Paying with a kiss
First of all, is anyone even reading this? "Are you there readers? Its me, Elena."
Okay, so my birthday is coming up and I have always been one of those people who likes to celebrate the whole month leading up to their birthday, and not just one day. This might have more to do with the fact that my day of birth falls rather close to the United States' Thanksgiving Day than anything else, but who just knows. The point is, I know that I really will not get to have many presents this year, since the care package from my aunt may yet proof to be a myth/ get lost and never get to me, and my parents arrive in Korea almost an entire month after my special day. So, I decided that the correct course of action would be to buy myself a nice pair of shoes to complete the outfit I will be wearing to "In the Heights" this Sunday. I dragged Germany along with me for the endeavor, figuring that she owed me for two weeks of wandering around in the cold trying to buy her a coat. Ultimately, I did not end up really wanting the shoes, since the ones I had been eyeing did not come in my size (250 in Korean shoe sizes). However, I decided to buy them simply because the poor shop owner had to run off to some other part of the subway station- mall, just to find the correct size for me. I felt like I needed to buy them after all the work h went through just to find a size that would fit me, and he was gone for a long time looking for them as well. Then, I tried really hard to barter and bargain, my pride and joy lying with the fact that I got him to lower his price from the equivalent of 55 USD to 50 USD along with a kiss on the cheek from me to the shopkeeper. I suppose that now would be the time to tell you all that the first and probably only instance in my time in Korea where a male has shown visible interest was this shopkeeper, and I am pretty sure that he was just joking.
In other news, today is a very special day for Korean high school students. Those in their last year are taking their University Entrance Exams, if they screw up today and cannot afford to take the next year off just to study for this time next year, they are effectively screwed. This is because the results of the exam mean the difference between getting into one of the two good universities in Seoul, or not. In this case, the school is a really big deal because only students who go to one of these two good universities will be considered for higher- level type jobs. The idea of this is pretty frightening to me, and I survived two years of International Baccalaureate testing (like OWLs and NEWTs, for any Potterheads out there... Again, is anyone there?) Basically, talking about all of this yesterday meant that Korean class last night consisted of all of us arguing about how bad our educational systems (the ones in our countries: Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, USA) and the fact that the Korean system is definitely worse by far. The only Korean we did was call the 24 hour "Questions about Seoul and South Korea operator" and ask a question about the DMZ, to which the response was that we should look it up online. Honestly, our Korean teacher is one of the most adorable people I have ever met, and the fact that we all felt as though we were making a prank call in Korean in Korean class just made the whole thing better. Oh my goodness, the operator lady talked so fast it sounded like her words were being sped around with an electric eggbeater.
I am settling into the purpose that I suppose has been thrown onto me here in Korea. I am the court jester... Just kidding, I am the unofficial English Teacher for everyone I meet ever. Yay.
As a testament to how wack I am feeling right now, I had a lot of fun correcting some high school student's speech for Model UN (in English, in Korea), got chastised for laughing silently in the office, and abandoned my sugar-free lifestyle in favor of Coca-Cola and gummy candy, and that was all before lunch.
Lots of love to anyone reading this...
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Everyday Acts of Activism