November 11, 2011
I saw a fair number of soldiers and people in uniform today, and gave some won to a homeless man with his legs gone below the knees. Apparently there is no social services stuff in South Korea, even for someone who looked like he might have been a veteran.
There’s nowhere to buy a poppy, largely because November 11 here is actually Korea’s Valentine’s Day, better known as Puropuro day or something. You buy sweets and gifts to give to your crush, loved ones and close friends, but the big thing to give is Korea’s version of Pocky—purpero—per—p—IIII dunno what the heck it’s called. I’m still just trying to grasp basics here. Admittedly, my efforts could stand to increase. I’ve made myself a hangul cheat card to carry around, I’ve written some of them on paper and have taped them to my cupboards and I try to spot the ones I recognize when I see signs, but I’m certainly no closer to understanding when my students swear at me. Seriously, I need to find a second phrasebook, only with rude stuff, commands, demands and such-like. That’ll definitely get their attention!
We (T, D, & yours truly) went into Suwon today to get my ARC (alien registration card) stuff put together—and the day was pretty smooth sailing.
I’m pretty fried now though, and of course I have to teach in two hours. We couldn’t go on the weekend though, and we definitely can’t go after work since we get out at 10:30 pm. At least I only have to teach two classes today. Had I felt like this yesterday on my scary scary Thursday… eesh.
I love how much cheaper everything is here! We went into Suwon and back on these very lovely and quick trains, and the round trip was about 5000 won, so five bucks. In Ontario to take the GO train round trip from Oshawa to Toronto, it’s more like thirteen bucks. Of course Oshawa to Toronto is admittedly a longer trip, but even still, a round trip from Pyeongtaek to Seoul is apparently around 8000 won or so. Amazing, really.
Although, I misspeak when I say “round trip”. You can’t buy a round trip train ticket here. You buy a ticket to where you’re going, and when you arrive, you buy your ticket back. Or when you’re about to leave. It can mean you will spend an hour on a train with no seat. …Sounds like rush hour. Anyway. It sucks, but it can’t be helped. Yes, I’m going to single-handedly change this policy, using my ten word Korean vocabulary.
…come to think of it, I might be up to fifteen words now. I’d count, but it’s time for sleep.
Work. I mean work.