Cinder blocks don’t float, they need life vests

DSC_0139I have as much swimming ability as a cinder block and as about as much floatablity as one too. So when I said yes to a day at the Aquatic spa center in Asan city, I said so with some trepidation. Since the title of the center had absolutely no mention of ‘swimming’ in it at all. I think I was safe. This fact was made sure by the lifeguards, who, standing on the rim of the pool forbade anyone to swim past the 1.5 meter depth marker. If you did so, they told you this using an unpowered megaphone. No batteries and it works in the wet too. I even managed to swim a few laps from side to side in the pool. Initially free style and then back stroke.  I even did a few dog strokes. Swimming in a pool of 100 of my students was okay, at least until they got used to their environment. Then it was seeing if you can splash someone the hardest. Just thank goodness we were each issued a life vest. It made my job of staying afloat, well a non-issue. Sitting (with the aid of the life vest) low in the water, with my head just above the waves was calming and also vulnerable to students attentions.

DSC_0138 “Teacher, are you okay?” Upon confirmation, they would then proceed to splash me. Kids, what do they know? Since I was more or less lying on my back in the water, I just kicked my feet at them, causing a mountain of water to fall on them. Now who’s all wet?

Bus tours, to the picnic table


It has to be the strangest place to have slept, but I’m not sure if I slept at all. Public sleeping isn’t at all an unusual sight in Korea. On the way to the World Expo in Yeosu, the bus had parked at around 3am, and without announcement, and more of a necessity, the entire busload of tourists went to sleep. I came to the drowsy, pain-induced realisation that I had to get off of the bus to sleep. Parked at a rest stop, the facilities had it’s allotment of picnic style tables. Choosing one, I initially put the hood of my rain jacket over my face (it was too suffocating) so instead moved it aside so that only my mouth was uncovered. The rest of face, namely my left eye, was covered from the overhead lighting. Apparently I did sleep for a time as my wife made occasional trips from the bus, to check up on my progress.

I have to say that I’ve never sought the company of fellow English speakers but, in my tired state of mind earlier in the evening, I found some America’s female conversation incredibly whiny. She was conveniently located in the next row behind me.

I just wonder if all the effort to see the expo will be worth it or simply I’d be to tired to appreciate it all and sleep through it. We shall see.