And so ends the first half of Year 2. Finally!
I bought probably way more snacks than my students needed for our movie time – chips, the Korean equivalent of cheese Ritz Bitz, fruit snacks (splurged on the expensive imported Welsh’s), choco pies, and juice boxes. But they were excited and appreciative, and that’s good enough for me.
I’d never actually seen Bridge to Terabithia, only skimmed review sites to make sure there’s no weird or inappropriate content. [I’ll be honest- I totally confused this movie with Race to Witch Mountain – hey, they both star AnnaSophia Robb – and spent several minutes wondering when The Rock was going to show up.] Hence I didn’t realize (**spoiler alert**) that one of the two main characters dies towards the end. I was sitting in the back, so no telling whether any of my girls were crying. Nevertheless, they seemed to enjoy it.
I also handed out mini, colorful 90-cent notepads to the team that had won the Tongue Twister challenge. For such a tiny prize, I was touched that the kids oohed and aahed when I presented them.
Then I let them all come back for seconds at the snack table, because goodness knows I don’t want to lug all those boxes back to my apartment.
One of the girls ran back after all the kids had departed and shyly handed me a coffee. (That girl knows where it’s at. heh heh.) But seriously, it was really sweet. She probably picked it out and bought it herself.
Then I went to eat the dreaded fish jjim in the main teachers’ office for lunch – but because it was with my favorite co-teacher, I didn’t mind so much. I only accidentally crunched like 5 fish bones and only had to extract about 20 more while eating. Not too shabby. I also learned that apparently some people actually just eat the bones. wow.
And this is a true measure of how I’ve adjusted to Korean food – I don’t find this particular jjim spicy at all anymore, whereas the first couple times I ate it, I could barely handle two bites without extreme eye-watering, nose-running, and tickly-throat-coughing. Sometimes I think, “wow, they sure have lightened up on the spice factor in this dish” and then I’m like “you big dummy, they aren’t changing the recipe, your taste buds have changed.” Whoops.
Following lunch, I had a lovely hour-long chat with my co-teacher, since today she was assigned to deskwarm in the main office alone because the other teachers had other responsibilities. She suggested that we check out the cooking class in the cafeteria (this was another week-long class like mine, but was offered solely to the low-income students of the school).
When we entered the cafeteria, a bunch of the kids turned around and lit up, “Hi teacher!” They were eager to show me their sandwiches (have I ever mentioned that in Korea, sandwiches can include one or all of the following [usually all]: fried eggs, coleslaw, jam WITH meat, spam, various fruits… sweet sandwiches are very popular, whereas I feel they wouldn’t go over that well in America).
I also inwardly groaned at the “New York style” hot dogs they were making, which consisted of: hot dog, mayonnaise, green leaf lettuce, American cheese slices, and dumpling-style ground beef mixed with sweet chili sauce on top. This is why Koreans don’t think American food is all that great!!! I’m sure if they were visiting America, they wouldn’t trust an American to make authentic Korean food, so why do they trust Koreans to make authentic American food? In my entire time in Korea, I don’t think I’ve had a single meal at any restaurant that actually tastes American (and yes, American cuisine honestly does have its own set of flavors which you maybe can’t really appreciate until you can’t quite find those flavors ANYWHERE). Mind you, I live in Daegu and there is a shortage of foreigner-run restaurants here. I know there are some authentic foreign places in Seoul, but I never go there, so too bad for me.
Anyway, whatever! Minor annoyance.
Bigger annoyance: the weather has been in the upper 90s all week and will continue to be so all next week, seemingly. I got very angry while walking home from work today because NO HUMAN BEING SHOULD HAVE TO SWEAT WHILE STANDING STILL DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. In the 7 minutes of walking home, I became disgusting. Unacceptable, Daegu. /rant
Anyway, weather aside, TGIF and TGIVacation!