At midday, it was hot and steamy outside. I am finding that the apartment stays relatively cool, regardless. While I was cooking rice and preparing dinner, the room was only around 75F after it had been around 80F outside during the day. That is good to know.
I woke up too early, fully aware of all the tasks that I needed to get done. I tried to sleep a bit more, but resigned myself to getting up around 6:30. I did my normal thing, for it was useless to leave well before nine o’clock since most stores do not open until ten, and even the banks do not open their doors until nine. A trip to the bank was on the top of my list of things to do today, but I did not want to get their promptly at nine o’clock and have to hang around until other places unlocked their doors. That is why I could linger over coffee and play my games and stuff, as usual.
Itching to get going nonetheless, I washed out a dress that I might take on my trip, then did what online international banking I could this morning, in addition to handling some messages. I reviewed and revised my shopping and errands lists, then got dressed and ready to go. I was out the door before nine-thirty.
I went to the village shuttle bus stop, intending to make my first stop at my bank. When I got there, there was already a queue. I had to wait some twenty minutes. The elderly people are up and about first thing in the morning, eager to get business done at the service counters and markets as early as possible. The bank is no different. The often take a long time with their complaining and haggling for favours. Anyway, I got my stuff done when it was my turn, leaving with some cash for the day’s errands.
New to the area, I was prepared to have to walk around looking for certain kinds of shops. I was lucky in that I got my sunglasses fixed for free. The repair guy seemed to think I had crappy sunglasses. He’s right. I lose them so often though, that I do not buy decent ones. I tried last summer, and lost a sixty-dollar pair I’d just bought for the summer in Canada.two or three weeks after returning to Korea. I just shrugged at the man’s note of caution, and carried on my way, after learning that I could not buy a case without glasses, and that I would have to go to a drugstore for moisturizing eye drops.
My eyes were quite dry through the winter and bothered me at night so consistently that I have been concerned there might be damage in the making. I should have looked into the matter a long time ago. It’s because the interior of airplanes get very dry that I thought I should get some drops for the trip. I did scout around for a hospital that might give me a prescription for them, but did not encounter an eye clinic.
The next thing was the watch strap. As I am not planning to take my mobile phone, I should take a watch to wear during the trip. My watch strap has been broken for a long time. I poked around for a jewelry or clock shop but could not spot one in that neighbourhood. I therefore headed for the subway station planning to go to a Lotte big box discount store where I hoped to get some services taken care of such as the watch strap, and shop.
The Lotte store was not far and I soon found it. It was getting really hot by ten-thirty, so I tried to keep to the shade. I had been told there was a service center in the vicinity of that store where I might be able to purchase a new battery for the phone. The phone has run dry too often and could use a new battery. I went into the big discount department store first, and discovered a watch repairman who fixed the strap. Then I bought some light weight undergarments in the same place.
I needed to get some lunch well before noon, and had some bibimbap in the food court of the Lotte store. Actually, it was pretty good. The cook piled a lot of vegetables and nice runny egg on the rice, so that it was nutritious and fresh.
Next, I was fortunate enough to find the LG mobile phone center that I’d heard about. That mission remains to be accomplished, though. I wasted time waiting in the wrong part of the store, and when I arrived at the proper counter, they told me they would have to see my phone. By then, I was getting too tired to make the run back home and return to the service center right away.
I left it for another day, deciding to go home but stop at a Korean style “dollar” store for some party and travel items. I began up picking up a pile of stuff at that place, things that were not on my list. I guess I realized that there were a lot of little things that needed replacing. Anyway, I found some paper cups and balloons for the party, and picked up a vanity case, tooth care kit for travel, a sleeping mask, and some dried fruit. I probably could have used some more things, but I was feeling drained. I paid and left the store, planning to take a bus home from just outside that store.
The ice-cream parlour was too tempting, though, and I knew that I would need another pick-me-up because I’d had lunch so early, so I went there for a cup of frozen yoghurt. It was an enjoyable moment having the yoghurt.
When I got home, I felt exhausted and I wanted to nap. It was too noisy with the window open for sleeping. I just played around on the computer after storing my purchases, until I was too sleepy. I realized at that point that I had forgotten to take my Synthroid tablet this morning, without which I would feel kind of dopey. I took it, but tried to lie down and sleep all the same. The street noise kept disturbing me (as it is doing right now!), so I decided to make myself some tea and look at some papers that needed marking.
As I was preparing to mark the papers, it crossed my mind that there really was no hurry to mark them, as I think it would be prudent not to return them to the students. The papers are some dialogues written by students of my conversation classes who were to demonstrate they could use the lessons content of the last chapter in our course and construct a telephone conversation. It actually is what ended up being the written portion of the final exam, so I ought not to return them. We are to file away final exams. Besides, looking over this work, it appears many students did not write very good dialogues, and it would be a slap in the face to go through with a party and give them disappointing scores at the same time. The atmosphere of the farewell parties would certainly be depressed. Also, I don’t want students who are angry or disappointed about marks to give me an unfair poor evaluation after the exams. Normally, we do not disclose exam results and the students enter their teacher evaluation ratings and comments before they see their final grades. I therefore should not return the papers to the students when I see them on Monday. Rather, I should hang on to them.
After looking at a few of the papers, and seeing that they were of low quality, I quickly arrived at a simple marking method. I checked them all for the expressions they were to include as the main object of the assignment, and sorted out the best ones from the worst. Three failed to do the assignment properly. I wrote scores down, and that was that. It took much less work than I had anticipated.
By the time the papers were marked, it was around five o’clock. I was not getting hungry, though I knew it was time to boil a pot of rice so I put some water on to boil and turned on the TV. There was a children’s fantasy movie on, though a decent one (“The Golden Compus”, a British thing with a great cast and an interesting anti-fascist message).
By now, I’ve had a good vegetable and seafood with tofu curry, and started watching “The Titans.” Thursdays is a good day for OCN viewing. It is usually features violent and shallow action flicks, but Thursday’s fair is softer. This is also the night for my favorite and most intriguing program, “Mad Men,” a sardonic look back at the fifties and the concoctions of imperialist corporate America at its most confident and proud moment.
This is such a long entry. I had not planned on putting down so much detail of the day. Well, I didn’t start out with a plan for the blogging today.