Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More Korea

Anytime I've ever heard anyone tell a story about another place, the topic of how big or how ferocious the bugs are will typically come up. I was hoping to avoid telling you all how huge the insects are in this location, but I don't think I can hold out any longer. Moths here are fucking gigantic. The first night I was here -- the first night -- a humungous moth landed on my window and just chilled there. The immense size of the moth was not my biggest concern, however, but instead was the color of the damn thing. Bright pink. No exaggeration, bright pink, like a crayon. For the better part of Monday night, I was terrified that I was being attacked by an Easter egg.

This one is for Alex: Like I said earlier, my classes so far have just been introducing myself and letting the students ask me tons of unimportant questions about my favorite blank. Thus far, every class has asked me about -- you won't believe it -- MapleStory. Nothing made these guys happier than knowing that someone out there, I controlled a level 23 thief.

Since I've been here, I've been thinking a lot about the nature of communication in general. It's interesting to see myself and others try and talk when I don't understand one word of Korean. Conversations usually get boiled down to the lowest common denomonator, and that's how I express myself. Usually, just a smile and a head nod will relate all necessary information, and that fascinates me. That being said, I've been watching a lot of Korean Power Rangers.

Korean TV is the most vapid thing in existence. I swear, I really could sit back and watch an entire program in a language I don't understand and be completely amused by the silly voices and zany sound effects. Commercials are the best, because everything is so ridiculously overblown. Everything sounds like lasers.

Yesterday, during the meet-and-greet with my students, one of them asked me a question that had me being more shocked than I've ever been. This little guy in the corner, really small for his age, didn't say a damn word the entire class, raises his hand and goes, "Do you like black people?" For a second, I couldn't say anything. I was so taken aback that someone would ask me this question. Just flat-out shock. No, of course I don't like black people. Are you crazy? What's wrong with you?
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