[Part 5, the penultimate entry in the ongoing photo
travelogue of my vacation post-work in East Asia,
including my weeklong trip to Beijing, final day in
Seoul, and return trip to the States.]
Rising early, 代新 called me a company car, escorting
me to Beijing International (北京国际机场), to catch
my flight back to Incheon.
Her office building (site of my 1-week, unexpectedly
extended vacation in China last year).
顺义区人才市场 = "Shunyi District Human Resources Market".
The view out front.
The hotel I stayed in for an extra week last year. Memories abound.
1h45m in the air later, no waiting for checked luggage (2 carry-ons
allowed for international flights, I been stay winning), and it's back
to Ko Rea for one last day.
Waiting for the bus back to Ilsan (一山). You can barely see it, but
there is a taxi cab hidden behind the large, squat metal box; for a
good ten minutes, a (rather large) man and his (rather petite)
female company engaged in an (increasingly vocal) squabble with
a (rather numerous, and increasingly so) group of cabdrivers. Over
what, I shall never know.
Back in the hood, I stopped off at the Ilsan Vista,
the SLI foreign teachers' apartment building, to
leave my things with Mike, the co-worker I was
crashing with for the night. I then headed out to
the academy (학원/学院) for one final visit.
Jae at his desk.
Real talk, dude was a prince among men. Always
helpful, patient, and he let me straight bogart his
computer desk (and, subsequently, internets) for
many an afternoon. He is also a husband and a
father, and that is Real Talk.
My erstwhile spot in the office.
One of my elementary students. I love this dude, he
practices um kumdo? Some kind of tae kwon do or
variant thereof. He is also pretty smart.
Another student. This dude loves food, it gave me great
joy whenever he would be snacking before class. Just
to see such pure pleasure is a privilege.
Mikey AKA Dominican Mike.
That afternoon, Jae and I rolled over to the bank, a
locale in which I had, all summer, been entirely
dependent upon him. He helped me close out my
account (garnering me my ~$98 of remaining
wages!). I kicked it in the office for a little while
longer, then Mike and I went to a little place he
knew for some lunch.
Old grannies (ajumah) often sell vegetables or clothes roadside.
I thought the look on this girl's face was dope.
Mike ordering. Dude is swift with the day-to-day Ko Rean.
After lunch, Mike and I wound our way home,
walking through the many adjoining parks littering
the Ilsan landscape.
No one crosses the street before the crossing sign blares green.
The street here was actually empty of cars for half a minute before
the light turned, while these dudes all just chilled it on the sidewalk.
Mike and I spotted his crib for a minute longer, then
headed back to SLI for evening classes.
I spent mad many hours in this classroom, over all. Every day this
summer... I think this may be one of the top two or three places I
was at this summer, excusing my own apartment (and that, largely
Claire/Seo-yun, one of the girls I tutored regularly.
We spent many a long hour talking about, um,
topics in English.
Elementary students, all from Korean middle/high schools.
Doori. Son is a literal baller. Princeton 08, varsity
football team (championship ring swagger), and SLI-
Ilsan's most recent acquisition.
One of my elementary kids. Duke had a bit of an
attitude going on...
...but with a swager like this, I was a little more forgiving. Looking
at those joints even now, I still get a lil aggy.
[Next up! The last day; SAT students; on the plane]
Wednesday, October 1, 2008