prepared, not to mention the coffee), but i am not sure i could do it for longer than 6 months or so. luckily, that is about how long it would take to get certified should i choose to do so.
i am taking the month of september off of drinking and i like it. i miss having *a* beer, but i also know that moderation and i aren't pals. not that i need to get *wasted* but if i am to drink, i usually will have 4~6 beers. kev 6 pack. last wednesday i went for a night hike with a small group. some of that small group were drinking. christ, booze can make one obnoxious, or at least irritating. one thing that was a frightening realization is that since 14 i have been at least smoking cigarettes. this is the first month, then, in 18 years that i am absolutely clean.
a touch nervous, i am headed to taipei october 1st which is the soonest i can have a drink. i am a big fan of cuisine, which includes local alcohols. but i cant read or speak chinese at all, so think it may be disastrous, riotous, or memorable, or or or getting drunk in taipei on chinese spirits especially as i will lack a tolerance.
kinda skipped over the culture i've been swallowing lately. lots of good art up now as fall starts. miru kim has been a highlight. the world brought me to her show since i received emails about her work, people on facebook mentioned her, and i read a newspaper article about her in the korean herald.
okay, there is more to type, but i am getting tired. hopefully i will be back soon.
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