My area of Gwangju has been experiencing a boom in construction over the last few years. Most of the buildings being put up are either 4-story apartment buildings or restaurants and other businesses. What’s cool is that a few of the newest buildings in my area house the Gwangju FC soccer team, so I always see the players lurking about the streets. Given that the area isn’t exactly Gwangju’s most exclusive, it’s a surprise these guys aren’t being barraged regularly by hordes of young succubi seeking their courtship.
Being the only foreign teacher at my hagwon, there are naturally some things I fail to do as well as my predecessors. But there are also some bad habits of theirs that have lingered with the kids and need undoing. One thing I have to undo is the students’ constant misuse of “good” when asked the question, “How are you?” I don’t know who let that slide from the start, but I’ve been committed to undoing it in the last few months.
On the other hand, some bad speaking habits are no one’s fault.
According to Gwangju Blog, the Gwangju Metropolitan Office of Education has recently decided to shorten the amount of time high school students can be under instruction. This leads to a curious realization: While my beloved California is experiencing cutbacks in education due to financial reasons, Gwangju is cutting back because there’s too much education going around.
It’s like the overachieving employee of the month daring to take a day off.
I went with a friend recently to an Ediya Coffee shop near Chonnam University, and stood in awe at this fragmented run-on sentence proudly mounted on the wall. It even had its own floodlight illuminating the butchery of my dear, sweet language.
But rather than shirk away from it like a leper seeking my touch, I chose to sit directly under its gaze. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
One need not look long nor hard to find English, the world’s most butchered language, hung from the four corners of the Earth like rotting carcasses. South Korea provides ample victual for grammar prudes to wave their castigating fingers and shake their heads. Here are some of the things I’ve been wagging my finger at lately:
I recently visited Damyang, a place popularized by the many streets lined with massive metasequoia trees. This street is sometimes seen in mushy Korean dramas---perfect for melodramatic breakup scenes or glossy flashbacks to happy relationships of yore.
It’s easy to overlook the genius behind this syncretism of pizza and cup. Upon first glance, it seems like either a waste of a good cup, or a perversion of sliced pizza’s intended form. But there’s one element that can turn this ad hoc serving style into pure genius: Children---lots and lots of children.
Upon first glance, Korean hikers are about as serious as they come, rivaling even the Germans in their dedication to looking the part.
There are many different styles of hiking gear in commission throughout Korea; there seems to be a laissez-faire approach to what assortments a Korean hiker can wear and, from what I’ve seen so far, the sky is the limit: