Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ah, shibal.

To my surprise and my readership's chagrin, I am not being exploited at work. I teach a modest seven or eight classes a day and the director rarely beats me. (For the record, when she does, she smacks me around with a sock full of Korean change, which - because of the exchange rate - leaves fewer bruises than a sock full of American coins of similar size and composition.)

I am wildly popular with my students because I let them pet my armhair. My name is unpronounceable in all but two world languages (Old Welsh and American Sign), so the kids call me "Kisu," the Korean word for "kiss." Several thirteen year-old girls harbor crushes on me, the frightening kind where they pencil "I Love You" on their eyelids and flutter their lashes while I teach the present continuous. No time for love, Dr. Jones.

I am a charter member of The League of Extraordinarily Maladjusted Expats. It started out two weeks ago with a small nucleus of white flakes languishing outside a gas station at 3 AM. It has since snowballed into something large and hideous. We are gaining momentum and rolling downhill fast. The group is far more offensive than any one of its members.

We are everyone and nobody. We are an obese 47 year-old Newfoundlander missing his left eyetooth. We are a 20-something Protestant missionary who plays jazz gospel hymns on the electric piano. We are a timid homosexual Korean businessman. We are a prematurely balding Australian. We are two Korean brothers with similar-sounding names. We are a bleached-blonde Canadian fuckwit who thinks he's that fuckwit from Van Wilder. We are a dark-haired vegetarian girl who reads Dostoevsky. We are Kisu.

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