Well, I haven’t written in awhile. Mainly because of going to the gym. I go 3-4 days a week and the total time it takes driving there, working out, and coming back is about 2 hours. After working out, I’m too tired to do more than just lay around watching a movie or maybe get on Reddit. The days I don’t go, I feel an obligation to go out and see people now that my free time is a bit more sparse during the week. I’ve only been doing it about 2.5 weeks now, but I think I’m already seeing results. I can actually see bones in my chest. It’s been a pretty long time since I could say that.
Last weekend I spent in Songtan with the Hashers. It was a good time. Kind of bittersweet. It was a joint house-warming and farewell party weekend. I didn’t know the guy well obviously, but he seemed nice in the small bit I did talk to him. Seems like a lot of people will miss him. The next day, I go to go onto the Air Force base in Songtan, which was surreal. We got checked in and took a taxi past schools and department stores. Everything was three shades of baby shit brown, but other than that, it looked exactly like America. Even the landscaping. We got legit American breakfast at a diner, and they gave me change back in American money. So weird.
My work week was largely uninteresting. The only thing worth mentioning is that on Thursday and Friday we had speech contests with our afternoon classes. They were pretty routine, but it was a nice way to waste a period of time not teaching. Beth, my best student, did a great speech. She said she wanted to be a hero when she grew up and her super powers would be doing push-ups and telekinesis. She demonstrated by doing all of three push-ups, then used her telekinesis on another student from class. It was pretty funny. She’s definitely getting something.
This weekend I went with five friends to the east coast, to a city literally called East Sea. It was just a fun time at the beach. The weather was a little cool, and we had the beach mostly to ourselves. The highlight of the night was running into a couple with a little girl about the age of my students. She was mentally handicapped and we had fun playing with her. I think I quite easily spent the most time playing with her one-on-one after the other guys got distracted by other stuff. Her mom called me “uncle” (which was really touching) and her dad bought some fireworks for u to shoot off. It was a lot of fun. I don’t know if something like that would happen in the States. Especially since the kid and I would just kind of wander a good distance away on the beach to explore. I don’t think parents in the States would be comfortable with that. Especially with a disabled child. Koreans can be incredibly trusting of strangers.
Soon after that, though, I called it a night. I don’t know what happened, but for whatever reason, I got turned into my moody, introspective drunk self and decided to just go to bed. Not really because I was tired, but I just wanted to be by myself. My phone tells me that this must have happened sometime before 11 PM. Pretty goddamn early. Everyone else came in around 6:30 AM after the sun came up. I had planned on doing that, but I guess it was cloudy and rather unimpressive, so no great loss. I ended up laying in bed (read: the floor) until around 11:30 AM when I got up and decided to have some instant noodles for breakfast.
We left the beach a little before one and started the bus trips home. The first leg was about 40 minutes to a nearby city with a bigger bus terminal. From there it was what should have been a 3 hour ride back to Cheonan, but because of traffic, it took a little over 4 hours. I couldn’t sleep at all on the bus, either. Mostly just tried to sleep to no avail. Though at the one rest stop we made, I bought dinosaur stickers for class and a dinosaur comic book for reading material for me. Gonna learn some Korean dinosaur vocab.
I’m also in the rather slow process of uploading really old photos from Children’s Day and from my phone, so keep posted. Additional Children’s Day photos here: