Week 2, Friday

I’m so out of it I stared at my coteacher several seconds trying to formulate a question. TGIF!

6-2 and 6-3 are really… something else but my angels in 6-1 and 6-4 sandwich the baddies so I end on a good note.

I mistook one of the sixth grade boys for Tank Boy. He was extremely confused and I realized my mistake after class when real Tank Boy ran by class saying HELLO I AM TANK BOY. He’s in fifth grade so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that they’re related. So I tell myself. I do have twins in 3-1 and 3-2. My bad.

6-4 made up a song about their favorite soccer player. The word for quick/arm/foot all sound very similar in Korean so they patiently assisted with spelling as I tried to write it out.

One girl told me her boyfriend was a famous actor (she does NOT have a boyfriend, her traitorous friends contested) but we all rushed to my computer after class so I could see who she meant. “He is my darling!” Girl he better not be, Kim Wooseok was born in 1996.

As usual the kids play wrestled in the back before class so I have taken to running up to whoever is on the ground and pretending to kick them. I… am twelve?

In route to lunch my teacher and I passed my fourth grade sweeper friend. She said to me “he is so cute” and it’s funny that we think the same. I agreed “yes, he is so squishy” and I had to explain what squishy meant.

The subject teachers invited me to another tea time as a goodbye party for my coteacher that will embark on pregnancy leave next week. I feel like I can understand more each week by context. Or I’m lying to myself.

But they continue to include me, even if I know they’re talking about me sometimes. It usually ends with “Abigail you’re doing so well with Korean” to which I can only cry inside because every conversation is a physically painful struggle. But if I can understand four natives talking regular speed at the end of this semester I’ll have really achieved next level. And I can’t be upset that I haven’t achieved fluency in three months because that would be ridiculous.

The typhoon hits late tonight. The emergency messenger system has alerted me that task forces have been activated which sounds neat. And like helpful I guess.

In preparation I finally hit up the Emart near my place instead of the Chinese supermarket. Oh my goodness. You should know that when I lived near Hankuk University the Emart was about the size of a small Publix.

Well well well… This Emart, inside of the Lotte Department store, was bigger than a SuperTarget. And it had everything. I really mean everything. Shoes, winter coats, housing items, prepared foods, free samples, computers, furniture. I finally found shoes my size for under five dollars each (yeah okay they were men’s but men’s shoes here are stylish).

While admiring my new sandals, a little toddler wandered into the aisle and stared at me with his adorable squishy face. His mom tried to get him to say hello but he wasn’t about that life and turned and walked away in what I realized were sparkly pink play heels.

Emart wasn’t even the only shop on the basement floor: there was also a Krispy Kreme, Taco Bell, Starbucks, clothing store, shoe store, and electronics store. Seoul likes to play with me.

The typhoon comes tonight but I’m prepared with my snacks and shoes and new drip coffee maker, courtesy of Emart.

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