24 hour season change

It suddenly became fall two days ago…. brrr….. it’s nice though.

People are acting like the nuclear crisis with North Korea has totally passed. I’m personally not convinced, but I’m glad things have quieted down a little. Tourists are still going to the DMZ and into North Korea even, so that makes me feel better. Maybe it shouldn’t, I don’t know. I saw the stupidest thing on CNN (we get an Asia-focused CNN here so I don’t know if you saw this special). This correspondent did some very “dramatic” coverage of the crisis from the DMZ -“one of the most dangerous places on earth” he said. OK, if you look behind him, there are school groups on a field trip there. Oooohhhh, what a brave reporter. You know what’s funny? CNN International, which is geared towards Asia, plays “The Daily Show with John Stewart” at night, as news. I love John Stewart but I can’t imagine what the Korean, Thai, or Indian average joe might be thinking when they watch it –on CNN. It’s a little odd to me. Sadly, we do not get the Colbert Report. But we do get… the A Team (that’s right that old show with Mr. T). Anyway….

I finally went to a sauna. It was a cheap one ($3) which only had a hot bath, cold bath, and sauna room. For $10 you can get ones with things like ginseng baths and it can get exponentially higher from there with all sorts of stuff ranging from massages and body scrubs to traditional medical treatments like cupping (which I might try sometime). Saunas (more what we would call bathhouses) are everywhere. There are half a dozen that I know of between me and my subway stop. It was neat, I was surprisingly comfortable hanging out naked in a hot tub with coworkers and curious old Korean women. I’m officially a fan of the public bath.

We had dinner in Itaewon (the foreigner area) and I had …. a CHEESE AND OLIVE PLATE!!!!! It was magnificent. Six kinds of real cheeses with green and black olives. A good day I have to say.

Not to say that I’m not enjoying Korean food. I actually really like kimchi and have caught myself craving it. There’s a few dishes here that I love and will miss when I leave. The chili paste they put on everything is delicious. Oh man, my stomach is growling now. Weird thing, ramen noodles here taste way better than ramen in the States.

Classes are still going well, we have a huge Halloween party coming up which will be fun. Kids can even bring friends– it’ll be nuts. Teaching is weird, I guess because I never thought I would be doing it. Sometimes when I reflect on the week I can’t believe the things that I have had to say “For the third time, no farting in class” “I saw you break all of your pencils on purpose, no you cannot go to the pencil sharpener, lucky for you I have an extra pencil” *sigh* The kids are all great though and the problem cases have smoothed out.

My Korean has good days and bad days. I successfully got pants altered the other day with minimal miming, that felt good. But I am 0-0 on trying to order in food. I have two clients now for private tutoring and it is nuts what they pay for you to just sit and correct their pronunciation and grammar.

There’s a lot of things coming up that I’m looking forward to. I’ve arranged two trips outside of Seoul- one to see temples and one to see archaeology stuff. I might have set up a volunteer thing pending more information. I’ll keep y’all updated. Miss everyone! I’m going to eat now.