A final note before we depart for warmer lands….

I’ve found out the North Americans and South Africans could not understand what I was saying when we first arrived in Korea. Apparently their inability to understand my Hugh Grant English accent even warranted discussion between them.

“Can you understand anything he says?”

“Nah dude, I have no idea”

Great. There was me thinking I spoke perfect comprehensible English – apparently not. If that’s how the other English speakers felt then I feel sorry for the poor Koreans. I have started to realise that my spoken English quality is diminishing as I have to speak like a retard for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week. Quite worrying. I’ve even accidentally spoken to a few other ‘foreigners’ as if they were Korean without realising. Words that I previously never used such as ‘delicious’, ‘many’ and ‘same’ are now integral words to my vocabulary, and probably the most used.

Some of my High School girls - They are the loveliest kids

The students have been on holiday since 23rd December. They are still required to come into school for classes. I feel terrible for them. They are really good kids but they never get a break. As I’ve said before they start school at 8am and finish at 10pm every week day, and every other Saturday. In addition to that, all they seem to do is study. I ask them how their weekend was every Monday –

Yes teacha, very good” (Super enthusiastically with a broad smile on face as if it was the best weekend ever)

“What did you do?”

“I study”

Hmm… Sounds like fun. I can’t fault them though, they just get on with things. They never complain and they nearly always have smiles on their faces except for when they are sleeping.

However, a couple of my high school girls came into my office earlier. They looked sad. I asked how they were –

Unhappy’.

“Why?”

Teacha… Engerland… vacation…. student… school…?”

(They wanted to know if students in England had to go to school still during vacation).

I shook my head. They looked distraught. I felt awful for telling them that school children in England actually get to do nothing except have free-time and fun during the long holidays. I didn’t dare tell them how long the holidays were. They then asked –

Only Korea?”

“China too”

“Whole….. Asheeya?” (How they pronounce ‘Asia’)

I nodded my head.

They ‘Ahhhhhhed’ as if they were suddenly enlightened and coyly smiled at the thought of millions of other Asian students suffering and working just like they have too.

Anyway, I have a list of jobs to complete before we leave for our holiday tomorrow!

I apologise for last weeks ranting post – I was absolutely seething (I still am) but I won’t mention it again. Just do not fly with Cebu Pacific or SEAIR – ever!

We (Amelia) cannot wait to escape the cold - check out the frozen river in Hwacheon

Instead of the Philippines we are heading to North-West Malaysia to Langkawi, which is on the Thai-Malay border. We’ll have two weeks of sea, sand and sun and I for one am very excited at the prospect of visiting a hot, tropical, ‘exotic’ country for the first time. Neither of us can wait to escape the freezing cold. It has been -20 upon leaving for work in the mornings this week. A huge contrast to the 30 degree tropical heat we will soon be enjoying.

Anyway, we arrive back to Korea on February 6th. You can look forward to the next post upon our return!

I hope you are all well.

Goodbye for now

xxx

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