May 19, 2007

teacher's day photo goodness

As far as I can tell, Koreans are always scheming to get out of work. And when the students aren't at school, I don't have be either. I am definitely not complaining, but it's starting to seem like there's an arbitrary national holiday every other week.

This Tuesday the country marked Teacher's Day with bouquets, sports tourneys and student excursions. My students presented me with a potted yellow mini-rose ['awww-ing' in order], and brought me along on their field trip first to Jeongseon's Arirang Village/outdoor museum and then to its famous 'rail bike' track.

Arirang is Korea's national folk song. There are hundreds of versions floating around, but each one plays out the same: a woman laments abandoned love across the mountains (weepy lovey-dovey sad songs are so overplayed here). Jeongseon claims its popular version of the song is the original, and of course there's a lot of local support for that argument. Arirang Village loops the song through speakers camouflaged as stepping stones along a path that takes you through a traditional Korean set-up complete with authentic-looking traditional buildings peopled with intensely expressive statues.

See Exhibit A:
Hey Mom, I met a nice guy!

My co-teacher, Kil Ho Jin, was sweltering in this suit. He thinks this is a bad picture of him, but it's actually dead-on, especially the benevolent look on his face, which consequently is the one look his face makes:

The rail bike tracks run downhill for 7.2 kilometers, so the gravity makes the things really easy to operate. We had a two-seater, but families of four look hilarious on the bigger bikes, peddling furiously downhill in determined unison like some retrofuturist vision of the 'transportation of tomorrow'. The excursion is so popular, the bikes are totally booked up sometimes a week in advance. The day was bright and the scenery was amazing. What else can I say? It was great, so I'll just let the pictures tell the story.

The gal I shared a bike with is the very cute and fun Sunny, who I've mentioned before.

These subvertly sexual Grasshopper rail cars are a cafe where you can sit and make fun of everyone waiting to ride. I'm told their specialty is spaghetti.

Sunny does the 'kim chi' pose better than I do.

Cued up.



Natania said...

I love your new beau Sarah...he doesn't talk back, listens to every word you say, and you don't have to clean up after him!!! Can you bring me one home please?? ya xo

riley said...

oh I fully intend to bring him home to meet everyone.. just as soon as I can.. um.. dislodge him.