Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I would have written nearer to the day, but it's taken me this long to de-bloat from the Thanksgiving buffet I attended. I did some research, in a desperate attempt to have some kind of feast last Thursday, and came up with two options: the $88 4-course bacchanalia at The Grand Hyatt, or the $30 buffet at a local bar named Gecko's. Despite my natural inclinations to grandeur, the pocketbook won out this time. I'm glad it did, though, because I suspect that the 4-course Grand Hyatt meal would not have offered such an abundance of food to shove in one's face, as is only appropriate on Thanksgiving.
As it was, I went to dinner at Gecko's with Daniel and John, and we had a great time. The place was fairly hopping with Americans when we got there, so I'm glad we went early. Barely pausing to throw our coats on our chairs, we rushed to the buffet line. It was a Thanksgiving miracle. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, 3 different kinds of gravy at least, roast beef, stuffed pork, teriyaki chicken, rigatoni in a creamy sauce with vegetables, salad, several different breads, and a decent dessert selection. I had only two complaints: the mashed potatoes were more like mashed potato soup, and there was no pumpkin pie. However, everything was delicious, and I was barely able to eat dessert as it was. So, no harm, no foul.
We each took heaping plates of food back to our table and dug in with enthusiasm. I couldn't believe how great it was after being here with crap food for so long. I ate faster than I ever have before! I believe I even consumed giblets, but no matter! My only regret was not having room for more. After we were finished, we could hardly walk out of the restaurant under our own power. I nearly had to be rolled to the taxi. It was wonderful...
Of course, there has been other stuff going on around here, not just gi-normous feasts. My friend Emma, from England, left to go back home. I'm really going to miss her! (But, we did plan to meet if I end up teaching in Turkey.) :-) She had a going-away party out at a latin dance club called Bahia. It was the cutest little place!
It looked like we were partying in somebody's basement. It was one small room, with mirrors on one wall, a bar on another, and the other walls had barstools or couches. In the middle was the dance floor, which was occupied by several Korean couples when we first came in. They were *amazing* dancers! I think they do dance lessons at this place, and these people seemed like they all knew each other, so maybe that's how. At any rate, I could have just watched them dance all night. In fact, they were pretty intimidating, so none of the 15 or so of us even dared to get out on the floor at first. However, once a round or two of drinks were downed, that changed. Emma and Ryan have taken lessons themselves, so they went first. After that, you couldn't hold us back. It ended up that all the Koreans left and we had the place entirely to ourselves for the rest of the night. There are lots of pictures from that night, so I'll only post a few of the best and a movie clip or two.
Do you remember me talking about my friend Kane, from New Zealand (the one who sings really well and looks like Justin Timberlake)? Well, he was in a contest out at a local Canadian bar, for the best acoustical singer. He has so far been in one heat, and he won it. My last day on the job (December 8th) is the finale. So, we'll all be going to cheer for him.
Work has been kind of crazy lately. After I turned in my notice, I expected to be punished by being given the crappiest classes. Well, the first schedule I got was for 24 periods of "Grocery Store" class in one week. This was RIDICULOUS. We were very busy, so it wasn't the amount of classes in dispute, but rather having 24 of the same one! Working at this job, one feels enough like a robot without having to do 7 of the exact same class in one day. It's frankly unacceptable when we've all taught 15 or 16 different classes since we've been here and can therefore be rotated through any of them. We had a big clash on this subject in our weekly meeting (or shall I say, *I* had a clash with one of the head teachers). Turns out a lot of people got scheduled that way (it wasn't just me being punished). We were all pissed. Scheduling like that is just sheer laziness, in my opinion.
Anyway, the following week (last week) was totally slow. I taught only 11 classes total!! So, it was a really nice break after 24 Grocery Store classes. :-) Unfortunately, this week and next (my last) are chock-full of classes. Thankfully, our boss took our complaints to heart (slightly), and so I have Grocery Store and Nature class this week, instead of just the one. Plus Nature class is strictly a sitting-on-your-ass Powerpoint presentation class, which makes a nice change from Grocery.
I do have some very encouraging news to share. I have been busy applying for teaching jobs in Turkey, and have now gotten some emails requesting phone interviews! In fact, I have an interview this evening with the best school I applied to. I'm so nervous!! I don't have specific interview times scheduled yet with the other schools, though. I'm kind of waiting to see how it goes with my interview tonight. God, how I hate interviewing. So, please wish me luck!!
OK, my break time here is almost over. Time to teach Grocery to a bunch of no-English-whatsoever kindergarten kids that are in for the day. Boy, I can hardly wait!
Talk to you soon! (And see you soon, too!)