1 and 2- Saturday rugby
3- I Just love this picture, Eric is so cute. We were so proud of our plants that we grew in science.
4- Mongolian blue spots
It's a good thing I went to the gym and worked off some of my stress before I wrote this.. I started it and I realized I was going to be throwing out quite a bit of profanity your way. I'm classier than that.. ha.. so I will refrain. Here's what it really boils down to. My paycheck is two weeks late for the second month in a row. My contract has been broken several times before and I am absolutely afraid as hell they are going to do it again and just screw me for all my money- 2 months pay plus overtime, prorated severance, bonus and pension. How shitty is it that I pray every night that I am going to get paid… what I deserve. Some of you are probably thinking, why do you even go to work if you're not getting paid. Trust me, I've though of that. It's not that easy around here. If I make them angry in any way, they will wait even longer to pay me or just not pay me at all. Four of the guys that worked here a few months ago were curious about their pension. They went to the pension office and sure enough, they weren't getting it. The labor board called TN and discussed with them this issue and that's when everything went down hill. TN English decided… well shit, if you're going to go behind our back and do that, (I honestly don't see any harm in this, they were just watching their asses) then you will pay. Really… they were pissed they got caught and took it out on the boys who were already suffering. You see, the managers here pick and choose who they like. Thank god they have liked me thus far (I guess… then pay me and let me leave peacefully)… only because cause I shut my mouth and do what I am told, no questions asked. So… these four boys are still waiting on their pension. Supposedly, TN is on the shit list with the labor board. Every time they call TN, they don't pick up the phone… ignore emails and letters. Ugh, just when I thought I had a nice bond with them in Cebu. WRONG!
So, they promised me I would get everything by Wednesday… my last day is Thursday. Today when I brought it up they got all weird and said NO NO Emilie, we said Friday. What what what the hell!? Ha, and they always said their word is stronger than their contracts. They are full of so much shit. Haha.. so much for not cussing, trust me though, it could be worse. So today I made sure I was getting my pension all along.. indeed I was- yayy! Later, I went into the office and begged them in the nicest, most professional way.. "I feel as though I have been very compliant and helpful this past 11 months here at TN. I do not complain, I go out of my way to help the students who I love, and I don't tattle when you pay me late on more than one occasion. I could go to the pension office but I don't (cause I know you will screw me deep into the ground if I do). All I am asking is that you give me the money I deserve in enough time for me to make it to the bank before it closes on Friday so I can send my money home and close my account. And please give me my plane ticket that you have at hand right now, so I can show it to the pension office and soon collect my pension." "Well Emilie, you could just take all your money out of the ATM this weekend"…. "Okay, what about closing my account and changing it into US dollars and honestly, I don't want to carry $6,000 around with me while I travel through Korea, Japan and America." "You can do it at the airport, Emilie". "Well, actually, I travel on Sunday and the banks are closed on Sunday so why can't you just put the money into my account on Friday morning verses Friday evening"… so, friends and family, doesn't this sound very very very sketchy. It's as if they are trying to get away with not paying me at all. I think that they think I am some stupid idiot who is not going to ask these questions. There is actually only one very very shady person at TN English. That person is not the big boss, he doesn't even know about half the shit that goes on. It is Joseph… the idiotic, cheap son of a bitch that screws everyone for all that they are worth. The man who is in change of all the finances. That meeting in the office this morning ended in blank stares and them telling me we will discuss it later… then the bell rang and I had to teach. My plan for the week… I will push and push for my plane ticket and try to get the pension office before Friday. Early Friday morning I will go the office and sit and wait and ask every five minutes.. "did you put my money in, did you put my money in.. now? now? now?" The second they do, I will run to the bank and transfer all my money over then close the account and immediately start taking shots! Keep in mind that it's never as easy as it sounds. I have to try and speak Korean or hope there is an English speaker at the bank. My liaison doesn't help me any more because he claims it's not his job. He's worthless! No matter what, I am not going to let this ruin the amazing experience I have had with my students. I am getting my Kindergarten class happy meals and a plethora or cookies candy and ice-cream for Thursday afternoon. I will send them off with smiles and bellies full of junk! Just what any kid loves!! :)
It's monsoon season over here in Korea and boy is it nasty. Humid, muggy, rainy and worst of all, the mosquitos are just miserable. A typhoon hit Korea this weekend and just in time for Skip's rugby tournament this past Saturday. Together, we traveled to a town called Pyeongtaek. The town is known for it's large US army base and it scandalous hookers. It's been a long time that I was surrounded by so many good looking white boys…. boys from all over too, not just America. Yes, yes, I know I was with my boyfriend but it was just entertaining to talk to so many nice English speaking men. There was six teams at the tournament, three of those teams were army teams. While two teams were playing, the rest were hanging out under the tent trying to stay dry from all the rain. I had some interesting conservations with boys from South Africa, Australia and even some army boys from Raleigh, NC. I ate brats and drank American beer (the army bases are like little Americas) while watching the rain pour as the rugby teams tore each other up. What an intense sport… my god! Guys were running around with gashed open eye lids, knees and heads dripping with blood. Skip actually got really hurt after falling on his side and then being crushed by a 300 lb man. We ended up in the ER later that evening… no broken bones but he's in quite a bit of pain. He's seeing if the pain gets better before he heads back for a very expensive cat scan. Hopefully that won't be necessary. A lovely weekend… rain, rain, rain and a visit to the ER. I was just happy to spend it with someone that makes me smile.
It sure was nice to get all those laughs and smiles in cause today I had a permanent frown. For a minute there, the dark circles under my eyes were beginning to fade. They came back this morning along with about ten new zits- I've named each one: anger, stress, anxiety, melancholy, heartache, agony, woe, angst, uneasiness and of course, neurotic. HAHA… the dramatic side has spoken!
I can't wait for the weekend… I plan to blog at least once more, maybe twice. I've got my weekend fun ahead. Friday is my last big night out. Saturday is a quiet dinner with friends then very early Sunday morning, I leave for Seoul then Tokyo. Stay tuned… Emilie's Asian Adventures is coming to an end very soon.
Korean Facts/ Randomness:
-So, last week, four out of my seven kindergarteners were our sick for the whole week with hand, mouth and foot disease. This week, one more student was out. Let's hope no one else gets is. Luckily, it rare for anyone over the age of 10 to get it. I guess that is what happens when our school doesn't provide us with soap, when you live in a county that shares everything at meals and when you walk around without socks and shoes... dirty dirty! Just so you know, I always wear socks and inside shoes/slippers. It's the kids who don't!
-My sweet, sweet Korean friend Soo Yeoung came to our rescue on Saturday night. Not a single person in the ER spoke English and we were shit out of luck. While waiting in the ER for Skip to get his X-rays, I was chatting and catching up with Soo Yeong. I was admiring her new born niece in the many pictures she had on her phone. I came across a very interesting picture in which the baby was naked and covered in what looked like bruises or blue ink. Ignorantly, I exclaimed, "what did you guys do to her here?" I thought maybe she played around in some ink or something like that. Silly me!? She said, oh, that is just her Mongolian blue spots/birth marks. All Korean babies have these. A Mongolian blue spot is a benign flat congenital birthmark with wavy borders and irregular shape, most common among East Asians and Turks (excluding Turkish people), and named after Mongolians. It is also extremely prevalent among East Africans and Native Americans. Authentic Mongolian blue spots disappear within the first four years of life. The most common color is blue, although they can be blue-gray, blue-black or even deep brown.
The Mongolian spot is a congenital developmental condition exclusively involving the skin. The blue color is caused by melanocytes, melanin-containing cells, that are deep under the skin. Usually, as multiple spots or one large patch, it covers one or more of the lumbosacral area (lower back), the buttocks, flanks, and shoulders.It results from the entrapment of melanocytes in the dermis during their migration from the neural crest to the epidermis during embryonic development.
Among those who are not aware of the background of the Mongolian spots, it may sometimes be mistaken for a bruise indicative of child abuse.
I learn something new everyday. How interesting!