Land of the Lost

I had the best trip home. People thought Rhys and I were kind of crazy for flying all the way back home when we have all of Asia at our doorstep to travel to for half the price. YEA RIGHT! Nothing was better than getting home, seeing all the familiar faces I’ve been missing so much in the last 9 months, getting a taste of all the foods I’ve missed, and speaking English and being totally understood 100% of the time! Totally worth the 35 hours in transit, each way! Awesome to see everyone and so hard to leave, the blizzard in NYC tried changing my plans, but in the end after a few hours in the airport and a few more hours on a plane being de-iced I was in route to Korea.
Came back to school to find school & guess what? Cancelled. I never know what goes on. Imagine the shock on my face when I walked into my office Tuesday morning to find my computer was gone and my desk was gone. “I swear I was only gone 2 weeks and when I left my desk was right here??!” There’s a new Vice Principal and a new Principal and my go-to-teacher that takes care of all my on-goings and tells me what the hell is going on everyday has also changed on me– and my new co-teacher speaks no english, or speaks ‘no englishee’ as she tells me. Even though my old co-teacher who speaks superb English, sits right next to me, and is still here, but for some reason is not my co-teacher anymore. However, someone who struggles through every sentence is. TIK =This is Korea. It’s going to be a long 6 months. Good thing I’ve mastered this poor look of  ‘Please give me a break, I am a foreigner who doesn’t even know how to teach!’ I guess it is simply back to living in the land of the lost.

Grade 1 is new (it’s the start of a new school year in February, so they would be 6th graders at home), and today they had their introduction to Middle School. All of their proud mammas and grandmammas were in the halls peering into the classes where the kids put on this show that they are actually good kids who don’t break windows and throw things across the room while the teacher is fumbling through a lesson. Instead, just for today, they sit tentatively listening and smiling during the lesson.
I was making my way around the school when I reached the Grade 1 floor where all this listening and smiling nonsense is going on. The parents and grandparents have flooded the narrow hall on their tippy toes (like they are at a concert standing in the very back row just trying to get a glimpse of the action going on upfront). And the hundred or so of these happy parents are all standing in……. black trash bags. Two black trash bags to be exact. Don’t worry they aren’t potato sacking it in one big bag, although that would have been much funnier. One for each foot, tied nice and tight around the bottom of their legs. Honestly, this stuff makes only makes sense here. Just try to picture these women who have come to Samho dressed up for the occasion, black dress, earrings, shiny necklace, a nice hint of perfume, and they have a black trash bag tied nice and tight around their ankles!

“WELCOME PARENTS, to SAMHO MIDDLE SCHOOL OPENING DAY all trash bags are located to your left.”

Who knows, I’ve learned to never ask why, just smile and nod and give them a, “Sorry, I don’t know what’s going & I don’t know why I have misplaced my trash bags look.”



p.s. I am sorry I don’t have photo evidence of this! I thought they’d notice the creepy foreigner in the corner snapping away with my camera.

2 Responses to “Land of the Lost”
  1. Kelly C says:

    NIcky this is hilarious! It was really good to see you at home even only for a night. It actually makes me a bit sad reading your struggle as a foreigner.. I can’t imagine.. but I know you’re still happy. Good luck with your new co-workers and miss ya! I’m going back to aussieland in September… we’ll have to visit somehow. Take care!

    • Nicky says:

      Hey Kelly, would love a skype session soon. & yes, everyday poses a little bit of sturggle here because of the language barrier, but on the whole it makes life that much more entertaining! Great to hear your headed back to OZ, I’ll be in India if you fancy a get away!!

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