Knives ‘n’ Roses

I hate those Monday meetings. The school comes up with new impossible demands and everyone gripes back. It’s going to be one of those weeks. We do have Wednesday off as a holiday, but we have to work on Saturday for this Sports Day for the parents. We knew it was coming, and we had no problem with that. We did have a problem that the school knew it was coming too but still has not informed us of any details about what we’re doing. And I have a feeling they’ll try to pull some school dinner afterwards. I’m definitely not going to that if they do it. Eric brought around some thick legal document in Korean and asked everyone to sign it. Most everyone signed it, and I couldn’t believe they were this naive. He said it was a standard document that the government wants everyone to sign. More than likely it’s just a printout of labor laws, and we’re just signing to show that we understand what our rights are, like U.S. employers have to do. But there’s a reason a signature is required. My signature legally states that I have read and understood what that document contains. So if I sign it without being able to read it, I’m lying. I asked Eric to come up with an English version for me or give me a copy that I could take to a Korean to translate. He giggled and talked about how difficult it was. I told him that I made the mistake before of rushing to sign a document, and it cost me heavily in the end. Since then, I don’t sign anything until I understand every detail and have had some counsel on it. Brant didn’t sign either.

Canada Joe took us out for a drink late that night. He was hungry, so we took him to the Russian place. I got my borscht, and he got something called the Captain’s Beef. That was the subject of a lot of jokes. We drank two pitchers and talked about how to help Joe and River get an apartment together in the area. The trouble is that if River moves, it alters the contract and the apartment lease.

Joe called it a night and left. Brant and I finished the beers while the owners and staff started singing Russian karaoke. Our Korean waitress had changed out of her black gown and into some form-fitting clothes that made our mouths drop. Outside we watched a man pick a fight with a table umbrella. He was trying to put it away, but it wouldn’t budge, so he kicked it over and over again. We also watched a guy walk around who was the spitting Korean image of Axl Rose (before the beer belly). Axl wandered all over the square until he finally jumped on some guy’s bicycle axle and rode off with him. A thought occurred to me. You know, there was Axl Rose and Slash. Shouldn’t they have been called Knives ‘n’ Roses?

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