Wednesday, May 07, 2003

I’ve felt quite lazy the last few weeks. It’s been hot and sunny (up in the high 20s all week so I’ve found it difficult to sit myself down in front of the computer and write one of the updates. Today, on the other hand, is just pissing down – so what better excuse to get down to business.

A couple weekends ago, Amy and I had our Hapkido blue belt test. We’re now moving on to some of the more challenging breaks and falls, so the test was a little more nerve wracking. That, and the fact that we were now the only foreigners testing for their belts – so, all eyes were definitely on us.

We’ve been going to Hapkido five days a week for almost five months now and I’m still really enjoying it. I can definitely feel the difference in my strength and flexibility (that’s what happens when you have a little Korean guy jumping on your back all the time). We’re learning some really interesting moves, wristlocks and kick combinations - I’m even trying stuff I never dreamed I could ever do, like front handsprings and back flips!

This past week was also moving day at English 2020. Our academy was moving to another location. They have been working on the new site for several weeks and the time had come to actually move the school. We arrived on Wednesday to find several large moving trucks parked outside our school, including #3 on the cool Korean invention list – the moving lift truck. (more on #1 and #2 in another email).

These trucks have hydraulic lift platform that can be raised several hundred feet in the air on a large movable boom. Stairwells and elevators are quite small in Korea, so when people move in and out they do it through their windows on the outside of the building. It’s a site to see, these lift platforms loaded with furniture shooting up and down sometimes 10 or more stories high.

The move itself was fairly painless. The next couple of days, the school was closed, so we had no classes to teach. We spent some time at the work site (well, a lot of time) doing very little. Some times the language barrier works in your favour here… when they can’t explain what they want you to do, they just don’t ask you to do it. I spent much of my time perfecting my hacky-sack skills on the sidewalk outside the school.

On the domestic front, George, Saddam and Tony are getting bigger by the day. We’ve had to upgrade their accommodation to a larger cardboard box, as they’d figured out how to jump out of the last one. It’s almost time to move them onto the roof. They’ve lost a lot of their yellow fluff and their personalities are really developing. (Do chickens have personalities?) George is the most dominant and Tony likes to pick on Saddam. Saddam just sits there and takes it from both of them. It’s funny how it’s mirroring real life…

We just returned from a trip to the South West coast, but I think that may have to wait for another email as this one is getting pretty long already. More to come…


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