2.12.2009

Let's make Liz Korean!

I was being a real whiny little bitch tonight, despite the fact that I got a gorgeous (and much needed) night's sleep last night, which put me in an infinitely better mood than I was in yesterday. Still, this sitting around in the office all day is no good for the head (or the body, for that matter). I'm like a caged animal with no classes, confined to my cubicle. I could never do a job that demanded this of me everyday.

The boys are in periodically to offer a little relief, but after tomorrow, that ceases for another two weeks as well. Today while they were supposed to be sorting through the garbage, they began picking out little bits they thought might be useful to them and shoving them down their pants. The second graders are fascinating, because they're not yet to the logic level of the third graders, yet they aren't quite as animalistic as the first graders. The first graders just erupt in mass chaos, with no rhyme or reason. The second graders scheme their nonsense, even though it's still technically nonsense. They have these little man meetings that seem to completely escape the notice of the other teachers right before they each take their part in doing something, systematically, that's completely absurd. Like ripping all the pages out of old calendars and storing the calendar stands in their underwear to do God knows what with later.

I've got a new little boyfriend as well. We'll call him Orange Glasses. Everyday he comes over to dust the top of my cubicle for a while, before laying his head on top of his hands and saying, "Hello! How are you today?"

I'm fine, thanks, and you?

"Oh, I am so-so..... how are you?"

Uh. Fine.

"Oh. Yes." He tilts his head and gazes dreamily into the middle distance.

"Ya!" Sharp Dressed Man always catches him in the act and lets loose a torrent of top volume Korean.

"I go now!"

Yeah. I think that would be good.

Anyway, I was moaning on tonight because I wasn't really hungry and didn't feel like the ordering-in-Korean shuffle at a restaurant, and bitched and moaned all the way around Mike's neighborhood about it, but he did sit and have coffee with me, which he didn't want to do, so I felt obligated. Lo and behold, we were greeted by a lovely gentleman inside the restaurant we chose who not only spoke English, but was even kind enough to ask a few questions and make us feel welcomed.

He came over to change the coals at an awkward moment when I had my cigarettes from Austria out and was giving a performance of the warning label in German for Mike. I quickly threw them down on the table and muttered something about how German is a terrible language. The young man placed an ashtray on the table in response. Lovely. He even took the courtesy of asking us if we spoke Korean before he started explaining everything in English, which I thought was thoughtful, and then suggested what we might like to eat instead of making us fumble through the menu.

I'm surprised at how fast my listening and comprehension skills are coming along, in equal measure as I am frustrated at how hard it is to make things come out right in Korean at any given moment. I can hear what I should be saying in my head -- it's just that I can't get my mouth to make those sounds. I suppose that's not that different from any other time I go to speak, though.

At any rate, the lunch time Korean is much more bearable now that I'm able to make a lot of it out. Well, maybe not a lot, but I can usually figure out what subject we're on anyway. I've been sitting with the women at lunch since I got back from vacation, since I spent some time with them outside of work and realized I need to get to know them better, and also for a few other reasons. 1. I've always found it easier to be sort of more naturally charming with women. 2. Overall, they speak more English and 3. Mr. K has started wearing shiny suits to work and is generally freaking me out these days. He and Mr. C and the PE teachers and all of the rest of them are too unpredictable for my taste -- best friends one minute, and totally awkward the next. I can't be bothered. The music teacher -- the one who doesn't speak a lick of English -- is the only one who is steadily friendly. I don't know what is up with the men -- gender segregated nonsense, or the way they make fun of each other every time any one of them says anything to me in English, or just general moodiness -- but I can't be bothered with it.

Sitting with the women folk does have its downsides though, as I discovered today when the subject turned to how they were going to "make Liz Korean". Apparently, what I really need to help me learn Korean is a Korean boyfriend. And they've decided they want to help me find one. I'm not sure what they made of the immediate discomfort I'm sure was visible all over my face once this suggestion arose. I wasn't able to actually form any words of protest -- I just sort of froze, as they began chattering away about all the men they knew that they could set me up with.

Over my dead body am I going on any "blind dates". And I'm quite sure that the nice men these church-going ladies know are not interested in the kind of very American girl that I am. Please let this subject be dropped by tomorrow.

Anyway, I've gotten in just about as deep as I need to be with the boys already, and am already having trouble unwinding myself from that situation, as it is.

A Bittersweet Life is taking ages to download, which is to say that it isn't downloading at all. English speaking torrent websites are shit resources for Korean anything. I even managed to find a couple of Korean indie music blogs in English (miracle) but can't get my hands on any of the stuff. I guess I'm going to have to (gasp!) buy it in stores like I normally do. Shopping list for the weekend, then. I'll get on that during my mind-numbing 8 1/2 hours of Pure Death at work tomorrow.

Now it's time to study a little more Korean before bed. Tonight I even got myself a little word notebook. Cute Coteacher is going to Canada for a year and today at lunch she said, "Ah! When I come back, you will be sitting at this table speaking Korean!" Don't count on it, Cute Coteacher. But I'll try.

9 comments:

vai said...

umm.. well you can't blame German, the language, for the history of whatever.. yes, it does sound... harsh - but listen to some Rammstein, it really fits as well and it's not so bad then :)

btw, how is the coffee?? mine's excellent. :)

vai said...

oh and do speak Korean - so by the time that I come there, we'll be able to "cruiiiiise" ;)

I'm no Picasso said...

Haha, I don't blame the German language for anything. I was just making a joke, a la Dylan Moran, since the waiter caught me doing something ridiculous.

I haven't tried it yet, actually. Just finished up what I had here already, so I'll try it tonight. Mike says it's really good.

And I don't think I'll ever speak any language well enough to cruise. I've been working on English for 24 years now, and still no luck. We'll have to rely on your looks and the buddy system for that.

By the way, there's this square in Bupyeong that literally transforms into a sea of men at night. We were walking through it last night, and I was thinking, Iva should see this....

vai said...

oh, score...




i'm getting pathetic. i got offered books, music and wild sex tonight and i turned it down. what is wrong with me?

I'm no Picasso said...

I dunno. You should have at least taken the books and music. This wouldn't in anyway involve your downstairs neighbor, would it?

Also, I need to hear about this weekend of yours. I'm dying of curiosity.

Also also, I went to WU yesterday but me and the counter guy weren't able to come to a joint conclusion about what I needed from him. I'm going to go back either today (it's pissing out so maybe not) or Monday armed with either a Korean or a note written by a Korean and try again. Sorry for the delay.

vai said...

uhm, yes it would.

oh, was hoping that was ur post, since i got something waiting for me in the post -- i'm always paranoid i'm in some sort of trouble... should probably go and see... :/

oh, and the weekend, yes yes i'll write about it as soon as i can sum it up into something more eloquent than "i was pissed out of my head"...

I'm no Picasso said...

Somehow I just knew it. So he finally came out and said it, eh? Take the music and run. :-p

No, it's not me yet. I'll let you know when I sort it.

Sounds good. Can't wait. Also, I thought you didn't get drunk? :-p

Off to work now. Drag.

xxxx

vai said...

oh i did... very much so . apparently (so i've heard), at one point i had a group of 19 year old guys trailing after me... uhm.. yah. :/ :)

Gary said...

German is great and Germany is possibly the most civilised country in the world. I'd live there if Liverpool wasn't so cool.