I didn't post much this month because R and I went to China on vacation for a week. It felt good to get away and explore a new place. Planning our days and getting around left us both exhausted at the end of the day. We were simply too tired to have any nagging thoughts in our heads. All of the stresses of transferring and beginning a new semester got subsumed under the new maps we read and places we saw. I slept better than I had in months.
Teaching and school came back to mind toward the end of our trip. "Out of sight, out of mind" only works for so long, I suppose. Buying Frank McCourt's memoir Teacher Man in Beijing and reading it during the trip played its part, yet that wasn't completely it. No, a number of things we saw or did sparked ideas for lessons or anecdotes in class, like how I went from teaching the summer class ways of saying "I'm not interested" and "No thanks" to saying it every 15 minutes in China. We encountered hordes of hawkers there. I remember thinking that I have learned those phrases in Chinese. By the last couple days, I was feeling refreshed and eager to resume work.
The school days this week have been good. The high school's having a staff dinner tonight for me and the health teacher because we're both leaving the school. I'm going across the county and she's moving to be with her husband, who's been in another country on business for a while. While I'm grateful for the dinner and the goodwill, I hope that the drinking doesn't get out of hand. Soju and beer can taste good, but only for a glass or two. We'll see what happens. I don't want to be rude or ungrateful. It's just that I'd rather drink Chilsung cider to keep a clearer head.
I've been cleaning and moving things out of the apartment for some time now. The place looks and feels bare. The posters have come down from the walls and the books have been stashed in boxes. It felt good to throw out old and unnecessary papers and clothes. Moving also meant mailing out things I'd long delayed. Moving spurs action. Having to move meant doing stuff I'd put off, which I can't do in the future. The little maintenance work here and there will save time in the end.
The new apartment in Sincheorwon will be smaller, but that will be okay. What it lacks in size, it makes up for with two things: A side window in the kitchen and a cross breeze. The Wasu place, despite its large windows, never received much of a breeze, but the Sincheorwon apartments do. What's more R lives in the same building, so we won't have to take different buses home anymore. We'll be able to have more time together. I'm looking forward to cooking more dinners for us.
There's one last thing to do with Gimhwa HS: Update the summer class page. I didn't write anything about the final class.
Two of Cheorwon's teachers will be transferring this month. I wish them both well. We're at semi-annual time of people arriving and departing. Some of our friends have already left the country for new endeavors. I wish them well, too.
Finally, I noticed my post about the Trick Eye Museum in Hongdae has received hundreds of hits lately. I'm happy to see that. Who's linking the page? Why the sudden interest? I'm just curious, for many bloggers (expat and Korean) here have featured the Trick Eye Museum on their blogs and surely others have done it better than I have.