Today was really good. In spite of the pointless business trip, which consisted of me being the only foreigner in the room, and therefore being gawked at and lurked around, despite the fact that the room was full of well-dressed younger business professionals. Hello.
Since I walked into work on Monday morning with a tomato red face, shuddering with cold (a whopping 35 degrees F for 20 minutes... what the hell), a co-worker has been picking me up for work in the mornings. The other teachers flocked around Monday morning to give me a cup of hot coffee and "omo!" and "aigoo!" over the state of me, and thereafter decided that subjecting the fragile foreigner to the brutal Korean winter conditions is unacceptable.
As a result, my coworkers saw me in female shoes for the first time today (no 20 minute downhill/uphill hike) during the business trip, which revived a whole load of nonsense at the dinner afterward. A table-wide discussion about my weight loss and how I "became beautiful". Thanks. Then the principal himself told me that he's going to find me a Korean boyfriend - a hardworking, good looking, honest man, for sure. Which made my face go bright red. Aigoo. I'm so cute.
Afterward, three of my female coworkers decided they were taking me to the mall to find me a suitable winter coat. It's been approximately ten years since I've been shopping with a group of women. They make you try everything on and comment on what suits your shape... it's odd. I'm not used to female company, especially of this caliber. But it was a seriously nice change of pace. When we finished, we got coffee and I got to demonstrate how much of their Korean conversation I can understand (responding in English, of course), which impressed them quite a bit. I'm continuing to make strides, despite being out of class for more than a month now. Every day it gets a little better, and my confidence in believing that I actually just understood what was said is growing as well.
Now I've got some serious schedule organizing to do. One thing that is definitely on the books for this weekend is catching a movie with an American gyopo neighbor of mine, who I like very much. The movie looks shit, and my ajumma class confirmed as much today, but it will be nice to get out on a Sunday morning and spend a bit of time with this girl. Tomorrow night is dinner with C and a friend of my from Korean class -- an older expat who is married to a Korean, whom I haven't seen in quite a long time. Should be good to catch up with him, and I might get to finally meet his wife.
There's also a new guy who's stalking me a bit via text message, who I'm considering getting of rid of before it gets even worse. I've mostly come around to accepting that Korean guys just generally go overboard with the phone contact, in a way that I'm just not used to, and it doesn't mean the same thing as if a Western guy were to behave in the same way. But it still freaks me out a bit.
It's also probably time to admit something here, which you all thought you'd probably not see, which is that I think I'm dating? I don't know. Two different guys -- the one mentioned above, and another, who's been just as persistent with the texting. I don't expect much to come of it. I've never had much faith in the traditional way of doing things, and it generally makes me uncomfortable and actually bored just at the thought of it. But eventually you just give up. I guess I'll try it for a while. It doesn't suit me though, does it? Hopefully it's not as boring as I expect it to be.
Now it's time to think about hitting the sack a bit early, as Smalltown came over against my will at 10:30 last night with two bottles of soju and we stayed up dicking around until 2 am. He's more than likely coming back to Korea, by the way. I'm pretty happy about that.