I turned up at school yesterday to men in white suits walking around. I thought for a minute they had finally caught up with me. Luckily, they were just doing an incredible amount of painting. It was the last day of school, so afternoon classes were cancelled and then we went hiking. It's well over 30C. Unbelievably difficult to walk up a mountain in this weather. I was with a group of middle aged Korean men, so I felt as though backing down would be seen as some sort of abject failure as a man. So I stayed, and we climbed!
Afterwards, all the teachers, (about 150) ate and drank and sang at a Noraebang that was set up outside. I managed to avoid singing, although one teacher was convinced that me singing Candle in the Wind would make the whole event more enjoyable. In my avoidance of the stage I did attract the attention of some middle aged Korean women who took a liking to me. 'Cutey boy.' Apparently. There was also a teacher who speeeksh englishh verish wells. I could'mt believe how great his english was, although bizarrely he's picked up a strong Dutch accent along the way, so I had to try my very best not to laugh in his face! 'Iss reallys wantsh to be friendsh wish you. OK?' It always amazes me how many teachers only speak English when they have been drinking, and then theres nothing at school, until the next time everyone meets up. Good and bad I suppose. Overall I had a fantastic time, I met lots of new great people and I'm reminded that this is why I like Korea.
(other great Korean experience; bumped into one of my teachers at the supermarket, he was buying ice-cream and looked a little worse for wear. We walked home together and he was making very sure I wasn't hit by a car; arm around me at all times, almost throwing me into the bushes when he thought a car was near. Then he held my hand, before we parted ways. I saw him at school the next day, and he acted like nothing happened! Loving Korea at the moment! )
In 10 days I have Sean and Laura over for 2 weeks of Korean Experience. I just hope the Dog restaurant is open when they arrve, the traditional way to introduce people to Korea. If the rumours are to be believed, it enhances the sex drive. So I may well have 2 jet-lagged, tipsy, horny people to take care of, which I can't say I'm looking forward to. Anyway, 10 days guys, it's going to be emmense. Just don't forget my Colgate toothpaste.
The co-author of Korean Capers complained the other week, saying I wasn't making enough references to North Korea and Kim Jong Il. For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, here's a picture of him relaxing at home. (Caption suggestions welcome) The thing is, I'm starting to doubt some of the stories. 'Kim Jong Il is the only person in the world that can play all of Mozart's compositions with the harmonica while standing on top of a mountain breastfeeding a duck in 30 seconds.' Humourous? Possibly. Accurate? Highly unlikely. Andy, I'll release a little known fact about Mr Kim every time you publish a blog post. Anything will do, even some banal tale about buying a fan, or eating spicy food and getting the trots, or strange Korean women licking your fingers in bars on Saturday nigh....oh, wait a minute, that was me. Cycling stories though. We want more of them.
In other news, Thierry Henry reitred, sorry- moved to the MLS. Heres an American chatshow interviewing him. Very thoughtful. It starts really well. 'So, OK, so, you've just won the world cup, right?' and, 'where are you originally from?' Fantastic interview, I wonder if he regrets it yet. Actually, I'm not that bothered! Bye Tierry!
Assalaam-O-Alaikum to you all!