Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Shower

And now, with Haju and Inju out of the country I've been hanging out more with the St. Paulie's girls when I have time. Between presentations and the like. Did I tell you about the craziness with the presentations in August and September, because boy that has also kept me busy when I'm not hanging around with people. Of the two the August presentation was probably the most amusing. It had been set up by a former co-work at the EV to have me come in and do some training for teachers opening a new Village. I figured what they hey and went for it. This was a two day session, six hours spread out over two days. I had a rather vague sense of what I was doing, but like a challenge so I packed my computer and headed up to Seoul to regal them with my knowledge of teaching English in Korea at Villages.

The training itself went off without a hitch. I met the forty plus teachers at a very nice conference room in a conference/hotel mallish sort of place in Seoul. It's always nice to meet new people coming to Korea to teach for the first time. Before heading up I thought I was going to have to find my own room and was thinking I'd probably end up in a yagwon (cheap love motel) but it turns out that the organizers had picked the location for its on site hoteling capability to I was supplied with a room upstairs. The place also came with a gym downstairs so I got to work out and have a nice room. The only downside of the place was the food was not great so I ran out and had a dinner of crackers and cheese.

I also didn't get too much sleep as the teachers were having a bit of a party. I do hate being a professional sometimes, but when you are being paid a reasonable some to come up and do a six hour training it is not a very good idea to go and join a party of the people you are training. So I sat on my hands, stayed in my room, brushed up for tomorrow's events and tried to go to sleep. Sleeping would have worked out better if the mattress had not been so rock hard that I almost put my teeth out falling down on it. But I did manage some sleep for the next days work. When I woke up I figured at least I get a shower, and that was when I discovered the rather unusual nature of the shower system.

I like a nice shower. I suppose that I have resigned myself to the fact that I shall never have a bath again, or at least will fail to have one for as long as I continue to live in Korea, since baths are for bathhouses and showers seem to be the increasingly popular norm for everywhere else. I was disappointed that the hotel didn't have a bath, but you make do with what you've got. So I climbed into the shower for a six am wake up, turning on the water, ready to go, when the water died.

I looked at the shower, thinking I must have done something wrong. It was a push button, I tried pulling to no effect. So I pushed the button again. The water started, I'm whistling away, and the water died. At this point I'm having a rather Mo moment. "Why I oughta…" I push the button again, there goes the water, now my head is wet, the water dies. This resulted in a Curlyish scream and resulted in one of the most eventful showers I've ever had; trying to figure out how to time it just right so that I could get clean and keep the water running at the same time. There was more then Curlyish outburst as I plodded through it, but in the end I can say that I was awake, perhaps even clear witted, and for the most part clean.

I think the shower was probably the most eventful part of the trip. Well that and making forty English teachers create a class plan in which they could use nothing but paper to teach. That's right, I said paper. No pencils, no crayons, just paper and students. That was fun. I'm always impressed at how creative people can be when you give out only a minimum of supplies and ask for something to happen. Exciting.

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