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13 September 2004
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Korea Life Blog - John from Boston

One of my long time readers, John, from Boston, arrived on Saturday. We started to chat on messenger one night after one of my posts and basically had kept in contact every day for the past 6 months. We have very similar backgrounds and a lot in common. He had been planning to come here to teach after having visited here for a few weeks before and he finally got here.

He flew from Boston to San Francisco and to Seoul. With the traffic, the layovers, etc., it took him over a full day. Julie and I met him at the airport on Saturday and it was raining hard outside. We brought him back to our place and the bus stopped too close to our building to take a taxi, and we had to carry his bags down the street in the pouring rain. It rained all weekend so he ended up staying with us until this morning. Today I brought him over to that yeogwan in Yeokgok and the ajushi gave him the same deal he gave me, a decent room for a month for only 350,000 won (about $300). See this post. John plans to stay for at least a year and learn Korean and teach English.

The only thing we don't have in common is size. The guy is beefy like Ah-nold.

We were trying to use his nice new Canon digital camera, but obviously we haven't figured out how to use it right yet.

Another shot with his camera. I kind of like this one. That's my foot there. Julie cooked up this mandu snack for us on Sunday afternoon. I made poor John watch Rocky 1, but he genuinely liked it. Everyone should see that movie again (and again and again). He was just as surprised as I was when I re-watched it for the first time.

He showed us some pictures like this one of his last meals before he came to Korea. I miss meatball subs like this. Fortunately, John loves Korean food just as much as me, if not more. He kept buying bags of dried squid from the convenience stores here.

Here are John's expensive bags. I guess thats another difference we have. He's a man of high-class style and I'm absolutely not. He brought a lot of stuff including pillows and a blanket and a nice new IBM laptop and even that huge framed photo someone gave him at the last minute and he was forced to bring here. I feel kind of bad for him staying in that small yeogwan with all of this, but you can't beat that deal. Plus he's right near the subway, which will make it very convenient for him to go out and look for a job.

He asked me what I needed from the states and I had him bring me some necessities such as these two logs of salami and pepperoni. All of us munched on the salami already. Julie just loves it. She's never had it before (except when JongnoGuru gave us some after his trip to California). I wish they had a nice Italian grocery shop somewhere in Korea. By the way, I took this with my camera. Not bad for a Minolta.

In other news: I had a great day at work. I still can't believe what a good job I have. My "secretary" makes me coffee and does all the paper work (calling the parents, writing down my daily lessons for the school, etc.). She even jumps in to give me good ideas while I'm teaching. These ideas are always very helpful, not intrusive. The kids are amazingly well behaved and have taken to the class already. I feel like I'm a real teacher for the first time in ages. This is the first time I've ever enjoyed my job, actually. More on this soon.


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