Well. My demo class went brilliantly, and I got all around rave reviews. Twenty-five little geniuses I had on my hands that day, I did, as those boys worked their asses off to make me look like the most brilliant teacher in the world. God, they made me proud. They did so well that I actually had my suspicions that my co-teacher got nervous and taught the idioms to them beforehand in Korean. She swears she didn't say a word, and that my class was the first time they were hearing them.
Thank fuck that's over with, anyway.
Friday night I went to a co-worker's house for dinner to meet her husband and two daughters. They lived in New York for two years and just recently moved back to Korea. Her daughters are brilliant, particularly the eldest who likes to read and wants tattoos when she gets older. It was a gorgeous meal, and so kind of them to welcome me into their home, as I am, after all, a complete stranger. I look forward to seeing the girls again soon.
During dinner, my phone started to ring with the usual Friday night nonsense, but I was too beat from the harsh work week and return to Korean class to be bothered. Plus, around 10 pm, it started to lash down rain. No thank you. Opted for an early one, so that I could wake up early to join Small Town for yet another art gallery visit in the morning.
The exhibition took ages to find, and was only possible due to my mad Korean skills and a very patient young man working behind an electronics counter in I Park Mall in Yongsan. It was shit. I don't even know why I'm mentioning it.
Then there was a 10,000 won crap sandwich and more rain, which put me in an even worse mood.
Small Town somehow talked me into returning to Insadong, where we went shopping for presents for our families upon our respective returns home (by the way, in two weeks I'll be in Texas? -- weird). He wanted to visit more galleries, but I wasn't in the mood for the Insadong meandering gape-mouthed nonsense, and headed to a coffee shop to wait for him instead, where I spent about an hour chain smoking and gazing out at the street below without even pretending to amuse myself or look busy (although I was alone), to the aghast horror of most of the Koreans around me. Honja just isn't done here.
I couldn't give a shit, to be honest. I'm a bit grumpy lately, due to my prospective return Stateside for a couple of weeks, in a couple of weeks. It's making me face all kinds of reality that I generally go out of my way to avoid. And I'm a little homesick, now that I'm giving myself the chance to be.
We decided to go to Bucheon to "change it up" a bit, but that was mostly a bust. Ended up in a decent enough little bar that was completely empty, save for a few employees who were ridiculously wicked at darts, and a three drunken Korean college guys swilling tequila and tripping over stools. After a few beers there, just shooting the shit, we decided to cab it back to Bupyeong and face the same old damn music. Of course, I left half of the (very expensive) presents I bought for my family in the cab. Fantastic.
At this point, I was basically being a total a bitch. Not in an outward kind of way, but in that way I get sometimes when I just can't be bothered making the effort anymore. Which basically consists of me sitting and staring into the middle distance, sipping my beer and refusing to engage in conversation. Small Town got a little pissed off and said he was going for a "walk". Fine by me, so long as no other fucker comes over and tries to make conversation in your absence. As luck would have it, The Korean Bodybuilder rang.
This fucking guy....
Last week, while I was out with another Korean guy in BP, I happened to run into TKB with a Korean girl that he introduced as "my girlfriend". Which is all fine and dandy, except that he called me on Friday night to "sing [me] a lullaby" to put me to sleep. Please. He showed up, and we went inside for a beer. At which point, I spotted The Boxer. TKB is nice and all, but he's sort of one of these man's men, where he can't ever get out of I'm-a-man-talking-to-a-woman mode and manage to say anything of actual interest. It's all just fluff. And not that interesting to me. This time, The Boxer didn't play it cool, but leaned over and interrupted whatever benign thing TKB was spouting, and said, "Liz. I haven't seen you here for so long. Where have you been?"
"Not going out too often on Friday nights these days, man. Work is kicking my ass...."
What happens now? TKB decides to make a big show of buying me another drink and putting his arm around my shoulder.
Excuse me? Hell no.
"Sorry [TKB]. I'm just going to go out for a smoke, real quick." Pointedly removing his arm. "[The Boxer], would you like to join me?"
Small Town commented on the competitiveness of all of this on the phone to me today. I told him it may seem all lovely on the surface, but it seriously ruffles my feathers. Why? Because, instead of being the object of attention, as it would seem, it's like I disappear completely. TKB was not concerned at that moment about the fact that I'm an actual person who would be reacting to his (bad) behavior of putting his hands on me and acting like my boyfriend when a. he's nothing of the sort and b. he already has a girlfriend (not me). He was only concerned about what the other man thought. That pisses me off.
Plus, you don't own me. If you try to mark me, like a dog pissing on a fence, it's never going to end in your favor.
Well. This pissed TKB off and right about that time, Small Town strolled back up like nothing had happened. "Where the hell did you go?"
"For a walk."
"For a fucking walk... for an hour? Please go in there and do something. I've got a situation."
The solution was that TKB and Small Town found a table of two Korean girls and fucked off to talk to them, which was absolutely fantastic to watch with The Boxer from across the bar. Apparently, TKB took it upon himself to mistranslate Small Town quite often, to the end result of one of the girls turning to ask him if he was gay. Classic stuff. What an asshole.
At some point, the owner of the bar, OJ, came over to chat for a bit. He's got literally the most fantastic smile I've ever seen, but speaks close to zero English. So, needless to say, our conversation has been a bit stunted. He took advantage of my fluent English speaking buddy The Boxer and managed to get a few things translated, before The Boxer got fed up and told me change seats and just speak to the man in Korean, for fuck sake.
The end result was OJ suggesting a language exchange. I don't agree to these things, ever. Only in the case of our dear C have I ever done so before. But OJ is different. From now on, on Saturdays and Sundays (because my schedule isn't mental enough as it is), I'll be meeting him at the bar just before it opens to start attempting to teach him English, using Korean. This should be interesting. But I have a feeling, it will be highly rewarding, in a handful of ways.
That's all you get for now.