06 September 2009

When It Rains... (Year 3, Day 12)

This being my third year, weekend routine is somewhat... routine. This has not always been the case. After all, in just a couple of weeks during the first year, I was lobotomized, walked up a near-vertical cliff face, and spent an entire day being chauffeured around by a friend of a friend, that friend having just met her friend on the bus the night before. Year One was a positive adventure weekend to weekend with my weeks seeming like a relative vacation for all their routine mundaneness, what with their 20-hour work weeks of predictable schedules. (Who am I kidding? Those had their moments of insanity as well.)

Well, as I said, the third year is more routine. I have my clique that I like to spend time with, and I rarely make trips out of Pohang anymore, both because of expense and because I've already seen and experienced so much. Here's a fairly typical weekend for me now:

Friday Night - Play board games, watch movies, talk at my friends' apartment.
Saturday Morning - Go to sleep around 2 A.M. Wake up in time for Ultimate Frisbee at 11 AM.
Saturday Afternoon to Evening - Continue playing games and generalizing socializing at the same apartment. Go to bed much earlier both because I am tired by then and because ...
Sunday Morning - Go to church.
Sunday Afternoon - Relax. This means drinking a pot of coffee, playing basketball with my boys, reading a book on East Asian history (to each his own...), or--but most likely and--playing guitar.

I sleep in the same bed, I eat in the same cafeteria, and I do everything at roughly the same time.

Occasionally though, I get blindsided. That's what happened this weekend.

Initially, I had no plans whatsoever. I did have the intention of seeing a friend in Daejeon, but when I called her, she said that she had plans to help out with an orphanage party in Gumi on Saturday. (Incidentally, the group that helps out at that particular orphanage, KKOOM, is well worth supporting if you're into that kind of thing. I know some of the founders, and the group is strongly affiliated with the organization that brought us out here. Good things are happening people! Check them out!) So, it looked like it was back to the old routine for me.

Then I get a call from the new EPIK (English Program in Korea) teacher at the elementary school adjacent to mine. She tells me that a bunch of the new EPIK teachers are getting together on Saturday and that it'd be cool if I could come as well to show them around. Sure, why not? It's just dinner and some drinks after wards, right?

Then I call up my good friend Jon F. to see if he wants to tag along. No can do. He's going to the orphanage party too, but he invites me along to Daegu on Friday night to meet some other teachers in our program. Well, okay, I say, but only so long as I'm back in Pohang before 11 AM on Saturday.

So we go to Daegu and generally carouse until the wee hours of the morning. With several teachers from the program, four Korean good sports (I got a lot of speaking practice in at least!), and even an old friend from VALPO who ended up out in Daegu last year at Chungdahm Language Institute. (At least seven of these people were going to the orphanage the next day as well. Why wasn't I going?!) The point is, much alcohol was consumed, songs sung, and memories made. The even more important point is that it wasn't totally out of my system by the time I woke up four hours later to catch a bus back to Pohang for Ultimate... (Of course, to wake up you actually need to fall asleep...)

So, a little (read: lot) hung over, I drag myself onto the Ultimate pitch. I forget how many games we played exactly, but it was about two hours of play time. Enough at least to exhaust me to the point where I fell asleep almost immediately upon my return to my apartment, slept through an alarm, and barely woke up in time to meet the new EPIK teachers for dinner.

Dinner was actually quite fun though. I clarified early on that I wouldn't be hanging out with them too late both because of the night before and because I wanted to make church in the morning. But they seem like a good group of people, and at least a couple would like to play Ultimate. (This will help tremendously, as we've been playing a lot of exhausting 3-on-3 games lately...) The night ended (for me) with a trip to the beach to enjoy the lights.

Then Sunday: Woke up early to catch the bus to church. Read a book on the history of Korean politics and took notes on my computer in a Dunkin Donuts. Played basketball with my boys. Sat down to type up this little window on life as an EFL teacher to you all.

And yet, it is not over for me. My ESPN Fantasy Football league commissioner changed the draft date to a very reasonable 2 pm Eastern Standard Time, which happens to correspond with a quite more unreasonable 3 am I-live-in-Korea Time.

All this is to say, when it rains, it pours.

I'm just happy that it still occasionally does pour.

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