Caveat: Poem #721

"Hi kids. Today I have to tell you
some important, surprising news.
I am leaving Korea."
I look on with sadness.
Some of them are shocked.
But one young man
simply says,
"Okay.
Bye."

Listening files links

Listening files links!


HS2

HtMSftTOEFL Intermediate

Speaking


Writing


Listening


HS3

TEPS


Korean

말하기 쉬운 한국어 2


Other

Caveat: Author Profile

Octopic

[UPDATE 2018-02-09: This page was created in 2013, and I have not updated it. I am putting it here because I have closed the site where it was originally hosted. Most of it is still broadly accurate.]

My name is Jared Way. I have created this website for interacting with my current students, as well as to present myself professionally. I also maintain a personal blog if you want to see more about me.

 

Brief Background

In 2007, I returned to teaching after working for many years in information technology (database programming and business systems analysis). I had worked as a high school teacher in the United States in the 1990’s.

I came to South Korea and I worked for several hagwon (after-school academies) in Ilsan (Goyang City), Gyeonggi, South Korea, from September, 2007, until August, 2009. In April of 2010, I started a one-year contract at Hongnong Elementary School in Hongnong, Yeonggwang County, Jeollanam, South Korea. This was a rural, public school. After that contract ended (April, 2011), I returned to Ilsan and have been another hagwon there since then until the present (January, 2013).

In most of my positions I have worked as speaking or listening skills teacher, with a focus on iBT (TOEFL) preparation or debate-based curricula. I find that debate, especially, is an excellent way to teach integrated languages skills to Korean students, regardless of level or age.

Personal Data

South Korea has a distinct culture and it is extremely common for people I barely know or have just met to ask me questions that would be considered rude or “too personal” in an American cultural context. I think just putting this information online for people to see is easiest.

  • Marital Status: Single (widowed – my wife passed away in 2000).
  • Children: 1 step-son, age 25. I have no current dependents.
  • Age: 47 by Western calendar (48 by Korean reckoning).
  • Height: 178 cm. Weight: 85 kg.

Why Korea?

At some point a some years ago, I became fascinated with Korean language and culture. I have a background in linguistics, and the Korean language is both fascinating to me but also intensely challenging. I have decided that I welcome this challenge, and although it may take a very long time, I hope to stay in Korea until I feel I have reached some degree of competency with the Korean Language. That is one of the reasons why I choose Korea instead of some other location to pursue my teaching career.

Nevertheless, for me the teaching work is more important than the language study, which is perhaps why, after five years in Korea, I’m continue to struggle with the language at a fairly low level – it is often hard to find time and opportunities to study and practice effectively.

I have grown very fond of Korea and Korean culture.

Additional Materials

Below is a list of other materials I have made available online [UPDATE 2018-02-09: all links are broken!].

Octopic

Caveat: Poem #545

December, 627

The Emperor Iraklios disliked
the foggy plains where Sumer once held sway.
He marched for Ctesiphon, but then turned back;
they'd cut the bridges, stopping any chance.
He'd made his point regardless: King of Kings
in Persia signed the treaty in the end.

[daily log: walking, 7.5km]

Caveat: No

I have an elementary 2nd grade student who goes by the English name of Alisha. She is a bit behind her peers in social development, with a lot of pre-elementary age behavior (i.e. "babyish" or young for her age), but she is plenty smart. She doesn't really know what to make of my "alligator bucks" – the "dollars" I give to students as a kind of reward points system. She destroys them systematically, when she receives them, rather than saving them like other students do. But she derives a great deal of pleasure from destroying them, so perhaps they still serve as a kind of reward. 

She has pretty good comprehension of my English output. She's good at following instructions, and has a recognition vocabulary higher than some of her peers in the same class. On the other hand, she mostly never writes anything using English letters. She "sounds out" the English words she wants to write using the Korean alphabet, hence her name 알리샤 [allisya], or 캣 [kaet = "cat"], etc. And even her hangul is full of misspellings and variants from Korean orthography.  She suffers some substantial dyslexia – she cannot differentiate 'd' and 'b', and I've seen her writing hangul with reversed glyphs, too. 

She also is quite defiant, at times. She will refuse to answer questions. But mostly, she simply doesn't talk at all – in Korean or English. She gestures and has a very expressive face, to compensate. 

On Monday, she was more talkative than usual. "No no no no no" she announced, upon entering the classroom. Later, when we were doing flashcards, she described each card as "No." I appreciated the English, but was a little bit frustrated by the defiance. I turned the card so I could see it – a cat – and said, "That's not a 'no', is it?" 

"No," she agreed.

OK, that was a badly phrased question, wasn't it?

"What is it?" I tried again. She shook her head, and tried a different type of defiance. She waved her hand, with a kind of stop-motion style, and said, firmly and with excellent intonation, "Bye!" 

I moved on to other students, who get impatient when I spent too much time with Alisha. Later, it was back to "No." 

But then, we took our quiz. Often, on quizzes, she leaves her paper blank, or just scribbles on it. Other times, she'll diligently transcribe all the words in hangul. Without direct supervision and letter-by-letter guidance, she will almost never write a word in English letters. 

On Monday, she wrote, using a fat orange marker she'd taken from my basket:

  1. No
  2. No
  3. No

I was impressed. "Wow, you're writing English! That's excellent," I praised. Small steps, right? I gave her an alligator dollar, which she promptly began to gleefully destroy, peeling off the laminated backing. 

Then she pointed proudly at the wall. There, in large, orange-colored letters, she'd also written "No." 

"Oh, well… " I was so torn. On the one hand, I was happy with her finally expressing her sincere feelings in English letters. It was, truly, her first such success. On the other hand, I felt that doing so on the classroom wall was problematic. I ran from the room and fetched a bottle of spray cleaner. 

"I am so happy you're writing English letters. There's 'N', there's 'O'… 'no.' Great job. But we need to clean that up. No writing on the wall, OK? 그렇게 하지마 [don't do like that]," I said, gesturing at the wall and shaking my head. 

I paused and took a picture, to document the event. I knew this would end up in my blog.

picture

"OK!" she said, grinning.

"Let's clean that up," I urged. The other kids were feeling entertained by all this, so I wasn't too worried about them. I let her wield the spray cleaner bottle against the wall, and we tried to clean up the word. Now there's a white stain on the wall. 

The problem was mostly resolved. Several times more during the class, she sad "No," but she also said several other words, including "car" and "cat." And she wrote "alligator" at the bottom of her quiz paper – copying the word from the board, where that particular word is always written, for my lowest-level classes. Given how much I use alligators as a kind of mascot in my classes, kids often feel a need to write this long, difficult word.

On Wednesday (yesterday), Alisha went up to another teacher, Helen, before class started. Apparently, in Korean, she whispered to Helen, emphatically, that she really liked her phonics class with Jared. Helen reported this to me. Helen asked me what I'd done to earn her endorsement. I really have no idea. Perhaps just trying to validate her efforts? Not exploding in anger and violence at her writing on the wall? 

[daily log: walking, 7km]

 

Caveat: Among Quakers

As many of you know, by birth I am a Quaker (or half a Quaker, or maybe three quarters of one). I was not raised as an active Quaker, however – both due to my parents having fairly secular attitudes as well as because in my small childhood town in rural northern California, there was no local meetinghouse.

I was probably mostly aware of my Quaker heritage during the many visits to Southern California, where my paternal grandparents were. I remember attending meeting for worship a few times with my grandmother in the late 70s and early 80s.

One of the oldest and most influential meetings on the west coast is the Orange Grove Meeting in Pasadena. My father was born into that meeting, and my grandfather was active there even while also being part of the Temple City meeting which was adjunct to his farm-cum-school in Temple City.

My own strong association with Orange Grove was indirect, arising out of my employment by the Mexico City Meeting in 1986-87. Mexico City Friends and Orange Grove Friends were (and continue to be) tightly connected through historical, financial and spiritual ties. In fact, my uncle Allen (my father's older brother) had worked for/with the Mexico City Meeting in the late 1950s.

Mexico City is the only time I was an official member of a meeting. The only other time I was a regular attender of a meeting was also in the context of working for a Quaker institution, when I was teaching high school Spanish and Social Studies at Moorestown Friends School in Moorestown, New Jersey. That was in 1996-97.

I did attend Orange Grove Meeting itself a few times in the early 2000s, but by then I was pretty sure I wasn't a very good Quaker. I think I have a largely Quaker value system, but I have come to feel that being a typical "values but no doctrine" Quaker has too much of a whiff of hypocrisy for me to be comfortable in that role. The idea of a "church" where lip service is paid to a bible which is not really taken seriously (or even much read) can work fine for many people, but not for me. As I've written before, I appreciate Buddhism – at least the variety I have interacted with in Korea – because its adherents explicitly make clear that there is no need to believe anything, unlike Quakers who tend to sweep such discrepancies under the rug. As a committed antitranscendentalist (i.e. no miracles, no magic, period), that is the only kind of religion where I could possibly fit in.

Setting aside such digressions, I attended Quaker Meeting this morning at Orange Grove Friends Meeting. This is because my father has become an attender since he has taken on the role of on-site caretaker there (a role curiously similar to what my role had been at the Mexico City Meeting).

I have enough background with it to feel comfortable – even somewhat nostalgic. Curt and Mr Jin came too, and I'm sure it was several layers of culture shock for them, being not only alien religiously but populated almost exclusively by that weird, heterogeneous tribe of hippieish, dogmatically tolerant, political radicals such as commonly inhabit Quaker meetings. No amount of exposure to heterodox American culture as consumed outside the US could possibly prepare one for this type of American.

Their cultural discomfort afterward was strongly ameliorated by a very pleasant Korean-American Quaker lady named Kwang-hui, whose company I enjoyed and who served as a nice liaison between Koreanism and Quakerism. I was particularly pleased to find that her spoken Korean was much easier to comprehend for me than most varieties. I think that it is often the case that Koreans resident abroad adopt a somewhat simplified variety of Korean, with reduced usage of the many complex verbal periphrases and less "수능 [suneung]" vocabulary (what we would call "SAT vocab" in English, meaning "high-falutin" educated words, typically of Chinese etymology in Korean).

After the meeting we went to an allegedly Mexican restaurant across the street. North Pasadena in recent decades has evolved into largely hispanic neighborhood, so although the place was undeniably Mexican culturally, the cuisine is what I would term "LA generic fast food" – mostly burgers, sandwiches, tacos and burritos, with a few vegetarian entries as a nod to Pasadena's vaguely upscale, granola-liberal character.

Despite that, being a family-run business meant the barbacoa tacos were pretty authentic, at least to Californio standards. I had one of those, and then a fish taco. These latter only exist where gringos do, when speaking of Mexico proper, but in Southern California they come close to being truly authentic local cuisine. Of course for the Koreans along, it was more immersion in the aspect of my own country that I love and miss most – its sheer perverse diversity. And that was the point. I am working hard to expose Curt and Jin to as much different stuff as possible given the narrow timeframe.

Overall, a nice morning. Then we drove down to the airport and here I am, writing this offline while sardined into another aluminum ovoid tube somewhere over Utah. I will post it once I am online again.

Tomorrow, I will go to Minnesota DMV and then the infamous storage unit. I not sure I will actually undertake the project to move and consolidate my stuff – it feels very overwhelming and frankly I'd rather be a tour guide to my friends.

[daily log: walking, ~2km]

Caveat: Nonnet #59

They say Dangun's mother was a bear.
I guess she spent time in a cave.
There was a tiger there, too.
But he wasn't patient.
So he ran away.
The bear waited.
A long time.
At last.
Light.

Multimap Test Page

I’m not exactly in the closet about my geofiction hobby – I’ve blogged about it once or twice before, and in fact I link to it in my blog’s left sidebar, too – so alert blog-readers will have known it is something I do.

Nevertheless, I’ve always felt oddly reticent about broadcasting this hobby too actively. It’s a “strange” hobby in many people’s minds, and many aren’t sure what to make of it. Many who hear of it percieve it to be perhaps a bit childish, or at the least unserious. It’s not a “real” hobby, neither artistic, like writing or drawing, nor technical, like coding or building databases. Yet geofiction, as a hobby, involves some of all of those skills: writing, drawing, coding and database-building.

Shortly after my cancer surgery, I discovered the website called OpenGeofiction (“OGF”). It uses open source tools related to the OpenStreetmap project to allow users to pursue their geofiction hobby in a community of similar people, and “publish” their geofictions (both maps and encyclopedic compositions) online.

Early last year, I became one of the volunteer administrators for the website. In fact, much of what you see on the “wiki” side of the OGF website is my work (including the wiki’s main page, where the current “featured article” is also mine), or at the least, my collaboration with other “power users” at the site. I guess I enjoy this work, even though my online people skills are not always great. Certainly, I have appreciated the way that some of my skills related to my last career, in database design and business systems analysis, have proven useful in the context of a hobby. It means that if I ever need to return to that former career, I now have additional skills in the areas of GIS (geographic information systems) and wiki deployment.

Given how much time I’ve been spending on this hobby, lately, I have been feeling like my silence about it on my blog was becoming inappropriate, if my blog is meant to reflect “who I am.”

So here is a snapshot of what I’ve been working on. It’s a small island city-state, at high latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, with both “real-world” hispanic and fully fictional cultural elements. Its name is Tárrases, on the OGF world map here.

Here is a “zoomable and slidable” map window, linked to the area I’ve been creating, made using the leaflet tool.

There were some interesting technical challenges to get this to display correctly on my blog, involving several hours of research and coding trial and error. If anyone is interested in how to get the javascript-based leaflet map extension to work on a webpage (with either real or imaginary map links), including blogs such as typepad that don’t support it with a native plugin, I’m happy to help.

I have made a topo layer, too. I am one of only 2-3 users on the OGF website to attempt this – But the result is quite pleasing.

Songs that might be fun for the kids

I needed a place to “stockpile” video links of songs I think have some teaching potential or entertainment value for my students.


They Might Be Giants, “Walking My Cat Named Dog.” Originally by Norma Tenaga, 1966.

Lyrics

I’m walkin all around the town
Singin all the people down
Talkin around, talkin around.
Me and my cat named Dog
Are walkin high against the fog
Singin the sun
Singin the sun

Happy, sad and crazy wonder
Chokin up my mind with perpetual dreamin…

I’m driftin up and down the street
Searchin for the sound of people
Swingin their feet, swingin their feet
Dog is a good old cat
People what you think of that?
That’s where I’m at, that’s where I’m at.

Happy, sad and crazy wonder
Chokin up my mind with perpetual dreamin…

Dog is a good old cat
People what you think of that?
That’s where I’m at, that’s where I’m at, that’s where I’m at.


They Might Be Giants, “Elephants.” 

Lyrics

they’re not the largest mammals
but they’re biggest on the land
so when I say “please step away”
I know you’ll understand

they’ve got two tusks up front for fighting
or digging in the dirt
so you can see how easily
you’d end up getting hurt

2x
get out of the way
get out of the way
the elephants are coming through your town today

they’re great communicators
with waves called infrasound
seismically clear – you’d barely hear
them travel through the ground

and while the cows all stick together
and congregate at home
the bulls go out and walk about
they’d rather be alone

2x
get out of the way
get out of the way
the elephants are coming through your house today

did you hear about the farmer… 

 


They Might Be Giants, “Omnicorn.”

Lyrics 

omnicorn. like no other creature ever born
on its head is every manner of horn
the omnicorn’s the one
the one

omnicorn
omnicorn
omnicorn. hiding over by the edge of the pines
now it’s running past the hunting lodge sign
no one will see it go

I’ve been to museums
I’ve seen the no-see-ums
I know what I’m talking about

omnicorn. even rarer than a unicorn
it’s got every single kind of horn
omnicorn’s the one
the one

omnicorn
omnicorn
omnicorn. leaping over someone’s mobius strip
left behind from a vacationing trip
that’s something to talk about
omnicorn go
omnicorn go
omnicorn go
omnicorn go


 

Lyrics.

 

Color Song

 

What color is the sky?

It’s blue.

It’s blue.

It’s blue.

The sky is blue.

The sky is blue.

 

What color is the sun?

It’s yellow.

It’s yellow.

It’s yellow.

The sun is yellow.

The sky is blue.

 

What color is the grass?

It’s green.

It’s green.

It’s green.

The grass is green.

The sun is yellow.

The sky is blue.

 

What color is an apple?

It’s red.

It’s red.

It’s red.

An apple is red.

The grass is green.

The sun is yellow.

 

The sky is blue.
The sky is blue.

 


xx


xx


xx

Phonomimes, Phenomimes and Psychomimes

This is a list of Korean phonomimes, phenomimes and psychomimes. In Korean, phonomimes are called 의성어, while phenomimes and psychomimes (without distinction) are called 의태어.

Most are reduplicative, but not all, cf. 날씬. Most are adverbial, but not all, cf. 똑똑하다 which is only allowed with the verbal suffix -하다 (there exists an adverbial 똑똑 but the semantics are completely different, as it seems be simply a phonomime “knock knock”). Many of them show variants with an alternation of vowels (mostly within the old Korean vowel harmonies). Most of them appear to derive from “native Korean” (pre-Chinese substrate) but a few have hanja (i.e. are borrowed from Chinese, e.g. 당당하다) – these might not belong, strictly speaking, to the same category but I have included them anyway because the semanto-phonotactics are the same.

There are quite a few, and I have posted several blog entries about them in the past, but I have decided to maintain a simple consolidated list as a separate page, as I have never found one online that exactly presents them in just this way, as a simple list.

The distinction between them is quite vague and unclear. When does a phonomime become a phenomime? When does a phenomime shade into a psychomime? I don’t know that such distinctions are even useful – one can use a phonomime metaphorically to pass into the other semantic categories. What’s interesting to me is their existence as a broad and seemingly fairly active semantic category, collectively.

Actually, the relation in wikipedia between the articles on “ideophone” and on “sound symbolism” (which includes discussion of phenomimes and psychomimes) overlaps substantially, without either article seeming to be aware of the other. In fact, there is other work in other places,  too, that doesn’t tie this together very well. In general, the “internet’s” understanding of this phenomenon seems quite fragmented and poor. This is another motivation for posting this updatable “page” on my blog space.

Personally, I’m not sure what to call these, collectively. “‘Mimes”? “Reduplicative adverbials”? “Sound symbolic sememes”? I’ve seen the term “mimetic words.”  I think I like “ideophone.”

So here is a list, in 한글순서 (Korean “alphabetical” order) – roughly, I haven’t worked too hard to make sure the vowels under each consonant are in correct order.

  • -ㄱ-
    • 갈갈 [gal.gal] = greedily, ravenously, avidly
  • -ㄲ-
    • 꽹구랑 꽹꽹깽 [kkwaeng.gu.rang kkwaeng.kkwaeng.kkaeng] = gongingly
    • 깡충깡충 [kkang.chung.kkang.chung] = bouncily, “hoppingly” 
    • 깡총깡총[kkang.chong.kkang.chong] = bouncily, “hoppingly”
  • -ㄴ-
    • 날씬 [nal.ssin] = slimly, slenderly
    • 늘씬[neul.ssin] = slimly, slenderly
  • -ㄷ-
    • 당당하다 [dang.dang-hada] = to be stately, to be imposing, to be dignified, to be fair
    • 드르르 [deu.reu.reu] excellently, smoothly
  • -ㄸ-
    • 똑똑 [ttok.ttok] = “knock, knock”, “drip, drip”
    • 똑똑하다 [ttok.ttok-hada] = to be smart, to be clever, to be bright, be be explicit, to be distinct
    • 띵가띵가놀다 [tting.ka.tting.ka-nol.da] = to play around, to goof off, to dink around
  • -ㄹ-
  • -ㅁ-
    • 말똥말똥 [mal.ttong.mal.ttong] = wide-eyed staringly
    • 멀뚱멀뚱 [meol.ttung.meol.ttung] = wide-eyed staringly
    • 말랑 몰랑 물렁 [mal.lang mol.lang mul.leong] = softly / tenderly (as a texture of food)
    • 말캉 몰캉 물캉 [mal.kang mol.kang mul.kang] = softly / tenderly (as a texture of food)
    • 말랑말랑하다 [mal.lang.mal.lang-hada] = to be soft, to be tender, to be spongy
  • -ㅂ-
    • 보글보글 [bo-geul-bo-geul] = boilingly, bubblingly
    • 바글바글 [ba.geul.ba.geul] = boilingly, bubblingly
    • 부글부글 [bu.geul.bu.geul] = boilingly, bubblingly
    • 바삭바삭(-하다) [ba.sak.ba.sak] = to be crispy
    • 방긋방긋 [bang.geut.bang.geut] = broadly [as in a smile]
    • 반짝 [ban.jjak] = sparklingly, twinklingly
    • 번쩍 [beon.jjeok] = sparklingly, twinklingly
    • 반짝반짝 [ban.jjak.ban.jjak] = sparklingly
    • 비슬비슬 [bi.seul.bi.seul] = reelingly, totteringly, in a staggering or faltering manner
  • -ㅃ-
    • 뽀글뽀글 [ppo.geul.ppo.geul] = boilingly, bubblingly
    • 빠글빠글 [ppa.geul.ppa.geul] = boilingly, bubblingly
    • 뿌글뿌글 [ppu.geul.ppu.geul] = boilingly, bubblingly
    • 빡빡 [ppak.ppak] = crustily, tightly, narrow-mindedly
    • 뼉뼉 [ppeok.ppeok] = crustily, tightly, narrow-mindedly
    • 빤짝 [ppan.jjak] = sparklingly, twinklingly
    • 뻔쩍 [ppeon.jjeok] = sparklingly, twinklingly
    • 부둑부둑 [bu.dok.bu.dok] = damply-drily, a bit damply mostly drily
  • -ㅅ-
    • 섭섭(-하다) [seop.seop] = disappointedly, sadly
    • 살짝 [sal-jjak] / 설쩍 [seol.jjeok] = stealthily
    • 싱글벙글 [sing.geul.beong.geul] = smilingly
    • 살살 [sal.sal] = gently, softly
    • 설설 [seol.seol] = gently, softly
    • 솔솔 [sol.sol] = gently, softly
    • 술술 [sul.sul] = gently, softly
    • 슬슬 [seul-seul] = gently, softely
    • 살금살금 [sal.geum.sal.geum] = sneakily
    • 새콤달콤하다 [sae.kom.dal.kom-hada] = to be sweet and sour
  • -ㅆ-
    • 싹독 [ssak.dok] = choppingly, snippingly
    • 썩둑 [sseok.duk] = choppingly, snippingly
  • -ㅇ-
    • 아삭아사(-하다) [asakasak] = to be crunchy
    • 옹기종기 [ong.gi.jong.gi] closely together
  • -ㅈ-
    • 정정당당하다 [jeong.jeong.dang.dang-hada] = to be fair and sqaure
    • 주렁주렁 [ju.reong.ju.reong] = richly, with fullness
  • -ㅉ-
    • 쫄깃쫄깃(-하다) [jjol.git.jjol.git] = to be chewy
  • -ㅊ-
    • 추룩 추루룩 추루룩 [chu.ruk chu.ru.ruk chu.ru.ruk] = downpouringly
    • 찰랑찰랑 [chal.lang.chal.lang] = lappingly, sloppingly
    • 출렁출렁 [chul.leong.chul.leong] = lappingly, sloppingly
  • -ㅋ-
    • 콜콜 [kol.kol] = gurglingly, deeply
    • 쿨쿨 [kul.kul] = gurglingly, with snores, [sleeping] soundly
  • -ㅌ-
    • 통통(-하다)  [tong.tong] = plumply
    • 퉁퉁(-하다)  [tung.tung] = plumply
  • -ㅍ-
    • 퍽퍽 [peok.peok] = thrustingly, with repeated thrusts
    • 팍팍 [pak.pak] = thrustingly, with repeated thrusts
  • -ㅎ –
    • 흔들흔들 [heun.deul.heun.deul] shakily

 [last updated 2015-10-09]

Caveat: Cervantes’ Bones

BonesThey've gone and found his bones, finally. He was known to be buried in the Convento de las Monjas Trinitarias Descalzas, but the precise gravesite had been lost to time.

A short editorial in the New Yorker observes that this business of finding the old satirist's remains is tied in with a creeping commercialization, i.e. the emergence of a "Cervantes tourism industry." I'm not inclined to condemn this out of hand – it strikes me that Cervantes wouldn't have been offended by someone making a buck off his remains – indeed, it's the sort of scheme he'd have been on board with. 

I suppose I have a special relationship with Cervantes – his work is, after all, the topic of my never-quite-written PhD dissertation. If I ever make it to Madrid, I'll feel compelled to visit this newly-created bit of history, I reckon.

Meanwhile, just last weekend I read 5 pages of a certain book that, in theory, supports that never-quite-written dissertation. Not that I'm going to write it, but sometimes I think about it. 

[daily log: walking, 6 km]

Caveat: The Gentrification of Hugok

The neighborhood where I work is called Hugok [후곡]. In some ways, it feels more like "my neighborhood" than where I live (Janghangdong [장항동], oftimes referred coloquially as Ra-peh [라페] after the mall nearby, Ra-peh-seu-tah [라페스타 ] i.e. "La Festa"), which has a more big-city, downtown feel. Where I live is kind of like "downtown Ilsan," while where I work is more like a real neighborhood, somewhere. In fact, from a development standpoint, Hugok is marginally older than Janghang, the former dating from the late 1980s while the latter was built with the subway line extension in 1993. Parts of Hugok along Ilsan Road were already built and inhabited when I was here in 1991. 

I'm writing this because although there are 3 or 4 different Starbucks stores in Janghang, serving as an index of the area's "downtowny" character and internationalist orientation, there has never been a Starbucks in Hugok. 

That, apparently, is changing. I snapped this photo last Friday, looking across the street from my hagwon's former location, a few blocks east of the new location. 

2015-06-05 13.21.08

[daily log: walking, 6 km]

 

 

Caveat: Самарканд

Yesterday, after work, I went into the city and ended up meeting Basil and Peter. We went to Russiatown and to a restaurant called Samarkand (after the Uzbek city) and I had some good Borsht and a kind of Baltica (Russian beer) I had never had before, cloudy with a strong yeast flavor. I also spent more money at the bookstore prior to that.

Today I was tired and did very little. The weather has changed. . . it has become much cooler and the air reeks of Siberia.

[daily log: walking, 1 km]