Monday, January 14, 2008


I haven't posted in nearly a month, but it is not without good reason. This is the first time in in that time that I have had the energy or the desire to write. I am backdating these posts to when the events occurred.

Simply, I was fired for asking that my contract be honored. January 10 was the first pay day for me, unfortunately, it was only half the amount it should have been. The problem was that my contract stated I should be paid on a "pro-rata basis to the 10th." That is, I would be paid for every day that I worked up until 10th. I was only paid until December 31.

I asked the owner several times to fix this problem. He created all kinds of excuses about taxes, accounting, pay roll, and franchise rules, which to my mind were all fabrications. I told him that I considered that I was only paid half of my contracted salary and that his actions were a breach of contract. If he didn't pay me by second period, I would sit at my desk and not return to class until I was paid.

As I told him I was leaving to go to first period, he said "No, no go class ... Go back America!"

Stay tuned, does our hero prevail, or does he meet an untimely death after contracting the H. pylori bacteria from drinking tap water?

Sunday, January 6, 2008


The last week was a vacation week for the school. I tried to stay busy and stay out of the house most of the time. I succeeded until the last few days, which I spent here cleaning and watching tv episodes on YouTube.

Saturday night the office Christmas party was at the Hilton. There was only one other foreign teacher who stayed in Korea during the break, so met to find our way together. No one bothered to tell us what time or which restaurant we were supposed to go. By the time we found the group, the dinner was just wrapping up. Everyone had a look of shame on their face. (Rightly so, in many ways) For the Korean staff, it was a big loss of face. Our boss bought us dinner at the Japanese buffet in the hotel. All the sushi, shashimi, and tempura you could eat. Yum.

I went to NamDaeMun Market, which is Korean for "loads of junk" market. Five story building after five story building and all the streets in between filled with junk.

Near there was the Shinsegae Department Store's main store. A 10 story department store with a several restaurants, a spa, and a basement luxury grocery store and bakeries. Kinda cool. I wondered over to the original store building next door. It was full of nothing but expensive name brands. Not a lot of people around there; not a lot of people to afford it.

I also went to the foreigner section of town, Itaewon. It's pretty dirty, full of bars and brothels, but also has a Subway. The meatball sub wasn't that good, but was better than the "spaghetti" I had earlier in the day.

Other than that I did a lot of subway riding and walking around. I wanted to see a lot more sights, but figured I need to pace myself. I need to have something to look forward to on the weekends and something to do for the rest of my year here.

Posting will probably be back on a more regular schedule starting this week, as I will return to a regular schedule.