above suspicion (fearnotofman) wrote,
above suspicion
fearnotofman

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I have friends!

Last night, while waiting for the internet guy to show up, I got a knock on the door. A girl who introduced herself as Vanessa brought me a pan. Apparently, she had borrowed it from the guy who lived here before me, and was returning it. Turns out there's a military festival taking place this weekend, and she invited me along.

You see, this is a military town. In fact, the Octagon (the Korean version of the Pentagon) is located here... somewhere. But my first weekend here just happens to be the military festival weekend. It was actually pretty damn cool. There were tanks, helicopters, military convoys, etc. I got to sit in a tank, in a couple helicopters, in some crazy death machine where they launch missiles from, and walked through one of those military convoy helicopter thingamajigs. There was a tent where you could fire blanks from some gun. There was a huge trade show featuring all sorts of weapons. Oh! In Korea, every man over the age of 20 must serve in the military for 2 years. Even if you're famous. So there are actually famous people in the military, and a couple of them were at this festival signing autographs. There was a huge line. Weird.

There was also a military training course area. Unfortunately, I didn't get to check that out.

In addition to Korean military, the US Army was there. I can understand that. But what was weird was that the Swedish military was there as well. Wha--? I wanted to ask why, and to use my shitty Swedish (when else am I going to get a chance to speak Swedish in Korea?), but I guess I'm shy...

I also saw two of my students there. I actually didn't even recognize them. They just yelled out "Teacher Ryan!" and waved. I may have seen more of my students and not even known it. Now I don't feel so upset about my teachers in school not recognizing me. There are so many faces to remember, it's impossible to remember them all. Or even most of them. And I've only taught three classes so far.

Best news of the day? In addition to Vanessa, I met several other ESL teachers. An American, two Canadians, two South Africans, and one Aussie. I am not alone here.
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