After my last class on Friday in which Older Paul picketed against me grading their tests ("Teacher, I'm a protester!"). We went out because one of my co-workers, Jonathan, had his contract end and we wanted to give him a good send off. We started out at a 'Western Bar' nearby called 'Odyssey' with a giant historically inaccurate spartan warrior in the front. We all got there before Jonathan because he had to clean out his desk. After eating about three plates of food, it was starting to feel like a good riddance party instead of a goodbye party.
Talking with my Korean co-workers is always so interesting. Susan, I just found out, traveled all over the world for her husband's job - first in Hong Kong and then in Kazakhstan. She told us this story about having to send her son - one of my students - to the hospital on horseback because the snow was so deep there was no other way to travel. Where this had sent her into a homicidal frenzy when her husband got home, my reaction was more along the lines of: 'awesome'.
This conversation sparked another about accents and my Korean co-teachers proceeded to imitate various accents in Korean which was hilarious because I couldn't tell the difference and they couldn't stop laughing. Like I know how Korean accents are supposed to sound. The Chinese one was the only one I could spot because of the sing-song quality of the speech.
We traded slang and expressions. For instance, I taught them the phrase 'under your breath'and in, 'she said something under her breath behind the boss' back'. They taught me a gesture that means 'psycho' - a backwards peace sign, with each finger touching your eyes so your nose pokes out. This is because 'psy' (pronounced 'sigh') means 'between' and 'co' means nose. So, your nose is between your fingers. Thus, Psycho. We also discussed the nuanced meanings of words like 'slimy', 'skeezy', and 'vicious'.
It wasn't a really late night, I had to show Jonathan where the bus was to get to the airport and he had to pack still. Apparently, he left a lot of stuff, despite the good two hours of packing time he left himself.
Saturday, I went downtown to meet up with some friends and we did all manner of things, though we never did find that taco cart. Don't worry, there are plans to hijack it and drive it back to Suji where we can use it for our own sinister taco purposes. Stephanie wanted to show me this Irish pub she found in Itaewon that had hard cider on tap. And who should we see the first second we walk in, but the only Irish guy we know. That's right, Martin, of the rafting trip back in May, was sitting square in front of the door even though he lives across town. It was one of those moments where you realize that, although Seoul is big, the ex-pat community just isn't.