Buddha’s Birthday

We had the day off for Buddha’s Birthday. Not many people got my tasteless joke that I needed to go out and get a Buddha tree and sing Buddha carols.Tuesday morning, I was able to stick around my apartment late because I was to go to the bank at 9:30. So I didn’t have to leave at 8:30 like I usually do. This meant that I could watch my morning episodes of “Sex and the City” at ease with my coffee.

I met Joe while heading outside. He had been to the same bank the day earlier, and I asked him where was the best place to get a cab in our area. I usually get cabs closer to the school, not next to my apartment (shows how long of a walk I have). He pointed to the intersection we were next to, and there was a group of taxis sitting at the red light. I got in the taxi, handed him the business card with the address, spoke a little Korean, and we drove off. Since I spoke a little, he wanted to hold a conversation with me. He asked me how long I had been in Korea. I don’t know the word for month, so I told him a year.

I got to the bank, and it was a while before they started operations. I saw the poor sullen young man who does the English transactions. I noticed he’s the only one not smiling in his lone photo on his desk of his family on a hiking trip. The money transfer wasn’t a problem this time. Very quick. I took a taxi back with another cabbie who thought I spoke fluent Korean.

Others agreed with me that the kindies were on particularly bad behavior that day. Can’t really pin it down exactly. I skipped the science lesson for Nike class because I walked into a classroom so trashed that I made them spend the class time cleaning it up. A bright point, though, was that I had burned a CD with my new burner containing fun songs and skits for the kids. They loved Brak (from “Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast”) singing “Don’t Touch Me.” The CD had Space Ghost, Homestar Runner, They Might Be Giants, Powerpuff Girls, Harry Potter, and other music to calm them during coloring time. I actually got one class to close their eyes and let their imaginations wander while playing some movie music.

I was right and wrong about the school pulling some type of thing after the Saturday sports day. Eric told me that the school’s having a dinner after sports day. I told him I had plans. I knew they were going to do it. I was surprised that I actually got advance notice this time.

I spent the afternoon doing the first of two rounds of phone tests and uploading new pictures from Sunday’s adventure. I did end up clicking my camera in time for that dramatic Taekwondo kick, but the film didn’t come through for me. I did get some pretty good pictures, and they’re up.

That night we had our smoked salmon party at Brant’s with Joe, River, and Yu Jeong. I brought over some feta cheese and some baby corn I had quickly marinated in balsamic vinegar. The salmon was even better this time. Cold smoked, the way I like it. SJ had mentioned meeting me after the party in my neck of the woods, but she ended up being too tired from school to make the trip. So Brant and I stayed up late finishing some beers and a bottle of soju while making fun of the TV. Arirang was airing a documentary on how riding horses and doing certain embarrassing exercises will help your intestines. Again Brant’s thesis was supported that the Koreans have a fixation with bowel movements. SJ did call my cell phone while I was leaving Brant’s, and we talked the entire way back to my place. It’s funny because it seemed that everyone I passed was talking on a cell phone.

I awoke with a small hangover the next morning. Mixing beer and soju did it again. I had my coffee and started work on the thirty-one elementary and twenty kindergarten student evaluations I have to turn in Friday.

I caught a Korean sitcom I usually watch on Arirang with English subtitles. Near the end of the episode, the elderly mother and father of the family are sitting in a Popeye’s. The mother tells the father to get her some chicken. He walks up to the counter and wonders what’s the difference between “spicy” and “mild.”

SJ showed up around 11:00. She had spent the morning going to worship for the holiday. She ordered Chinese delivery, and we spent a relaxing afternoon watching “Sex and the City” episodes on DVD while drinking cosmos. She also helped me figure out how to check messages on my cell phone. I conked out from the Chinese food after she left. Twice someone knocked on my door, and it freaked me out. I have no peephole, and I didn’t want to risk opening the door and seeing Jehovah’s Witnesses again. When I regained consciousness, I realized it must’ve been the Chinese restaurant. When they do delivery, they actually give you real plates secured with plastic wrap. I had forgotten to lay the dishes outside for them to pick up.

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