And kids can be relentless. I don’t mean Korean kids, either, ALL kids. Any kids. I am so glad that it’s Friday. Wednesday and Thursday are hard days. Haha, but I do have a habit of writing down the cutest things that the kids do. One of the kids–who looks kind of like a jolly, chubby train conductor, always says “Yes Sir Captain!” When I tell him to do anything. It is seriously the cutest thing.
It seems like almost everyone who comes here has sleeping problems. I think it has to do with all the alcohol. Korea is a HUGE drinking culture. The men stay out all night drinking with business partners–cementing relationships through drunken ridiculousness. When they are sober, these things are not talked about, but it is a ritual that routinely breaks the passive aggressive nature of the Korean culture. It’s like a safety valve. (Except that women don’t participate, so I don’t know what their valve is supposed to be.) It seems like most Americans here have absorbed this tendency to drink until dead almost every night. It… well, isn’t very appealing to me. There’s partying, and then there’s running away.
Anyway on Thursday I went to visit with the young woman that I met at GS25 on Sunday. She is really nice, and her English is quite good, so we have a lot of interesting conversations. She took me to a Thursday market, which had just appeared on the road near her apartment building. It’s interesting–there are all these huge apartment buildings, cookie cutter the same, marching off into the distance–but in between them there are old women with vegetables, clothes for under 5 dollars, and all kids of weird stuff–Africa style. These markets seem to move around and appear with little respect to time. Or maybe I just haven’t figured out the time yet.
On Wednesday I discovered a stationary shop with stickers, and so I might find a way to start a sticker point system… I don’t know. I don’t like the idea of bribing the kids, because I don’t know if I will be fair about it. Plus I want them to earn their stickers, man. Bad kids are not about to get stickers.
I have a kid in one of my classes who is difficult to deal with. I am pretty certain that he has a form of Asperger’s. My first day with him, he was terrible. He almost threw a desk at another girl. But the girls were teasing him. And they keep teasing him. And I have NO idea how to explain to them that teasing this kid is going to set him off. I’ve not had problems with him again these next two times, but boy howdy… I have been walking on thin ice. I need to make friends with him, so that he trusts me enough to TELL me when he is angry, instead of flipping out. But I don’t know how to get the other girls to stop saying nasty things to him in Korean. And the sad thing is that he’s just an adorable kid–and he is a genius. I can have conversations in English with him that I can’t have with kids in my highest classes. AND he is younger than everyone in the class. Sigh. Maybe it’s not Asperger’s… maybe he’s just acting out from a crazy family. Maybe he needs the attention. I don’t know. But for now, I need to get him to trust me, so that I won’t have to walk on thin ice all the time.
Anyway, I am happy that I have made some friends. I met the other two coworkers at my school, and they are nice and interesting people. It’s nice to have some boys to hang out with. It seems like everyone I meet is female. And it’s not even an interest thing–it’s just an “I need balance” thing.