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Lockdown

Had the most boring weekend ever . . . and loved it.

On Friday I suddenly became obsessed with watching Prison Break. I’d heard good things about the show, and I have a fetish for bald guys (don’t ask!) and convinced myself there would be some hot guy-on-guy action (sorry).

The next day I found it at Kyobo bookstore, but for $90. This is quite a bit for me, as I’ve grown accustomed to downloading and pirating music and movies here in Korea. So, as when I’m faced with any crisis, I called my mother.

Mom: Huh? What’s wrong?? Where are you?

Pia: I’m at Kyobo. I really need your help.

Mom: Where is Kyobo? Are you okay???

Pia: There’s this television show I really want to see, Prison Break. I just found it, but it’s 90 American dollars! Mom, are you listening?

Mom: . . .

Pia: Mom, that’s a lot of money for a DVD, isn’t it.

Mom: Maybe.

Pia: I know it’s early in the morning over there, but there’s only one copy left in the bookstore! I’m dying to see this series, but if I buy it here and find it for less later, I. Might. Die. Can you look it up online?

Mom: (Sighs.) Okay.

Needless to say, she didn’t call me back that night. Sorry for calling so late early, Mom. After agonizing about it for an hour–and promising myself I wouldn’t get manicures for a month–I decided to buy it.

Pia: Shit, 93,000 won for one TV series. This better be a good show.

Shelly: Oh it is.

Pia: I mean, there aren’t even any cute Korean guys in it. I better get some hot guy-on-guy action.

Shelly: What?

Pia: Well, it is a prison show.

Shelly: There isn’t. There are some hints, but nothing’s shown. Nothing romantic. But it’s a good show, Pia, with a good story and good acting.

Pia: . . . Then why did I just spend 90 bucks?

On the way to What The Book in Itaewon, Shelly suddenly started giggling. I looked over, and one of the pirated DVD sellers had displayed Prison Break. All of season one and five episodes of season two for twenty bucks!

So I went back to Kyobo, returned the set and bought it off the street in Itaewon. Pirated movies are surprisingly good here, as long as you buy films that have already been released on DVD. If you buy a film that’s just come out on theaters, then it isn’t going to look so hot. Anyway, the quality of this particular DVD set was super, with the exception of its sound, which was a bit soft. Also, there were no English subtitles, which I like when I’m on the treadmill.

Anyway, the show itself was good, despite of the lack of guy-on-guy action. A brilliant, head-scratching story with in-depth characters; awesome action sequences; nail-biting cliffhangers and one or two romances that didn’t leave me gagging like love scenes usually do. The acting wasn’t top notch–I though Wentworth Miller was actually the weakest link (like, take off that smirk, you’re in prison!), but he was very, very pleasant to look at so I didn’t really mind.

I bought enough food for two days and locked myself in my apartment. Watched all of season one (but fell asleep in the middle). Because as you can see, I tend to get a bit too obsessed with certain things.

Will watch season two this week. Still holding out for at least one hot gay love scene.

Anyway, it wasn’t like being in Thailand but it was nice enough. It’s been a while since I’ve laid down with crappy junk food and watched television. Even longer if you consider I haven’t watched an English program in months. Sometimes I get a little anxious about wasting my time here, because who knows–these could be my last weeks in Korea.

But it’s always nice to just take a break and do nothing.

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Moving Out

I know it’s kind of pointless, to post on a blog that only ten people read, but if anyone knows of any schools looking for new teachers, let me know. Despite of the breakdown you read of earlier this week, I actually do enjoy teaching. Only the hours (and the cold weather this far up north) were killing me.

Right now I’m looking for work in Seoul and Pusan, because I’d like to take university classes in Korean as well, as well as study Buddhism and yoga. And because of those interests, I would like to spend only 8-9 hours a week in the office–preparation included!

I’m not too picky about accomodations, but because of the number of extracurricular activities I plan to take up next year, and traveling, pay will be an issue. But I don’t think you’ll find me too unreasonable as far as my salary goes. It’s just that this will be my second year teaching, and I really earned my stripes at Wonderland, so I expect a bit more.

Ideally I would start work in February, but I know it’s harder to find work as an Asian. So I’m willing to move back to Korea in late January.

Okay, enough of the pimping. I’m going to be really busy this weekend, but if you want to hang or chill out in Seoul (and you’re a girl!!!) then I’m free on the weekends up til the 20th. That’s when I head on back. Until then, I plan to:

1) Mail everything back home. (I’m donating most of my clothes to the Salvation Army. And on Wednesday night I threw away half my shoes . . . still traumatized.)

2) Buy the first season of Prison Break, because Wentworth Miller is gorgeous and I am shallow.

3) Buy presents for my very patient, understanding parents. I’ll probably buy everyone else’s gifts when I’m in Cali, because I have enough stuff to send home.

4) Look into a trip to New York City! I always wanted to go, and after the New Year I can see myself getting real bored at home. Which isn’t so bad, but I always wanted to visit the East Coast, and the closest I’ve ever been was Texas . . . sad, I know.

Did It Again

I quit my job.

The director was actually gracious enough to let me go on the 20th of December so I can spend Christmas with my family. They are still going to pay for my flight and my one-month bonus. Thank goodness, because I thought that was in jeopardy. They will also reimburse me for my flight to Thailand.

I’m glad I get to spend Christmas with the family, but I’m also upset that the job didn’t work out.

“Pia, you have to eat something.”

I poke out of the hood of my winter coat, wiping the snot with my sleeve. “Huh.”

“You have to wash your face. You have to fix your hair. Are you ready to teach your classes.”

I sit up and start gathering my books. “Yeah, yeah, I’ll have it done in ten minutes.”

“You’d think they’d give you the day off. Or at least let you spend those two weeks in Thailand.”

“No, it’s nobody’s fault. I understand why she decided not to work here. I wish she’d told me yesterday so I hadn’t spent all night cleaning and packing, but I understand. It’s a hard job. I can see why she’s overwhelmed. She’s younger than me, and I remember feeling overwhelmed. Uh-huh, I don’t blame nobody.”

Shelley’s eyes widen as she sees my face. “Pia, please eat something. The cook, she saved some food for you.”

“I should be in the airport right now. I should be eating Thai food. I should be vacationing for a month. I shouldn’t be here, in my coat, in the winter, with more hours in the office. She gave me the shitty classes for December, you know that? I could have died when I found out.”

“Why are you still here? If I were you, I would have been on that plane. It’s not your fault the new girl couldn’t take it.”

“Of course I’m going to stay. How would you teach all my classes.”

“Yes, but you were only going to be in Thailand for two weeks anyway. They should have let you go.”

I rest my head on my desk again. “I just wanted a month off. I didn’t care if I was in Thailand or Ilsan or my little hick town in California. I just wanted four weeks away.” I look up again. “I only signed on for two more months. Not three. That’s a fourth of a year. I can’t do that.”

“That’s what I’m saying. Sod this place. You fulfilled your first contract, and extended it thinking you would be working less hours.”

“I am tired. I want to go home.”

“I know–”

“I want to go home!” I scream, pulling my at my hair. “It’s too cold. I’m lonely! I’m tired! I hate it! I want to go home!”

“Pia, please . . .”

“I want to go home,” I moan, reaching for her. “I want to go home.”

My replacement didn’t show up today. She emailed me this morning to tell me that she would look for another job.

My trip to Thailand is canceled. I am not taking a break this month.

I have never felt so miserable. I want to go home.

Only 29 Hours To Go

I am drained. And I haven’t even packed my stuff yet.

And after some deep thinking (and deprivation of sleep), I decided to come out of hiding. No, I’m not giving up the anonymity thing–although I have really grown to hate it–because I have a job and family to protect. But if you will be Seoul during the last two weeks of December, I’d like to meet you for some coffee and musing. Not to talk about the blog, because that would be boring. But I’m always up to making new friends, and seeing new areas of Seoul.

Note that I am currently open to only meeting girls in public places, for obvious reasons. And no, toting a man-bag and smoking those really skinny cigarettes aren’t going to do you any favors. If I see that you aren’t of the fairer sex, I’m going to take off.

I don’t want to offend any guys out there, but, well, some of you male expats are a bit too freaky for my taste (relax, I said some!) and I don’t want to take any chances. And don’t worry, it’s not a big deal if you never see my face, because I would most likely eat your food anyway.

Feel free to email me at raven_lily09@hotmail.com.

P.S. I’m not sure if I will be able to post or even check the site while I’m in Thailand, so I might have a family member moderate comments (I usually don’t, but I’ve received heaps of spam recently) and check in with news and/or pictures. So this site will be updated.

If you don’t want to check my site too often to see whether or not I’ve gotten food-poisoning or been run over by an elephant, click on the orange box on the sidebar and subscribe.

Those Darn Americans

Marbs on Thanksgiving, caught on Myspace:

I caught Pa eating a Filipino dinner before the turkey was even done, and I’m not sure Mom even had any.

Hee! You can take my parents out of the Philippines, but you can’t . . .

***

I’ve decided to spend the second half of December in Seoul. But this time, I’m going to stay out of my safety nets–Gwangwhamun, Itaewon and Seoul Station.

In the meantime, I’d like to work on boring, dopey interests that have been long neglected in favor of work, Taekwondo, yoga and that cute barista I’ve been stalking. I’d like to reconnect with friends with whom I’ve lost contact (in and out of Korea), take pictures, type on my dumb blog and untangle that funky scarf I started months and months ago . . .

And a big thanks to Amanda for posting pics of the gorgeous Cho Jae-Jin. Christmas has come early, ho ho ho. This should make winter slightly more tolerable.