That afternoon was spent cleaning up and organizing our classrooms. There was a lot of work to do, so we didn’t really get to speak to each other until walking to the train that evening.
She asked me how I felt about everything. I decided that I wouldn’t just focus on the negatives.
Here’s a breakdown of my summations:
The whole bible debacle and morning prayer routine were bizarre.
Lunch was great.
The fact that we were teaching creationism was ridiculous.
Lunch was fantastic.
Teaching kids that James Joyce was burning in hell was outrageous.
Lunch was wonderful.
We purposefully avoided talking about our impending (doom) nuptials until disembarking from the train.
“A wedding girl. What the fuck was that all about?”
“I don’t know boy! It isn’t happening though. It’s really fucking mad!”
We were in quite the pickle. If we flat out refused to go through with this crack-pot Jesus freak’s idea of a wedding, he may renege on the job offer, but if we kept schtum and didn’t outwardly commit to anything, maybe we could sign our contract and then have a reasonable conversation regarding our opposition to forced marriages.
Our final decision was to say nothing till you hear more. Bury our heads in the sand. The Irish way of dealing with horrific circumstances. We assumed that honest hard-working church folk would be level-headed, flexible and open to negotiation.
Not a chance.
Day two started as day one had with another passive aggressive prayer session. Mr Boyle asked Father God to help Mr Yun make the right decisions for the school. He asked Jesus to guide Mr Yun’s hand while planning for the year ahead.
These guys were using Jesus as a wall to hide behind while throwing insults at each other. Maybe I could ask Jesus to cancel the wedding. Or perhaps I could tell Mr Yun that Jesus came to me in a dream and said that the wedding was a bad idea, and for Mr Yun to get the fuck out of our personal lives. Perhaps he would respond to a request being made in the language that he was most used to.
Mr Yun asked us to stay behind again after the bible session. The bible session that we still had no bible for. A young Korean male teacher stayed back with us. Mr Yun introduced him as Mr Park (fake name of course). Mr Park was the music teacher. He was wearing a Spurs jersey, they were well supported in Korea because of the success of Son Heung-min.
Mr Park spoke with a perfect American accent. Apparently he had lived there for most of his life, returning to Korea as a teenager with his parents.
“I understand you’re a soccer fan?” he smiled.
I answered that I liked it just fine. Mr Yun’s presence was draining my enthusiasm for the game. The cunt was beaming, he had the satisfied look of a successful matchmaker on his face. A face that I would gladly have punched.
Mr Yun proclaimed “Mr Park is a very talented opera singer. He will be singing a song at your wedding on Monday.”
For fuck sake. The cunt now had the band booked. Jesus Christ. Was he going to surprise us with an organized lock-in for the second day next?
I turned to herself, and for the first time since landing did something that I considered previously to be quite rude; I spoke to her in Irish. I asked her why the fuck was this guy assuming that the wedding was going ahead like we had agreed to it. We hadn’t! She shrugged and said to wait until after to talk to Mr Yun. This really confused the lads. Park was giving Yun a “What’s this shit?” look, whereas Yun had a bemused look on his face.
Mr Park repeated “I understand you like soccer. I will sing the Liverpool song at your wedding, by Gerry and the Pacemakers.”
He then proceeded to blast out a deep, rich, operatic version of You’ll Never Walk Alone.
I was stunned. First of all for being accused of being a Liverpool fan, secondly, the man’s talent just blew me away. Mainly though, and most importantly, Mr Yun had casually mentioned that the wedding was going ahead.
Not a chance.
Next time: Something resembling normality