Disco Ball World.

Off on a business-ee trip for a couple of days -- this time an actual business trip, in the Western sense, in that we are actually traveling. To where? I don't know. Why? Because every time I asked, I was given a completely different name. But it matters little, I suppose. Any little bit of traveling is alright.

My co-teachers seemed amused when they told me about the trip, asked me if I wanted to go, and I said, "Me alone with other native teachers or together with you?" and then agreed, only after they said they were going as well. Wouldn't I be more comfortable with other Westerners? Than with the teachers I've worked with for a year, and become rather close with?

Westerners aren't like Koreans, ladies. We don't have "pure" blood and Han in common. I bond with you, because I work with you. I don't know those other fools.

It's common place now, for the other teachers to comment casually and tease me about being "really Korean -- not like other foreigners" -- which always makes me want to ask them, how many other foreigners do you actually know?

Anyway, this two day/one night trip is all for what the VP says will be about an hour of actual work. The rest is "sight seeing". Better than idly sitting in the office for another two days. Plus, I love getting out of the city, if only for the couple of hours driving through the rice fields in between. It makes it feel like I'm actually in another country for a while, since the cityscape in the ROK has become so commonplace to me.

Plus, I love roadtripping with Koreans. It's always an event. It always takes a couple of hours to actually get on the road, because of all the prep that goes into even a two hour jaunt. Even when there's a whole busload of people involved, rations of bottled water, oranges and dried squid are passed around to everyone, to help them endure the hard journey ahead. Everyone wears hats and hoodies -- sunglasses and backpacks manifest themselves out of nowhere. All manner of cards for games to pass the time are produced. Group photos of us standing in front the building we work in every single day to mark the occasion. Plus, you stop every thirty minutes to eat some delicacy that's native only to that particular ten mile stretch of land. It's fucking cute as hell. And you feel then, more than ever, the "family" nature of Korean culture.

I'm thinking more and more about going ahead and making the move to the countryside next year. I wanted to wait until my Korean was functional, but I'm also thinking my Korean ever becoming functional might depend on just getting out of the city. It seems even when I genuinely don't want to spend the weekend dicking around, it can't be resisted. Of course, the real hesitation comes in leaving my school. But we'll see, as the time to re-sign draws closer, I suppose.

A song for you this morning. Take care, babies. Be back soon.


Kel said...

omg I just read that "plus I love roadtripping..." paragraph out loud to Sonja and now I'm in hysterical tears. Perfect!

saharial said...

hehe the lovely adjummas at the church i go to always ask me if i'm secretky Korean just because i like spicy food.
They alwasy ask if its too spicy, even after me going there for almost 3 years!

MH said...

"I don't know those other fools."

Judging by your other posts and posts on the 'Cafe, I wouldn't have thought you were capable of writing something like this. I was wrong, evidently. What's the deal? Why the hate on foreigners?

cherry garcia said...

that song was came on my ipod the other day, i forgot how much i loved it.


I'm no Picasso said...

Kel -- it was all those things, and more. Also, I *just* got your text, because my phone died early last night. The trip was great.

Saharial -- the spicy food thing never goes away. Never. Ever ever.

MH -- it was pretty much obviously a joke. The "fools" part of it, anyway. I just think it's funny that they'd assume I'd be more comfortable around total strangers than around them, which I wouldn't at all. I'm shy.

Steph -- I always think of you when I listen to that album, of course. (L)

MH said...

Ah. I apologise for jumping to conclusions.

I'm no Picasso said...

No problema. It's actually a thing I get a lot -- "Oh, Liz doesn't like other foreigners" -- due to the fact that I've put a lot of effort into getting to know Koreans since I've been here. But I'm no race traitor -- just kind of bad at striking balances. Which I'm working on.