Checking in

Well, I haven’t had much time the past couple of days to write my blog.  On Wednesday evening I stopped by a friend’s house to drop something off and ended up staying over talking with him and his wife until midnight.  Then last night I went out with friends and colleagues for beer and bratwurst at the Oktoberfest pub in Seoul, followed by more noraebang (just can’t get enough!).  The beer at Oktoberfest is great.  I ordered weissbier, or "white beer."  Weissbier is a special type of sweet beer popular in Berlin.  I haven’t had weissbier since I visited Berlin years ago.  So far I’ve been very happy with the beer selection in Korea.  I prefer imports and microbrews over macrobrews like Budweiser, and I’ve been glad to have a good selection here.  I might not be so lucky in another country.

On yesterday I taught my first English class to my Korean colleagues.  It went well, but I came away with a few areas for improvement.  Unfortunately, blog comment poster Jesucristo_es_Fiel, I cannot evangelize and spread Christianity on the job, but thanks for your comment anyway.  I did learn that the students expect snacks and rewards.  Apparently the last teachers, whose shoes are difficult to fill, brought food and gave awards when students answered questions correctly.  Whatever works.  I did learn that I need to focus less on grammar and more on dialogue; that is, the students want to speak more than learn boring ol’ grammar patterns.  I handed out an article on cross-cultural communication I will use next week to stimulate dialogue.

Today was my friends’ son’s 100-day birthday celebration.  In Asian cultures, including China and Korea, the 100 day mark is a special day for children.  In traditional Korean culture, 100-day-old children would be surrounded by all sorts of delicious food, each representing a livelihood.  A child’s projected livelihood would be based on what type of food they touch first.  For example, grain would indicate that the child will be a farmer.  100-day-old children are not very mobile.  Fate would have to play a role in what the child chooses to grasp.  My friend’s event was well attended, and my friends put on an absolutely wonderful spread.  I helped my friend run errands and prepare for the party.  I also volunteered to grill.  I love grilling, and it was a joy for me to grill galbi for the guests.  Many commented that the galbi was delicious.  Of course, I slightly burned a couple slices, and my friend’s Korean mother in law insisted on holding them back and eating them herself.  That is quite common in Asian cultures.  I have seen my own mother in law react in a similar manner; she does not want to serve something she thinks is unappealing but will not throw it out.  She would prefer to eat it herself. 

WorldAdventurers blog hit the 3,000 mark today in total page views.  The blog is now averaging about 29 hits per day.  Thanks for reading!  I appreciate it.

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