Tuesday, 10 July 2012


“If I could offer you only one tip for the future… sunscreen would be it… the long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists… where as the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…”

If only I had listened to Baz Luhrmann. Then I wouldn’t be sat here two days after being exposed to the suns sizzling rays still feeling uncomfortable and itchy and still looking like a ripe tomato. I’ve rubbed copious amounts of Savlon into my back, I’ve looked up home remedies on some rather untoward websites in search of a quick cure for the burning sensation, I’ve stood in front of my air conditioner, I’ve basked in freezing cold showers, but still the problem persists. Min-gi one of my overly excitable third grade students thought it would be funny to hit me really hard on the back today. I can still feel his hand.

Ok, I’m over reacting. I’m not going to develop any tumours, but it bloody hurts and it was my own stupid fault. We went swimming down by the river again on Sunday. The sun was beating down. I haven’t been so hot all summer. When the sun dipped behind a cloud there would be a gentle breeze and the water would be cold, when that sun was out I couldn’t bear to leave the water. The river is deeper now, only two weeks since the last time we swam in it and the onset of rainy season is taking effect.

I enjoyed swimming in the river and I enjoyed walking to and from the river but what I didn’t enjoy is my back, shoulders and face being burnt to a cinder. It’s not even funny. Mr. Chae thought it was funny. The first thing he said to me on Monday morning was “you are an apple.” Students have been pointing and laughing asking me “what?” “why?” “teacher red.” “teacher tomato.” Hilarious.

I’m sure it won’t last much longer. It’s only really my shoulders that are painful now, but they are still painful. This week is going by quickly. Thus far I’ve had all of my classes and I’ve been given no indication that any other classes will be cancelled this week. Although there are some rather intriguing things written upon the monthly calendar in the office that makes me think that there might be a few school trips on the cards. I can dream. I wonder just how many classes I have left with my kids now. Each class could very well be the last.

I’m giving a summer camp that will last eight days that will start on the 25th July. Although I have a distaste for anything Olympic and if I was in the UK I would no doubt be infuriating everyone I know with arguments against the hosting of the games, the Olympics have given me an easy theme for my camp. I have a few ideas about exactly what my classes will consist of, the Olympics opens you up to all kinds of different language lessons. It should be fun, we’ll make posters, we’ll play games and we’ll have a few of our own little Olympic events, egg on a spoon? Could get messy.

Everything is falling into place. Natalie will be here in just over a month and I’m very excited about her arrival. Three months is a long time to be apart. We’ll make up for it with our big vagabonding adventure and although everything is pretty much planned now I’m still scouring the web to look at things we can do and see and eat whilst we’re on the road. If you ever want to go on a trip and don’t want to plan it, call me up, I’d be happy to help. I can’t get enough of it.

I’m still undecided as to what I’m going to do on my vacation, I’m torn between the temple stay, a visit to Gyeongju to visit the UNESCO world heritage sites or a trip to Seoraksan National Park, I probably won’t make up my mind until I’m actually on my vacation.

Well, it must be time to leave work now, the maintenance man is walking around shouting “te gun” (home time) as he does every day. It’s the little things like that I’m going to miss when I leave Korea. The sense of achievement on a student’s face when they read a word that they didn’t think they could, the look of overwhelming accomplishment when they get given some candy, the treacherous, deadly bus rides through the mountains, the lady who knows that when I walk in the door of her snack bar I’m after two rolls of gimbop… simple pleasures…

Trust me on the sunscreen…

1 comment:

  1. ...treacherous deadly bus rides through the mountains....I know what you mean by that... enjoy your trip to wherever you go..Andong was a good place to... Korea is still a riddle to me... the next few weeks will go by fast for you