They give me me own bible, and it seems that Revelation, with all the fire n’ brimstone etc is at the back. It’s the NIV – new international version. One could arc up about how it’s watered down and they’ve taken the full frontal nudity out, but the bible’s been edited so much that what should this matter?
There was yet another welcoming ritual the other night — dinner with the faculty. We went to a pork bbq place. BBQ here is not as I have known it. You do it right there at the table, and eat it in lettuce. They gave us 3 or 4 new teachers some (more) flowers. the effort isn’t lost on me – I imagine roses are quite expensive in a land where everything flora is either dead or seriously sleeping. No perfume though.
It’s tradition for the boss – the headmaster – to do shots of soju (the local spirits – I’ve mentioned that before) with the newbies but since I don’t drink he switched to pepsi. At some time during the night I switched from coke to pepsi a few times – oh baby – lethal combo. The vice-princy – aka medicineman also did this as did mrs.chun, who’s the home ec. teacher, and I think maybe a couple of others. Mrs.chun is pretty cool, her desk is next to mine. She does all kinds of zainy stuff like say the dinner is last week when she means next week.
All this is normal enough but then I was bundled up and taken into the surreal and murky depths of Noraebang aka kareoke. I had only just sat down when the drill sargeant started up with something local and yelly — the reverb on the mic. was horrendous but on purpose.
They immediately started badgering me to pick a song. I procrastinated, hoping I could wheedle my way out, but nuh-uh. I could see how what I chose was quite crucial in some ways and there was a lot of choice considering that englishy songs wouldn’t be quite as well known as local. Black Sabbath’s ‘Go to hell’ popped out. I kept flipping through – and settled on ‘let’s twist again’ by Chubby Checker — I have no idea why. I thought there was only a chorus. i’ve really only ever heard it on tv commercials. And the Jive Bunny version.
It was about the same as if a medium-sized mammal had died in the room. It was shocking. There was all these verses and I just read them as the words changed colour on the wall of nine televisons. I tried singing the choruses, but it’s hopeless unless there’s some cue as to what note I should be hitting.
In contrast most of them were fantastic, none moreso than the principal — just as I guessed. Miami Vice – the art teacher was pretty good. he frustrates me a bit because I’m strangulating myself regularly with too-tight shirt collars + ties, and he’s wearing don johnson. I didn’t know you could do that.
There’s another guy that I call Charles bronson — he wears a toupee. I don’t know why the toup is frowned upon. It’s kind of like a special hat. There’s another guy who I was calling spock, because he looks a bit like him, but he’s too madcap for that.
Most of these people don’t know any english at all, but spock knows just a little, but isn’t afraid to use it unorthodoxly. The little guy sitting at the desk on the other side of me hasn’t said a thing – I don’t know his name or what he teaches.