This is in reality the 363rd entry.
It is the day after my birthday. I have a little red eye.
Though small in numbers, the party was fine. We celebrated at a natural spring water brewery restaurant just a ways south of here in the city. I did not bathe in the spa, after all. I thought it would make me sleepy and in the wrong mood for a boisterous tavern with live music and dancing. Instead, I had gone for a regular workout at the campus gym in the afternoon. No-one available to have dinner prior to meeting at the tavern, I just had a snack at home and slowly prepared to go out for a rowdy evening.
My new friend from Changwon, the school teacher whom I met at S’ Hawaiin theme party in November showed up. He is a party animal in the best sense of the word. He loves dancing and can really move! He brought me a gift of chocolate and a cake, though I barely knew him before. He’s a thoughtful and considerate person. It is customary for the band to sing happy birthday and the staff to light the candles there, so he arranged for that to happen. I am sure he is single though he appears to be in his late 40s, and I suspect he is gay. Rats.
One of my colleagues, a married guy with a teen-aged daughter, came along so as to escape domestic routine and be with some weiguks for awhile. He said an extraordinary thing: his wife does not like to be with foreigners. Hm. It has me wondering about that marriage.
Besides those two, B plus a hiking buddy joined us. We really had a great time snacking, talking, listening to the band, and watching the crowds living it up at rows and rows of tables in the great open room. The band plays pop rock in mostly English and Korean, though they are largely from Bulgaria and sometimes break out in a Russian or Bulgarian song. The draw the crowds and get them dancing. We got up a few times to dance together. It is mostly group dancing rather than partner dancing. Everyone is friendly. The place as a great atmosphere and is unlike most bars and night clubs.
I had more birthday greetings than any other time in my life, I think, which demonstrates the cosmic power of the universe this particular month, I guess. Heh-heh. Over Facebook, I received many wishes. Of course, many were from the 20-some people I had invited to this party but some were from overseas.
I need to prepare to lead this afternoon’s local gathering of Korea TESOL. We have one guest speaker. In the second hour, we will host a little Christmas shindig. I have to lead a little sing-a-long.
I enjoyed the Christmas party but I have to say that it is a relief to be done with it. It went pretty much as planned. We drew a good sized gathering and there was a friendly and fun atmosphere as we went through the singing, snacking, trivia games and a gift exchange. Everyone responded well to the singing and requested an extra song. Few participants brought anything to exchange so it was good planning on our part to have foreseen that likelihood and made sure to have enough gifts on hand.
Personally, I ended up with a book and a package of tea candles. Actually, I “stole” it; the gift exchange system allowed for “thefts” of gifts from the original recipients. The guy I stole from ended up with better books, I believe. The book I got will be useful for my train ride tomorrow, and regular commutes to the classes where I’ll be subbing.
Our speaker went overtime and I had to signal him to wrap it up; he had way too much material. He is actually not so experienced a presenter, and has only worked for two years teaching on the topic of the day, writing. Very nice fellow, though too talkative. Like many guys, he dominated the dinner time conversation. We went to an American style diner after the party and were so pleased with it that we plan to return, even if burgers are not the healthiest fare.
The rapport with the other volunteers of the Chapter seems to have warmed back up and the two women with whom there was tension last month were being friendly. I guess cosmic powers are working on them. One of them even invited me to her Christmas eve party; I don’t know about going.
Though I am feeling ragged after last night’s festivities, I am ending this project on a positive note. My days are filled with celebration, good company and positive developments on many fronts.
I must take the train to go to the national meeting in Seoul tomorrow. One of the women from the local Chapter will be there, as well as the guy who presented today. by the way. Anyway, I will be too tied up with that duty, and the business of taking notes, networking and contributing to the discussion that I shall not be able to work on the blog tomorrow. That final entry will be delayed by at least a day. Our meeting will be an assessment of the 30 years of the organization’s history, which seems to be a fitting activity for this point in my present life.