I've been having a much better time with my classes - Tuesday and Thursday are guaranteed to be good days, because all of my students are lovely, and I'm now dealing much better with my Wednesday and Friday problem students than before. I'm lucky in that my kids who 'act out' generally only go so far. If I let them talk in a stupid voice or spend two minutes acting out how sausages are made (including sound effects), then at least they'll speak English and join in with the class. Tom, unfortunately, can't allow that because his students will take an inch and run with it. I wonder why: there are several differences, such as my students are generally from wealthier families, spend more time together (each class is at school together, and possibly in other academies together)... I'm not sure.
The major events of this week were that both Tom and I went out, individually, with an adult student.
Tom went to a 'hof' (which we've been told means 'bar') with a male student on Thursday, as theirs was the last class of the day. I can't tell the full story here as I wasn't there at the time - I just know that Tom came home tipsy with 'shock' (also quite a lot of beer). The waitress had stayed with them, drinking herself, fawning over them, and when he saw the bill it was obvious that they were paying for the privilege of her company! Given that this student has a wife, Tom was disturbed by both the woman's obsequious behaviour (I like to think that obsequious behaviour is something he would never expect from me) and how much his student enjoyed it. He drank as quickly as he could so that they would leave sooner (!) - and was glad to turn down the offer of dinner because he knew I was cooking at home. What annoys me is that the waitress and his student responded by complimenting him on what a good girlfriend I was - aaaaargh. Poor Tom.
On Friday one of my students invited me to go for coffee with her friends. She and the other student in that class have already taken me out for lunch at a very nice, cutesy, Cath Kidston-esque Italian restaurant - I went back there with Tom last weekend and on the way we saw this wonderfully named cafe on the right - so I was looking forward to it.
My student took me, with her two best friends from high school and her daughter, to a very nice coffee place downtown. I've met her daughter a couple of times before - she's about seven (I hate Korean ages, they're ridiculous), and has come with her mother to class when she's been unwell, and I've provided her with colouring pencils and tissue. Combined with the fact that I'm white, and this little girl is in awe of me. She draws pictures of me (her mother is an art teacher), and I often get updates in class along the lines of "my daughter misses you!" It's very sweet. After what happened at the hospital, with a stranger trying to initiate a conversation with me moments after I came out of surgery, I've gotten more and more annoyed with people constantly staring at me, and shouting at me in the street, and generally treating me like some kind of circus freak - but my student's daughter I still have some patience for!
Anyway, we went on to a seafood restaurant and oh my god. Four things are important.
1. I ate raw seafood. A lot of it. It was good!
2. Korean meals are huge. There was so much food... and then the waitress took away the remains... and brought another whole fish out for us. I was the only one who hadn't eaten that afternoon/evening and I simply could not match the amount of food they were putting away. It was astounding.
3. The seven year old was eating clams from the shell, and picking apart crab legs, and eating raw cuttlefish, and so on and so on. I know she was brought up like that, but it was amazing to see a child eating fish that wasn't covered in breadcrumbs!
4. I nearly ate something and then they told me it was alive so I didn't eat it. Urgh.
I had a really lovely evening, although when I got home Tom complained that I stank of fish. Understandable, really.
Today we're hoping to go back downtown because the Christmas lights are now up! We went to see them last week but there was nothing, apart from a few (unlit) bulbs on a couple of trees - but on Friday my student's friend drove past them and there were lots of Christmas lights everywhere. It was very exciting. Pictures will hopefully be forthcoming.