We had a celebration dinner, welcoming the new teachers to our school. Out of 8 teachers (K-6 plus the English/music/art teacher) we replaced four of them. That's some hefty turnover, eh? Apparently, in Korea most teachers only stay at a school for 2 to 3 years before leaving and going to a different school. This seems needlessly complicated to me, but what do I know? I mean, in Marion, the elementary school teachers pretty much all stayed in those jobs until a) retirement or b) death. I thought that was the way of the world. How naive I am...
So we went out for dinner. Dinner, in this case, was duck. Delicious duck. Spicy, grilled, bite-sized duck pieces mixed with veggies and then you wrap it up in little lettuce leaves, throwed some grilled garlic and onion on it, and get down with it! Lemme hear ya say get down with it! Really, it's that good. Dinner, when you're out with Koreans, also involves lots of drinking. You have a few toasts before the meal, to kind of get the wheels in motion. You drink with the meal, get yourself up to cruising altitude. Then you pop the hatch open, strap on a 'chute and jump out the back screaming bloody murder while hurtling at terminal velocity and your mouth falls open and your cheeks start flapping in the wind. Shan, you know what I'm talkin about here... but I've lost the thread of my story. Oh, right, um, so the highlight of the dinner is after you eat and everyone is drinking. Believe it or not. But the custom is for younger people to go kneel down by an older person and offer them your shot glass. Then you pour them a shot. They drink it, then hand the glass back to you, pour you a shot, and you drink it. Keep in mind, there are about 15 older people at this dinner, with the school workers and Global Center teachers and principal and vice principal... maybe more like 20, even. Now, I didn't go through this ritual with all of them, but I did do it enough times that I'm not entirely sure how many times I did it, if that makes any sense.
After this bacchanalian extravaganza we bounced out and hit up the noraebang for awesome drunken renditions of really shitty Korean pop songs. And they somehow talked me into singing a Beatles song... the Beatles are really popular over here for some reason... I mean, I know they're popular everywhere, but like, even more so here. It's curious. See if you can guess the name of the song -- it's in this post, but not really.
So, I woke up feeling pretty craptacular this morning. I made some eggs, had some juice, brushed the kitty-litter taste out of my mouth and went to work, where I spent the day doing what I do everyday: nothing at all. At least until the 16th, when students will again begin showing up to the Global Center to learn about etiquette and English and such... oh, and it was shitty here today. Cold and rainy... no likey the spring in Korea. Although I'm told soon there will be cherry and peach blossoms everywhere and it will be glorious and there'll be angels singing and Robin's minstrels will be eaten and there will be much rejoicing. So we're lookin forward to that.