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experiences in Korea

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Joined: 02 Jun 2003
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 8:32 am    Post subject: experiences in Korea Reply with quote


I have been teaching in Korea for 1 year and will be leaving in about 4 days. I have had such an enlightening experience and learnt so much about myself, children and of course, Koreans. Every now and then I send out a group email just to inform my buddies on all the new things I learn. One of my buddies thought I should post the last email I sent out here, and I think it's a good idea. So here goes. I hope u enjoy it.

I tell you, you learn something new everyday in Korea. It's just so amazing that even now as I am planning to say my g'byes, I am still learning so much about Korea and it's people.

Well, today a korean lady that I met at the gym took me for lunch. She speaks english quite well, since she studied in Malaysia for 10 years. She introduced herself to me as Fathima. She said that when she was in Malaysia they gave her a muslim name. Anyhow, so today when we go out for lunch, she explains to me that she is actually muslim and that her dad converted to Islam when he was young. He studied in Saudi Arabia and his name is Hajee Abdullah. Hajee meaning that he's been on pilgrimage to Mecca, and her mom's name is Amina and her brother's name is Abu Bakr. I was just shocked silly. The first muslim Korean I ever met. I mean, I knew there was a mosque in Itaewon(in Seoul)' but I just saw Turks and Morrocans there, and they not all that cool to chat to, cos they just wanna make passes at you all the time, so I just ignore them when I see them.

Fathima told me that people in Korea do not know she is muslim. She said they would not understand the religion, they think it is about terrorism. So she lives as best she can here in Daejon, although she is the only muslim here. Her husband is kind of muslim, she says, since he drinks, and she does not teach any religion to her kids, since she wants them to figure out what they wanna follow by themselves. Yaw! Her dad is an imam at a mosque and there are 7 mosques in Korea and he belongs the muslim federation here. I tell you I was so amazed listening to a Korean say Inshallah, Sallam, shukran and what not(muslim terminlogy). I just sat there with my mouth open.

So that is the first shock of the day. Then she takes me a vegetarian restaurant, a full-on veg place and won't u believe it, It's 10 min walk from my house, and here, I've been in Korea for 11 months and never ever seeing soya products. And this place has lentils and beans and soya patties and polony that u can buy and cook yourself. Murphy's law, that I should find this place, now, just as it's about time to go home. Anyway, had a really great meal today.

Well, that's what happened today.

Now, I have to tell you about some funny and strange things that my students have been telling me this week. As you know, some people in Korea eat dog. I gather it is a delicacy. I was however informed this week that, that is not the only strange thing that they eat.(we were doing a unit on what chinese eat). I thought they were going to be surprised but no, I was surprised since they didn't find it at all strange that the chinese eat elephant intestines and actually told me that it was good for people. In Korea, people eat pig's intestines, deer blood, snake alcohol and bugs. I cannot say that I have witnessed any of these things. But I have seen them selling boiled bugs at the same stall where they sell peanuts. Thank God I am a vegetarian, no meat is good meat.

I just asked one of my friends - Michelle (korean)- if their is any truth in what the kids are telling me and she seriously told me that she has had deers blood. She said she had a sever headache and her mom made her drink it and she felt better. No wonder buddhists in Korea
are not vegetarian ( only the monks are), it would clash completely with their korean rituals.

This week I also did a unit with my 12 year olds on travel. They had to mark on their maps where South Korea was and then pinpoint where they would like to travel to. Most of them, wanted to go to America, some to Switzerland. However, one girl said she wants to go to Europe since their is no SARS there and another boy said he wants to go to N. Korea to kill the communists. Very fascinating indeed.

I just had a class of 9 year olds and one of the kids asked me 'do u like sex?'

The things I am learning in Korea!

This place is definately full of surprises. Very Happy
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Joined: 26 May 2003
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So... do you like sex? Razz
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