Driven by wardrobe, sweating from the fear

Cool beer, hot weather

Some weeks I just don’t know what to wear. My selection of Summer clothing (i.e. something that’s cool to wear) was limited. Laziness, and the fact that I don’t have any summer weight shirts have driven me to wear what I’d normally wear in the Autumn. A Pierre cardin shirt with black suit pants. I was sweating buckets everytime I moved for any period longer than two minutes, and the prospect of a filling or worse at the local dentists made me a little worrisome. After 10 minutes of waiting, 5 of which was under the cow-eye stare of an old lady, I decided to bolt from the waiting room and take an earlier bus to my high school. I would go another time, when I have less on my plate.

But sitting here in the staffroom of the school, making stains in my shirt, trying to cool down, well it’s the most I’ve sweated in the shortest time. One of the above, would have been most welcome then.

Burger to go, extra cheese

Grammar to me is the basis of English teaching. Technically I’m employed as speaking teacher, but holistically I see myself as a highly paid consultant. In this consultancy, I converse with the workers onsite, addressing what to teach and how to deliver the lesson. Grammar in this case fades into the background and is suppliemented by random conversation points.

It always shits me that these converstation points have no substance at all. As drummed into me and the rest of the recruits at CELTA, “no task without a goal, no result without feedback”. There are other caveats but thats beside the point. I wish there were points to the lessons, but the drive for my lessons as perviewed by the KET is to stimulate interest in learning, English in this case. Enter EBS, the national education broadcast. Short vignettes of about 5 minutes long, the voice actors putting on this horrible faux voice, that all Koreans (and possibly Japanese) think are so cute. I did everything to stop from vomitting, not from the voice acting, but from the lack of substance.

The video posted here, is very moderate and is devoid of all cheese. Native speakers speaking naturally. While I would have posted an example with one with cheese I couldn’t find one.

From hard pillows to hard clientele

Having gotten sick of not having any air-conditioning despite having paid for it, I decided to move to a new motel.

Three weeks on the road teaching at an English camp has narrowed my parameters to what is comfortable, over the mid-term. The new digs are actually branded as a motel, is clean and tidy with a bed that strangely bows slightly in he middle and modern decor in the room.
Being in a small town the rental fee is cheap, and I found out after a conversation with the ajumma that runs the place, is payable after the day has elapsed. A pleasant surprise. The motel is atop of a female only sauna, da-bang, general sauna and hair salon. After seeing two burly men take the lift up to my floor, all the evidence fits; I’ve landed in the working area of a flop shop. In a small town such as Okcheon, I think this qualifies as the red light district spot of the town.

It can’t be that hot, and things can’t be that bad


Things had gotten so hot, that Miss Lee had to take her own fan everywhere she went, just to keep cool.

Sometimes props and circumstances just combine to make the funniest photographs. Aside from the apparent discomfort from having their photo taken, the woman, by the looks of it was just transporting the fan from A to B.

Bizarre player, tinny speakers

The most bizarre objects keep on swimming into my radar in Korea. This one was found in a toilet, at the Elementary school I was doing my English camp at.
Equipped with a motion sensor, it plays songs from it’s own speakers. The nation anthem sung by children and a few other tunes flows from it’s speakers that seem even too tinny for the enclosed and tiled room that it occupies. Obviously no expense spared at remodelling this toilet, but not quite the five-star rating as with the loo in an Elementary school in the void, nor did any other public lavy in Okcheon come close to the super loo, also seen in the void.

Faces and vertices, is this English?


Run, Lola, run was in fact the film. The quote that they borrowed was from a the famous German football coach, Sepp Herberger. For more on his coaching career, you can click here. My current state of affairs, is that the English camp is going well, with the current lesson planning being easier than falling off a log, or in my case, making a powerpoint.

What they (the teacher that made up the material) had (illegally) done was photocopy all of the exercises from a book bought in the UK. The only problem is that the preparatory pages that weren’t photocopied were also important. Fortunately the material is easy enough to follow without much explanation.

However in teaching mathematics (yes, everyone had to do it), was in the abstract. Lots of stuff I didn’t know about, but once again was able to comprehend easily enough. Even the students were able to manage since they’d had been taught it before, in Korean.

For example, how many vertices and faces does a sphere have? A cylinder? The cubes and rectangular prisms were easily sorted, but spheres and cyclinders, were challenging. Anyone got an answer?

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Personal care products, oddly matched

There are a lot of things I get to do in Korea, that I don’t get to do in New Zealand. One of those is to stay in a lot of motels. Motels are pretty cheap in Korea; one night in a motel would be I figure about 60 or 70 New Zealand dollars. To mirror what a fellow blogger has written about motel rooms, I intend not to follow, but to feature in this entry, the strangely mis-matched.
The room had the usual assortment of features that one would expect of a KOREAN motel/ hotel room, but the line up of personal care products leaves, well, explanation. It’s a strange match of products and purpose. Hairspray and facial balm might be one thing, but fly spray, maybe for the armpits if they’re smelling particularly wiffy at the time, is another.