Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Korean Circles

There are perhaps just as many, if not more, Koreans and Japanese in Dalian as western foreigners. Though, if they remain silent they can usually drop below the "hallo!" radar screen.
In Dalian, if you meet a Korean, you can assume a few things. First, he/she are probably devoutly Christian, and second they he/she lives in some of the most posh of apartments in Dalian. All the English speaking foreigners know that they should charge at least 50% more per hour for a Korean than a Chinese tutee.

Through some American friends, I found work at a Korean school to bridge the gap between the jobs. This job brought a whole new set of challenges cultural challenges to teaching. I had to laugh when I found myself in front of a group of rich Korean kids, living in China, and teaching them American middle school social studies lessons on Native Americans! How out of context can we get here?! Needless to say I had to keep them entertained by role playing. We acted out scenes like: The first time Sacagawea met Louis and Clark. That lesson ended with with tears and exploded drywall marker ink all over the walls!

In the meantime, I was introduced to the best Korean restaurants and markets in Dalian, and was hosted to dinner on more than a few occasions to drink Soju (Korean grain alcohol) and eat pickled spicy things! It was also valuable to get the Asian Ex-pat’s perspective on China. I was surprised at how their complaints about spitting, cleanliness, etc., echoed those of my western friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment