I have to leave for the airport at 5:30 tomorrow morning, so it’s going to be an early night for me. I’m in Holly’s Coffee near my apartment and just ordered an earl gray tea for 4,500 won so I can use their internet. What the hell? Why is a cup of tea so expensive?? When it arrived I asked if I could get some milk or cream in it. I asked for milk in Korean. The guy responded in English and said they were all out of milk. ’….MILK??’ I said. 'Ummm…how do you make lattes without milk….in a coffee shop?’ He just smiled and said, ‘I sorry.’
Then three people after me ordered some sort of latte drink. Uuughhh. When I get tired and cranky these little cultural challenges send me over the edge.
I survived my first week of work, but it was tough. Overall the kids are getting a bit more adjusted to school, but they still freak out for the first hour or so every morning. On Thursday one kid was crying so hard he actually made himself throw up. Later at lunch time when I sat down next to Daniel, the whiniest, brattiest child I’ve ever had to deal with, he pointed right at me and said to me with a perfectly calm expression, “Ga, ga,” which means “go” or “leave” in Korean. Then he pointed at me again and told my co-teacher in Korean, “I don’t want her to sit at this table. I don’t want her to eat lunch with me. I want her to leave.” Thanks, love you too.
Friday afternoon we had a joint birthday party for our principal and the head Korean teacher, and right after our principal blew out the candles on the Baskin Robbins ice cream cake, she announced to everyone (in Korean) that she was quitting and it was her last day. No replacement for her as of yet. All of the Korean teachers were gasping and some of them started crying. Of course no one bothered to translate anything for the foreign teachers, even after we were all sitting there for a good five minutes, asking, “What happened??” Then our principal walked out and everyone sat there quietly. I feel like someone said, “How can we ruin this birthday party and make it as awkward as possible?” and then executed that plan.
It’s ironic because having a director quit one week after starting work is the EXACT thing that happened last year at my job. Then we got three different directors after that. Fingers crossed that this school doesn’t end up to be all kinds of dysfunctional as well.
Oh, fun fact that I heard from my friend who replaced me at my school in Bangkok: Cigarettes and knives were found in the backpacks of two of the fifth graders. Ummm….what???
To end on a somewhat humorous note since I’ve done nothing but complain, one of the kindergarten teachers was wearing a shirt on Friday with big block letters that said, “Fetishism” across the chest. It reminded me of the time last year when my Korean co-teacher showed up to school in a sweatshirt with a picture of a tow truck on the front with the words, “Camel Toe” underneath it. Oh, Korea.