Thursday, March 13, 2008

Gohyeon Today

For the second day in a row, the valley Gohyeon sits in has been shrouded with pollution.  Yesterday, it was the Yellow Sand that is carried from Gobi desert and settles over everything.  Today the pollution is smog.  Farmers across the valley are getting ready to plant their crops and are burning off brush and stubble.  The air this morning was windless and heavy and the smoke was stagnant.  Thankfully, a gentle shower came wand washed the air and rinsed the yellow sand off everything.

They repainted the lines on the main street through Gohyeon this week.  The lines are bright white and yellow and tell people where to drive and where they can and cannot park.  But this being Korea, the lines are already smudged by cars who park illegally and make bad lane changes.

Today I had to deal with a kindergarten boy who has picked up the unfortunate habit of exposing himself in class.  I tried my best to explain why it was not good to do, but ended up punting the issue to our Korean director.  That's an area where miscommunication could be disastrous.

And finally, I almost got hit by cars twice today.  Both times I had the right away and was in a crosswalk.  The first one was a guy who was making a right hand turn on a red light.  The crosswalk light was green for me.  He made a rolling stop and let me by.

But then after I passed him, he honked at me.  I turned around and shouted, "What!" as loud as I could.  He slammed on his breaks and we stared each other down through his half-open passenger side window.  The stare was broken when another car honked at him and he moved on.

The second time I almost got hit today was by a heating oil truck that made a clumsy "u-turn" through a crosswalk I was crossing.  The truck almost hit me when the driver batched the u-turn and decided backed out blindly into traffic.  I shouted at this driver too, but he couldn't hear me over the honks of traffic and his diesel engine.

Korea just might kill me.  If not the pollution, then the cars.

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