Monday, November 18, 2013

Three Months in Korea

We are rock stars.

In fact, I even have a rock star song I would like to share with you.

I wrote it when I was a kid and I sing it whenever I need a little pep talk or a pat on the back:
I'm a rock star. 
I'm a freaking rock star.
I'm a rock star.
Doodley, doodley do.
(Sung to the tune of the French song "Alouette", in case you were wondering)

We are rock stars because we are doing this thing we had only talked about until recently. It still surprises us, but we are here figuring this out together and we are happy.

-been learning more about North Korea
-been learning more about a lot of stuff that I need to blog about
-our jobs are great
-winter has arrived
-shabu shabu is good

Most awesome things this month:
-starting Korean classes with our new friend, Jong
-we're still alive (which is always a plus) and we celebrated both of our birthdays in the last month
-bought tickets for our January trip to Cambodia

Random moments that need to be shared somewhere:
-It continues to intrigue me how much Korean's love baseball. Maybe I've been missing some obvious cues in the past, but all of my kids talk about playing it and their favorite teams. Taxi drivers will often ask us if we know the Korean players that currently play on U.S. major league baseball teams. We always lie and say, "Yes!" Today, I got a picture with a kiddo in my grade 4 class rockin' a Colorado Rockies ball cap!

-Playing a game in class with two teams. The losing teams mourns their misfortune by pulling at their hair, wailing in agony, and shaking their fists at the sky, you know, like all 5th graders would. One quiet boy on the winning team, says quietly (mostly to himself), "Oh my god, it's like a soap opera."

-Another day, playing a game (the equivalent of Hot Potato) a 4th grader gets stuck with the ball and yells--and I mean bellows--"Shit! Shit! Shit!" How would you handle this situation? I'm still not sure. There were words given. But effective words? It's hard to say. How do you explain to a kid that that was wrong when you can only use his vocabulary, which includes: every English curse word, "Hello," and "baseball"?

-In class, a student with very low English comprehension is called on to answer a question. I'm pointing to the words on the boarding and prompting with sounds. We all wait. My co-teacher gets closer to him and says (in English), "Say the answer." And he repeats tentatively, "Answer."

-A few weeks ago, I went in search of a crochet hook. This might sound an easy task. Let me tell you it was not.

Step one: ask a Korean friend how to say "crochet hook" in Korean.
Step two: act out and/or draw pictures of a crochet hook.
Step three: look up on Google translator.
Step four: talk to other Koreans to gather a consensus about where to buy one.
Step five: draw map of tentative location of said shop.
Step six: try to get a bus or a taxi there. In Korean.
Step seven: walk around trying to find the shop.
Step eight: walk in and try to talk with the vendor.
Step nine: inevitably act out and/or draw pictures.
Step ten: if this does not work, return to step seven and try again.

Gratefully, my step nine worked beautifully when I drew my picture which looked like this:

I felt pretty proud of myself the next day at school when I told Mrs. Che my story and how I successfully bought a crochet hook. Her response: "Why did you draw a picture of fallopian tubes?"