The long Chuseok weekend was good, lots to talk about. But for now, I am tired, so only links.
– By the year 2009 Seoul intends to do away with all street newstands, as well as other vendors. Street vendors are everywhere in this city and are those who come from poor backgrounds. I wonder what the city plans to do with all those people who make their living off these stands?
– 1 out every 10 Korean students is obese. Keep in mind that obese here in South Korea is still relatively small compared to American Standards. It’s easy to imagine why too, as children are merciless to students whose body is not thin (by their standards). The other day I was teaching a 4th grade lesson where I asked students “who is he/she” and when I came to a girl, who seemed to me to be of a perfectly normal body shape, a bunch of students answered “She is pig.” They began to make oinking sounds as the girl just half smiled. Their normal Korean teacher (who was sitting right next to them) did nothing to stop them and I was left to use the little Korean I knew to make them shut the hell up. This is not a good place to be a girl who is over a size 4 or 5.
– Actually, I’m surprised at the lack of overweight people here since I have never met as many people in my life who spend as much time eating and drinking too much as some of the people I have met here. I have been out to multiple meals that probably involved a single pound of meat per each person who was at the table, and then they ordered noodles afterwards; ridiculous. I will say however, that none of the meats included any fats or were cooked with any oils…maybe that’s the secret.
– This is a good time to exchange the millions of won I am making for dollars. (normal exchange rate is 1000 won to 1 dollar)
– South Korea and North Korea may be discussing an official peace treaty to end the Korean War during the summit scheduled for this October. Much to the worry of officials in Washington who fear if the treaty does go through it will probably necessitate the removal of most, if not all of the American troops stationed here in South Korea. Most Native Koreans I have asked about the subject think it has to do with the upcoming election this December, as an official end to a long dormant war would definitely given the Incumbent President Roh Moo-hyun a boost in the polls.
– Finally, my favorite quote so far (and doubtful it will be topped) “Teacher, English makes me hard.”
yes it does Billy…yes it does