Making my way through Asia (and grad school) one adventurous step at a time.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Adventures in T-shirts

Twice a semester, I'm expected to proctor student examinations. That means that I spend 4-5 hours on a Saturday strolling around an auditorium while my students write the midterms and finals. It's a long, boring day. To amuse myself, I read what's written on my students' T-shirts. Here's a sampling of what I read last Saturday:

- I love school
- I'm a tosser
- Delicious Litmus
- Thank you for getting naked
- Happy?
- I see dead people
- A cup of my mind colors
- Mockingbird wish me luck
- The sound of a kiss is not as loud as that of a cannon but it's echo lasts a great deal longer

I would love to know who makes these shirts, and whether or not the students know what they mean...half the time, I sure don't (or wish I didn't!)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Adventures in Ssireum

Yesterday was the 33rd Gyeongsan JaIn Festival. As part of the festival, foreign women were invited to compete in a Ssireum wrestling tournament. Having never voluntarily competed in an athletic event, I don't know why I decided to sign up, but I did. I was expecting to eat sand in the first round and enjoy the rest of the festival from the benches. We had 1 hour of training/practice on Wednesday, then hopped on the bus on Saturday to go to the tournament.

In Ssireum, each match is determined by the winner of 2 out of 3 rounds. In order to win, you must throw your opponent to the ground, without your knees or hips touching the sand first. All this is done in ankle deep sand, and clutching your partner's satba or belt.

Somehow, I managed to win 2 of the 3 rounds in my first match. Apparently, I did the same in my 2nd match (time spent in the ring became increasingly blurry as I started getting tired and sore) and advanced to the semi-finals, where I was finally knocked out of the competition. I must say though, I'm glad I was beaten when I was. If I had won, the girl I'd have had to fight in the final was a bulldozer disguised as a woman.

Today, I'm sore and bruised (in places I hope to never be bruised again!!) but can admit I had a pretty good day - athletic event and all.