10 April 2007

Just the facts, ma'am

My apologies to those of you who are checking my blog and not finding any new posts on a daily basis. I've been run ragged with my schedule lately. Not that I seem to be getting a lot done, but anyway... Here's what's been going on lately.

First a couple of gripes (whine, whine):
I've never been one to get a good night's sleep often enough, but lately, with the split shifts I'm working, I find I'm tired all the time. Part of this is due to the fact that I've had some kind of pain in my butt ever since my surgery back in September. One of my adult students is a doctor and he arranged for me to see a physical therapy surgeon. Apparently I have some kind of weird muscle cramp in a pelvic muscle. He gave me a Lidocaine injection that made it go away for a month but it's come back and I need to go see him again. I believe they can arrange for some kind of physical therapy to correct it. Whatever the hell it is. I'm planning to take some yoga classes, maybe they'll help too. I'm old and falling apart, what can I say. I'll keep going until I can't move any more, though, too much stuff to do.

The split shifts are okay but I find that working from 6:30am to 8:30am and then again from 3 pm to 6:30 pm kind of puts a crimp in my day. I usually come home after work in the morning grab a bite to eat and take a nap. Then it's lunchtime and time to go back to work again. I think this will change soon when the kids are out of school; hopefully it'll make my day more compact.

Friday I went to a nice place in Gwangalli Beach uptown. My bosses husband owns a sort of posh beach restaurant and they invited us up for beer and to test some new menu items on the hapless teachers. I had spaghetti that was more like Singapore noodles with cheese (interesting) and some kind of Japanese-style octopus filled pastry (tasty if you like seafood.) Only my boss and one of the Korean teachers spoke English, the others spoke Korean, Japanese and Chinese. We managed to have a weird conversation about language in a mixture of English, French, German, Chinese and Korean. I know how to be polite in several languages, it's a survival skill. If you can say 'hello', 'please', 'thank you', 'yes', 'no', 'straight', 'left' and 'right' in any language you can get by with gestures and goodwill I think. This will be tested later this year.

I have a crazy plan to do a bunch of travel and teaching at the end of the year. How that works out will depend on how much money I can save. I can hear the skeptics amongst you saying "Rod can never save money, he'll be home without a cent." This is true, but I really want to do this trip, so I don't think that saving the money to get by and travel while working will be much of a stretch.

The plan so far is to visit a few places in Korea and maybe a short visit to Japan, which can be done fairly cheaply. Next February when my contract is up I'd like to take a ship to China and work for a couple of months, take the Trans-Siberian to Mongolia for a few days, then go on to Moscow maybe to teach for a month or two. After that I'd like to take an ESL teacher's course in the Czech Republic, maybe work for a month or two, then either come home or make a quick visit to Tunisia by ship via Italy. If I can arrange it I'll travel to Montreal via container ship out of Marseilles, France and be home by late July or August. Sit around Newfoundland for a month and then come back to Korea to teach for another year.

So, that's the dream. We'll have to see how it works out, but if I get any of it done I'll be happy. It's on the list of things that I feel I need to do:
  1. Live and work in another country and culture.
  2. Travel around the world under my own steam and see it all from the ground.
  3. Learn to survive anywhere with a minimal amount of stuff. This one is hard, I'm a packrat.
  4. Teach (anything.)
If I can do it I'd like to complete an education degree and teach in schools somewhere in Canada, but I haven't figured out the plan for that yet.

Sadly, I had to give up taking French classes for now. Maybe when my schedule changes I'll find it easier. I started the course a week and a half late and was having trouble catching up and keeping up at the same time. Maybe in the summer.

I've been taking pictures and seeing new things here but I have to sit down and sort them out.

I plan to do a big post on Korean food culture from my point of view. I have to take a bunch of pictures and select a few others first.

I hope you're all well and I'll post again in a day or two. Right now I'm going to go and make some French toast and take a nap.


  1. Will you take the "slow boat to China"? I love your plan, although it makes me feel a pang of envy! Just to have it be a possibility is exciting!

  2. I'm glad to see the plan working out. Hopefully when you get back to NL for a visit, you can drop Julie's and my place and cook up a bunch of Asian food and maybe some crazy board games. Looking forward to the food post!!


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