We went out the following morning on the train to meet with Mr Boyle. When we got to the school it was just himself and the two secretaries present. No sign of Mr Yun or Mrs Joy.
We were offered the job. No contract was issued, but he said Mrs Joy was taking care of that for us and would have it ready soon.
We would be staring on the following Monday and our apartment would be ready on the following Friday. This suited us just fine. We were paid up in our current accommodation until that date.
I was relieved that we got the offer. I didn’t want to have to admit defeat and return home so early in to our trip. It would have been awful trying to explain that to everyone.
It wouldn’t have been a huge failure. It’s not like we sold our house or anything, it’s just that people can be real dicks if they perceive failure in someone that has tried something different. Proper begrudging cunts. It’s one of the worst aspects of Irish people’s personalities – we’re slow to reward success, quick to point out failings.
As a nation, we can be right miserable fucks when we want to be!
On the way out of Mr Boyle’s office we were greeted by a young Korean mother and her two children. They ran to Mr Boyle, and he received them with a big hug, lifting the smaller one up on to his shoulders. It was actually a really nice moment. In Ireland a teacher would never do something like this, they’re not allowed. Why? Well, like everything that’s shit in Ireland, the Catholic Church acted the bollox and ruined platonic relationships between adults and young children for everyone. Cheers lads!
The kids and their mother seemed to really love Mr Boyle. He asked them a few questions and played a little game with the older one. It was like rock, paper, scissors. The kid won and Mr Boyle gave her a sweet that he had in his pocket.
He introduced us to the kid’s mother.
“This is Teacher (Me) and his wife, Teacher (Herself). They will be starting school in two weeks!”
“Aw”, I thought, followed by, “hang on a sec, I don’t have a wife.” I passed it off as a cultural misinterpretation and followed herself in to the lift.
On the train back to Seoul we discussed our plans for the next 12 months. We were both in agreement that the town we’d be living in was a shithole, BUT, we were only a train ride away from Seoul.
One of the best things in Korea was the availability of cheap, basic (but comfortable!) accommodation throughout the city. We could spend an entire weekend in Seoul from less than €20 and visit all the bars and restaurants we wanted to. Monday to Friday would be spent in the boonies, Friday, Saturday and Sunday would be spent in civilization.
We would go to Japan for Christmas and New Year’s, maybe visit China in the spring, and possibly try and get a trip to North Korea at some point.
The job would be treated as that – a job only. There was no need for us to get involved in their church, and we were sure they wouldn’t force us to.
Sure that would have made things awkward.
Next time: Ew, Gimbap!