One of my classes had two new students. They had yet to get English names. So I named them Dante and Maria. The kids got a kick out of Maria because one of them is named Mario. Dante turned out to be more outgoing than originally thought, to the point of being a pain in the butt. It’s funny that some of the roughest kids I have to deal with in the elementary classes are a Dante and an Anna. I’m not naming any more kids after my own… for now. During my last class (with only three students), I tried to get them to tell me what that pastry was that I had the other night. They don’t speak English as well as the other classes, so it was a fun game of pantomiming and me getting my Korean language book out. At the last minute, I told them to put on their coats. We’re going on a field trip. I took them downstairs, out the door, across the street and down the block. I pointed to the tent.

“What is that?”

They told me what it was, but it sounded too much like “hot dog.” I’ve heard this before, and I know they’re not talking about hot dogs. It’s the name of this pastry. Like “hak-duk” or something.

Brant and I went out for sub sandwiches. I didn’t go all western, though. I got a bulgalbi sandwich. Turned out to be some type of pressed meat. The sandwich was edible but not something to write home… oh yeah. Well, if I need a sub sandwich, I know where I’ll go, and I know what to expect. We also bought some beer and more dried squid (my request). Watched some TV at his place. I had to be back at my place at 9 to meet Glen. Glen looked at the computer and tried the same stuff I tried. Looks like the monitor’s dead or the cord is messed up.

Did I mention that I bought a really good knife? I’ve never had a knife this sharp. The other night, I was slicing some carrots, and it just brushed against the back of my finger. After a while, I noticed I was bleeding. I didn’t feel the knife cut me at all.

Today is activity day. We’re playing doctor! Don’t laugh. We’re in groups, and the kids have to go along with this script. First they go to the bank to exchange the stickers they’ve been accumulating for some money. They then go to the hospital with a stomach ache. The doctor gives them a prescription, where they go to the ‘parmacist.’ The parmacist takes their prescription, fills a medicine pouch with candy, and gives it to them.

For lunch, we had to act like a restaurant and sell the children their food. I can always tell when it’s lunchtime when the hallways saturate with the smell of sesame oil. Lunch was actually the best I’ve had here, mainly because they had fried dumplings. Mmm… First time I went up for seconds.

Later we’re supposed to go to the post office, the real post office, and mail letters to their parents. Don’t ask why. If you’re a parent, you’d understand how cool it is to get a letter from your child, even if she still lives with you.

Oh yeah, I need to pay attention to the exclamations I make. I figured out that “cool” is Korean for “oyster.” I heard that a previous British teacher was frustrated, yelling “Oi, oi” at the kids to get them to calm down. Turns out he was yelling, “Cucumber, cucumber!”

After the post office, we’re supposed to go get those “hot dog” pastries I am trying to decipher.

And then much later today, we’re going to pick up the new foreign teacher.

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