Sunday, May 20, 2007

More Reliable Than the Postman

This is the current view from my window. I haven't updated the construction in a while (mostly because I assume no one is hanging on the edge their seats to hear about my disappearing view.) This was taken in the rain. Yes, they are working. It is now Sunday morning and they are working. It seems to be a seven-day-a-week operation, regardless of weather, holidays, etc.

I'm starting to wonder how much I'll be able to have my windows open this summer. I rarely use AC, but the road noise is pretty loud already. With the trees gone and a tunnel being dug (a couple of meters to the left out of the photo), I'm guessing it will be worse than usual.


Here are my absolute favorite students ever, not that teachers have favorites. We had a talent show/ show and tell (in case anyone felt they didn't have a talent) and they are holding their "props".

This is the boy I wrote about recently. He made the robot dump truck he's holding by taking apart a toy dump truck he had and programming the robot to raise and lower the tray in the back. We asked him what he did and what his parents did and he did it all himself. Ordinarily, I would be sceptical, but his knowledge of electronics, circuitry, and engineering put all of his liberal arts grad teachers to shame.

All of the students in this class (except for one) are geniuses. They love learning and are like little grownups. Teaching them just makes my day.


Alright, it's time for some crazy, Korea-style. Have you heard of Raelians? They think humans are clone of aliens and they are waiting for our alien creators to take them back to space. Yes, I know. It sounds like they are already in space. A coworker was shopping recently and saw some Raelians in alien costumes passing out literature. Really. He didn't want to be a culturally insensitive foreigner and take a picture, so all I have is their literature to show you.

As if the alien thing didn't show they were the First Church of Crazy, they think a Star of David and a swastika are a good combo. Yes, the swastika is a very old Buddhist symbol, but...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Newsflash: The French are Whiners

It's been scientifically proven. ;-) Read all about it. I always thought they got a bad rap, but I guess I was wrong...

The Taxman Cometh or The Good News is I Got a Raise

Okay, I really shouldn't complain. I live in Korea, land of screw the infrastructure and needy? what does that mean? (Of course, they do manage to have national health care.) So, my total deductions from my pay are 3.3%. Ouch. ;-)

However, I just got my tax bill. Last year, all of my coworkers got a refund and I paid about $100. This year, all of my coworkers got a refund and I've got to pay $600. Apparently, I jumped a tax bracket . Yippee! Looking on the bright side (which according to Oprah is the secret to success in life) I moved up a tax bracket because of the raise I got last year.

Yes, I watched Oprah. I haven't watched her much over the past few years, because it's turned into a butt-kissing contest IMHO, but I was in couch potato mode a few days ago and nothing else was on. So, there you go. Oprah, better than not watching TV. If there is an episode where someone kisses her ring or washes her feet with their hair, though, that I would like to see.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

How exactly would you describe the moisture?

Kooky Korean product translation of the day. Despite the name, it's toilet paper for women (or men) with sensitive tushies. And really, what man wouldn't like something that's "vagina wet"? Why the product sexism?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Free At Last!

Mr. Please-be-my-x has arrived safely at his mama's house. His school never bothered to cancel his work visa. So, he had no trouble leaving.

I've been getting all kinds of great stories about him from his family. I emailed his brother to "encourage" him to a) go to rehab and b) never darken my door again. Apparently, he has had some kind of double life going on that involved lots of working. ;-)

When his father passed away last fall, he sent them the most detailed list of reasons why he couldn't go on account of his clients. He also used my "hospitalization" as an excuse. It reminded me of high school.

My sister never got away with anything and never understood why I generally never got caught. It's all in the stories, people. To quote Judge Judy, "KISS". My sister would spin the most elaborate tales to account for every minute when she was where she shouldn't have been, but the rest of the time she was far more frugal with the details.

Anyway, his family believed his tales. He is far away (and an adult) so they probably just thought he was giving them an update on his life.


Yesterday, for the entire teaching day, a new restaurant was announcing their opening across the street. Usually, this is done with a pair of dancing girls, but this place had traditional Korean taffy makers and drummers. When I left work, the drummer was on a break but I got a photo of the costumes.


Here is my progress on Esther. The flowers really stand out more than the photo shows. I haven't worked on it since Saturday. When I've finished cleaning my apartment, or at least made more headway...

I've decided that I should throw away about 50% of my crap. That is, if something has sat in a storage bin, untouched, since I moved here three years ago, then I probably don't need it.


Well, I might need it.

Okay, so I'm a bit of a pack rat. That doesn't make me a bad person. Unfortunately, I live in Korea, land of no closets. So, this seems like a good time to pack up his stuff and weed out my own.