A Travellerspoint blog

Goodbye Korea

Blog Entry 35

It all started, the beginning of the end that is, one fairly normal Friday afternoon. We were at the gym performing one finger push-ups and chin-ups in very short shorts when a phone call came through requesting our presence together at Ding Ding Dang. We knew something was going down, and suspected that something was the entire DDD business. Turned out we were correct, and despite our skill for being correct in most given situations, we found ourselves out of a job!

So many goodbyes were to follow…

Favourite Daegu Places
We first had to farewell some of our favourite hometown haunts.
Goodbye shopping strip…
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Goodbye Borisu- the best value and most delicious vego feast in the world…
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Goodbye to our recently discovered café gem, with the best fruit bing-su in Daegu…
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Goodbye Happy Mountain, the friendly neighbourhood mountain (and Tough Mudder training facility)…
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We also had to pass on the news of our leaving to the staff at some of the places we frequent. We gave “the bakery dude” some vegemite and he seemed most pleased, Brad’s Dunkin’ Donuts lady got a clippy Koala, and Em received a heartfelt hug from the waitress at our favourite restaurant. Most memorably, our chiropractor and his wife took us out for lunch at a local galbi (BBQ) restaurant. (Note how they wipe their smiles and adopt 1900s style stone faces for all photos!)
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Who would have guessed that you could have such good relationships without sharing the same language? None of these people could speak a lick of English, our Korean combined is less than rudimentary, and Google Translate is frankly quite terrible (e.g., the time chiro’s sentence kept coming up with “Will you watch your friend crap?”. He couldn’t believe it when Em explained in Korean what the screen was telling her!)

The Students
We continued to negligently teach for a couple weeks before the time came to goodbye our miniature Koreans.
At Manchon DDD, the kids were forced to pose for the obligatory class photos:
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Resistance was fixed with burgers...
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Some of Brad Teacher’s pupils were so upset on his imminent departure that they had to hide their faces…
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Others were less concerned…
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Irrespective, the kids will always be remembered for their exceptional work ethic..
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…and their atonement for almost 12 months of grief…
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Over at Suseong DDD and Emma Teacher’s goodbye parties there were a few tears…
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…lots of games, noodle parties and celebrations…
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…an invitation into the exclusive L1 class hairstyle club…
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…some rather un-Australian reactions to the taste of vegemite…
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…and some heartfelt goodbye messages, many of which suggested Em T had not quite done her job: “Teasher pleas don’t live 1 week. (Teacher, please don’t leave in one week)”, “Ebary body love Engarish and Emma Teecher is champion like. (Everybody loves English and we like Emma Teacher the best.)”, “I give you my hurt. (I give you my heart.)”. There was also this whiteboard picture message, where Em T is simultaneously fighting a dragon and taking a dump:
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…and this special photo message (which, in Korea, is the disrespectful equivalent of shitting in your teacher’s handbag as a goodbye gag :(
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Hehehe, or as the Koreans’ say KKKKK.

The Teachers
Saddest of all, we had to say goodbye to our colleagues. In the lead-up weeks we had extra coffee and magolli sessions with a couple of Em’s bossom buddies. Lynsi & Jenny we love you!
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They twisted Em’s rubber arm to try some local plum wine…
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…and convinced Brad to try sloppy, chewy cow’s intestines.
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Then came time for our goodbye drinks and downtown frolics. Unfortunately, Brad’s mob disappeared with a clap of thunder and puff of smoke. Fortunately, Em’s workmates are 10 times more fun anyway…
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… and off we went downtown. First stop? GoGo’s Cocktail in a Bag of course!
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After a good dosing-up we arrived at Traveller’s Bar and Grill for dinner and continued shenanigans. Some of the teachers snuck out to purchase some super-cute hair accessories for Emma’s goodbye gift (visible in this pic, as is her gratitude)…
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…only to leave Brad feeling left out *sob*. So, Em lent him a sparkly little clip and restored good humour to all.
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Through our photos it will be visible to even the least observant observer that we were collectively a little tipsy (at least) by this stage. So, we all agreed it was a cracking idea when drinking games were suggested. We introduced the Koreans and Americans to “Thumper” (which attracted the attention of the entire bar since is it undoubtedly the loudest and funniest-looking drinking game in existence). Plus we now have a few drinking game newbies to introduce to our circles back in Aus, including “Baskin Robins” and “Image”. Thanks Polly!
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After losing a trouper or two to the midnight call of husbands and babies it was time for a change of venue. On the way, our Chinese friend, Murphey, revealed that this was her first time ever drinking alcohol. We were surprised to say the least, because she had already downed a cocktail or two and half a dozen beers! A photo of this momentous moment was demanded on the spot, even if that spot be next to a couple road signs on a miscellaneous street:
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At the subsequent clubs we drank, we danced, we chatted, we frolicked. We even ran into and proceeded to party with the financial guy from the bank (whom we befriended earlier that day while transfers and closures were completed). What a guy!
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Our Final Day
At an unknown hour, in an unknown state, by unknown means, we arrived home. The next morning we awoke feeling absolutely SHIT but sucked it up (the vomit forming in our mouths, that is) and carried our boxes to the post office. After that terrible experience we needed some fresh air and went to the park across the road. As per the night before we frolicked merrily:
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In Brad’s particularly crippled state it was much easier for Em to convince him that we must try the “take a photo wearing traditional clothes” stand in the park.
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Unfortunately Brad started ‘coming to’ half way through the photo shoot and became violent.
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After the loss of a hand in a freak sword attack, we returned home to perform typical Joseon Dynasty princess and warrior duties- cleaning the apartment :o(

Then, after an action packed day we got on our overnight bus to Incheon airport. This seemed like a good idea when we booked it. It seemed like A REALLY FUCKING STUPID IDEA when we were on it experiencing our 3rd almost entirely sleepless night in a row. Regardless, we made it. We also made it through a year in Korea, had fantastic travels, and met the most incredible people. Bye bye Korea and Koreans- we love you!

END

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Posted by 2 Idiots Abroad 21:31 Archived in South Korea Tagged south_korea english korea teaching deagu

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