Home > Creativity, Employment, Life > Another week, another weekend

Another week, another weekend

Late on Saturday morning I was woken by persistent knocking at my door. It was the cable/internet guy with the building security guy. The former had come to install my cable and internet. He did so. The internet worked as soon as he connected it to my computer. I tried listening to Radio 4, but the sound wasn’t working, so I restarted it – which caused it to spend an hour installing updates. When I finally got back into windows, the internet worked for about ten minutes. And since then I haven’t been able to connect for more than a minute or so without it ceasing to work. So I still don’t have the internet.

The cable TV package is crap – for my purposes, anyway. I’ll have to buy an additional pack if I want to watch CNN, and a different one for Discovery. I’ve been spending some time the past few days watching American crime drama – Monk, Law and Order and so on. Not too bad, not terribly inspiring, but it makes me feel less lonely.

Saturday also saw the wedding of the two senior teachers at my hagwon – one Canadian, one Korean. Neither had been at work most of the previous week, and I don’t expect them back for another week or two.

In the afternoon, I went to the local Starbucks and did some writing. My new short story is coming along quite well – although at the moment I’m a little stuck. Then I went back home and put on my suit. The trousers and shirt hadn’t been worn for some time and smelled kind of musty. The jacket really needs dry cleaning and the underarms have a mild stale sweat odour. I used plenty of body spray – on myself and on the clothes.

I headed to my Hungarian colleague Bo’s place. Now that July is here, it seems that the monsoon season has started in earnest. Which is to say that, while it still doesn’t rain very often, it’s even hotter and more humid. I sweated buckets.

Bo and I went down to Sinsa (sahf o’ the river) and met some of our other colleagues and Bo’s wife, So-yeong. At the venue, the Riverside Hotel, there were fewer people than I’d seen at the other weddings I’d been to in Korea; excepting us from the hagwon, the only guests on Jon’s side (as far as I could tell) were his parents.

I hung around chatting with Bo and So-yeong. At one point I had my photo taken with the bride, Sunny, and a couple of our other colleagues. In contrast to the other weddings I’d attended, the hall for the ceremony and meal were one and the same. I sat on a chair facing directly away from the stage, so I had to twist round to watch (and peer either side of the massive pillar in front of me).

One of the Americans at the hagwon, David, read limited translations of the Korean announcements/commentary: ‘Jon and Sunny will now bow to the groom’s parents’, ‘Jon will now sing’ etc. I remember him saying a couple of weeks ago that he’d had a sound clip on his computer that occasionally said, ‘I’m afraid I can’t let you do that, Dave,’ (HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey – in case you didn’t know, you ignorant fool). That was pretty much the voice he used for his voiceovers – while trying restrain his amusement/embarrassment.

After all that was over, Bo, So-yeong and I headed north again towards our dwellings. So-yeong suggested we stop at Hyehwa for a drink – so we did. After wandering around the area for a little while (which was all new to me), we stopped at a large empty tea house. I can’t remember what tea I’d got, but I didn’t like it (too fruity) and Bo and I swapped. We stayed there talking for some time … then went home.

On Sunday I had an annoyingly early start. Peter and I were meeting at Seokgye station to travel across town to see Get Smart at the CGV cinema in Sindorim Technomart. We were amused at the design choices. On the inside the Technomart was all fake classical columns and statuary – very Las Vegas. From the outside, the building looks like Optimus Prime’s head, with two golden claws sticking up from the ground in front.

The film itself was reasonable. Very amusing in places, embarrassing in others (the dance with the obese Russian girl). It didn’t quite hang together, and there seemed to be references to stuff that I didn’t get.

Then it was back to his for roleplaying. I’d invited Bo to join us, as he’d expressed an interest when I’d mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. I e-mailed him Peter’s phone number from a laptop on display in the Technomart. But he didn’t make it. And we only have three weeks left before Peter becomes unavailable for four years.

At the hagwon, yesterday we had, and today we will have tests – so no teaching, no preparation required. Look like things are back to normal tomorrow (although a normal Wednesday consists of one class and a load of paperwork that appears to be all done). On the 28th, our summer intensive classes begin, and apparently we have to be in work at nine. AM. Shite.

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Categories: Creativity, Employment, Life
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