English Village Never Closes

Imagine you go ice-skating, but you don’t have ice-skates… and there aren’t any available to rent. So, you go out on the ice anyway, wearing your boots, slipping and sliding all over the place while you barely even move your feet. Now, imagine it is also raining on you, and while you have an umbrella, the imbalance of weight on one side of you, plus being down an arm to help you balance, makes it even harder to get from point A to point B.

Now, just for fun, imagine all of the above and then add about 30 middle schoolers into the mix, who are also slipping and sliding all over the place. Add some injuries and one cracked tailbone, and voila! You have just experienced my Friday!

The worst part of the day? Having to go anywhere that involved going outside.

The best part of my day? Getting to the afternoon meeting early and watching my colleagues walk/slip/slide/fall on their way in. 🙂

From what I hear, Korean public schools do in fact get snow days when the roads are REALLY bad. English Village? Nope; always open. That means that if the entire village is covered in ice, then we have to leave each place 10 minutes early to ensure we reach our destination on time… and step very, very carefully. (I heard many-a-story of colleagues who had to slide on their tuchus down a hill from their apartments to one of the roads.) There were also children and teachers taken to the hospital due to walking-around-GEV-related injuries.

I’ll bet all you Americans are thinking: “OMG! How could they force people to work in such conditions?!” or “Will somebody think of the children!?” But alas, Korea does not have the lawsuit culture that we have. Back home, if you fall and hurt yourself due to ice on the ground at your school/place of employment, it’s your place of employment’s fault. In Korea, if you fall and hurt yourself, it’s YOUR OWN fault, and make sure to be more careful next time! (On the otherhand, when you fall and hurt yourself, instead of “walking it off,” you go directly to the clinic. Even if it’s just a hangnail.)

By Friday night, the rain and higher temperature had melted a lot of the ice and we were actually able to walk without falling (though it was still rather slippery out). Our colleague, Lorelai, had invited all the girls over for a holiday cookie exchange. I had made snickerdoodles and brought a bunch over to share. Some of the other cookies were delicious; one girl made butterfinger cookies (a real treat, since Butterfingers are scarce and quite expensive in Korea), and others made mini apple pies, chocolate chip cookies, ginger snaps, and countless other treats. Since I tend to avoid sugar, eating as many cookies as I did led to a headache and sugar crash; I called it a night and went home to bed around 10:30. I also had an icky feeling in my stomach this morning.

This weekend is busier than usual. We have an elementary school and high school here, and all of us had to work all day with only 2 hours of devo each. I was quite happy about that, because as you know, I dislike having so much down time. Being busy certainly makes the time pass by quickly. Tomorrow, we’ll teach in the morning and then have devo in the afternoon. Can you believe that after tomorrow, I’ll only have to work one more weekend?!


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