Everyone sounds like Charlie Brown’s Teacher

So, I haven’t been doing much this past week.

Last Wednesday, we had the day off for Korean elections, which was a nice break in the middle of the week. Of course it rained all day (and was sunny Tuesday and Thursday). I had planned to do some hiking to Shamanist shrines and was quite determined to go despite the rain. Then I got turned around on the Subway more than once and really lost, too hungry and too cold after awhile, so ended up at COEX mall-a shopping shrine instead.

I often feel like Korea is East meets West on hyper-drive. Rampant consumerism and materialistic attitudes dominate, it is very important to have “good style clothes”. The shopping is out of control-just everywhere a boutique, a man selling stamps or an old woman and her produce. Markets galore and yesterday I saw a man selling tons of shoes on some random corner.

People are very fashionable and boys also seem to spend a lot of money and time to look good. I suppose they are what we would call “metrosexuals”; they’ve got “man-bags” (large purses), coiffed hair-do’s and I have even seen some men sport low heels. Woman are practically always in high heels and dressed to kill, whether going to the park or out to a nice restaurant.

So anyways, COEX is Seoul’s largest shopping complex and it’s all underground, conveniently attached to the Subway-I don’t think I saw even half of it. I got some cheap noodle dish at the food court and saw a movie-I had been running around trying to get somewhere for so long, I just wanted to rest a bit.

Friday night, I was hit by a sudden very painful earache. I couldn’t sleep and called my Korean friend Saturday morning to help me at the Dr.

The funniest thing was that you sit in a dentist’s chair and the Dr. wore a strap with a light on it around his head. He said I have an ear infection and gave me a prescription. The appointment and the medicine were only $7. I have to take like 4 pills after every meal.

So last weekend I stayed in, rented movies and slept a lot. It’s hard to hear native English speakers, so it’s been very tough to understand the kids this past week and I have to say what A LOT. I have been super exhausted, after plenty of sleep too. When I told a teacher I work with, he said the Koreans talk about “Spring sickness”, which is basically feeling very lethargic and sleepy when Spring hits. I normally think of Spring as energizing; Spring Sickness or not- I’m hoping I can hear well soon and get more energy.


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