Monday, May 19, 2008

only in korea

i just got home from the most excruciating hour of my time spent in the r.o.k. so, it all starts casually. the head of the english department tells us that there will be a ceremony to inaugurate the new patio in the school yard, at 4pm. nothing too surprising here, they have ceremonies for pretty much everything, they like everything to be formal. last month we just had a pizza party for the new garden.

we got outside on the new patio, as it starts raining lightly. it is quite cold too, and a bit uncomfortable. all the teachers (korean and foreign) are in attendance, along with the pastor, the dean and the principal. one by one they speak in the microphone and give a little speech, or a prayer. yes, a prayer for the patio. then the principal (who is a bit of a nutcase) grabs the microphone and goes on and on for over an hour!! in korean! we just sat there, listening to him getting very excited and pointing the wood used to built the patio, and we just had no idea what he was rambling about for so long!

finally we all got up to cut the ribbon, and at this point it was pouring rain. pouring! the principal still wanted all the teachers to kneel on the patio and pray for a few minutes. madness. aaron and i just stood there, watching everyone else in astonishment. they then proceeded to cut the ribbon, every single teacher armed with a pair of scissors, while the school's photographer captured it all. he, in fact, captured every minute of the aforementioned endless speech. can't wait to post those pictures!

we were rewarded with watermelon, oranges, crackers, rice cakes and 2% (the best drink in korea, peach-flavoured water).

then we went home. the ceremony lasted one hour and a half. for a patio.

as aaron said, there is only one word to describe what just happened: "wow".

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