Korea, Random Rambles
Comments 14


Hey, all.

Some exciting goings-on have been keeping me occupied of late — more on that soon.

Meanwhile, the school — and hence work — year is easing to a halt, with the last exams meaning an easy week for me. I taught only five lessons all week, and they were built around a small slideshow I made of pictures of the kids going mental in the snow a week back.

It was a great week, weather-wise, with flawless skies of intense blue and the temps hovering around zero or just below. Today we got rain; I spent the day at N2 doing nothing but standing at my podium-mounted computer in about five layers of damp clothing, clutching a bottle of hot water to keep warm. It’s 1:30am here — I crashed as soon as I got home and here I am, wide awake and listening to the Beatles, debating whether to head up into the hills in a few hours and cross them to the small city of Jinhae on the far side…

The rest of the week I undertook some research for my next project, endured another comical medical in Gimhae, visited a government department in Busan with my minder, and — joy! — got to finish work at lunchtime from Monday to Wednesday, since staff and students split with “Pens down!” after the last of each day’s exams.

I had to leave N2 early for that medical, meaning that my usual Thursday after-school conversation class was cancelled. There’s just a handful of regular attendees, two chatty girls and their sweet-but-super-shy friend, and two near-silent boys. Next day I found this note on the board in my Fortress of Solitude:


It’s a 45-minute trek to that school; I could get a bus but never have. And a man needs sustenance for such an expedition, hence the D.D. reference. Relax, the coffee and donuts I regularly purchase there are not my breakfast. They’re, er…my second breakfast. It’s a long walk, and I don’t exactly approach that school with glee. Every little reward helps.

As you can see, for teenagers, their written English is pretty damned good. And Asian kids and comic-book art: a natural double. I like how they have me stripped down to the basics and assuming a super-hero pose:


I can assure you the real me is a far less impressive sight. Well, maybe post-coffee…

~ And that’s all the Goat wrote


  1. Alice says

    Heehee–you never know what will happen when you are away. Yes, their English is great! Good job.

  2. Ah that is so cool, love the illustration. 45 minute walk? Respect! I thought my 25 minute walk was hardcore ; )

  3. Those kids are gorgeous and a little bit cheeky! I love the picture of you… and that they got you with the DD reference too! I also love the speech bubble! I also think it is funny they wrote this on the board for a surprise for you when you returned! … they obviously feel comfortable with you and enjoy you.

    • Yeah, that speech bubble is the Korean way to make the giggling sound: “K-K-K-K-K…” etc. I really like those girls; their spoken English is far from fluent as you’d expect but they really try and they’re interested in western culture (for want of a better word). That class started with about a dozen students but most quickly quit, in part because it required that girls talk to boys and vice versa. Almost an impossible task at this age in this culture.

      I’ll miss them as they’re going to high school next year. Very happy for them though as they each got accepted into the school they wanted — natch, being so smart and motivated.

  4. Heh, great drawing. Reminds me that I always think of you when the black hat guy (a self-described “classhole”) pops up in xkcd.com comics.

  5. That is a good picture of you! So lean and so without pants! ‘Walking or running’. Do you do running over there or are you such a fast walker it appears you’re running?

    • Hey Greg. Nope, I don’t like running — not sure what they mean. I do walk pretty fast when I’m motivated — but seldom am when I’m walking in that direction!

  6. How cool! What a super bunch of kids you have. I love the cartoon of you are super-hiker. Stealth camping would be one of your super powers, I suppose?

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