Friday, May 23, 2014

fleeting thoughts after a few hours in Seoul

1. The cabbie who took me from Seoul Station to Jongno was one of the coolest drivers I've met. Aging, humble, cheerful, not too talkative... and like those ladies I mentioned before, he never once made a big deal about the fact that I speak Korean.

2. I went back to Pho Mein (first mentioned here). The place is funny: it purports to serve Vietnamese food, but the food's been heavily Koreanized. My spring rolls had fake crab in them, as well as danmuji, i.e., sweet pickled radish. The food still tasted fine, but I think a Vietnamese person would have something to say about the culinary point of view.

A girl at Pho Mein remembered me from my months-ago visit. She remembered where I'd sat, what I'd ordered, and the fact that I had come close to closing time (for which I apologized this time around). She gave me a coupon to use the next time I came by.

3. While at KMA, I broke a chair. Snapped off the left arm, right in front of my two supervisors, as I tried to lever myself to a standing position. One supervisor told me not to worry: KMA's chairs have been similarly damaged by people much slighter than me. Sure enough, when I looked over at the far wall, there were two more chairs that were missing their left arms.

4. The KMA course that I'll be teaching tomorrow is about "strategic communication," i.e., communication with the goal of gaining something (e.g., a pay raise). It looks to be exciting material; I'm reviewing it this evening as preparation, then I do a marathon from 10AM to 6PM tomorrow, with an hour's break for lunch. Seven adult students are enrolled, and I've been advised that many of them will be very sharp. This ought to be a welcome contrast from teaching beginner-level kids at DCU.


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