Monday, January 30, 2006

54. My Thoughts on Brokeback... Finally!

I think I may be the only gay blogger left who hasn’t yet talked about Brokeback Mountain.  Oops… heh.  

I did see it, I made a point of seeing it before I left because I was fairly certain it would never make it over here to Korea.  

I don’t really have anything to say that hasn’t already been said on countless other blogs.  I found the movie beautiful, and heartbreaking.  And this will sound odd, but I was actually shocked at the lack of graphic sex in the film, because certain Christian reviewers had referred to the movie as… well, containing graphic sex scenes… when really, I’ve seen more graphic sex depicted on primetime TV so… I’m not sure what they were talking about.  

It did make me think more about these closeted men’s wives, and how much potential there is to hurt so many people when you have to lie about who you are. And while infidelity will obviously hurt your spouse, just the lie – without the infidelity – can also cause pain.  I’m reminded of a story I heard in an excellent documentary called Trembling Before G-d (a movie about gay orthodox Jews).  It was a story told by a psychologist who had been treating a woman for depression, when one day her husband came in and said “I think I’m the reason for my wife’s depression”, and went on to confess to being gay.  He had never strayed, never cheated on his wife, but she knew he didn’t desire her… could never love her the way she wanted to be loved, and it sent her into a depression.  

Anyway, like I said, it’s not like I have any new thoughts… this movie has been discussed ad nauseam in the blogosphere so… just thought I’d do my duty and ad my two cents.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

53. Oldmaidenhood

I was just chatting with my last single friend and she told me that she doesn’t think she wants to get married.  You’d think this would give me hope that, should I end up being celibate for life, I won’t go into oldmaidenhood alone… but, well… she is hardly the first friend I’ve had tell me that they didn’t want to marry… and she was much less definite about it than some of my other friends.  I’ve had people tell me in no uncertain terms that they would never, never marry.  No desire for it whatsoever.  And some were quite specific about it; they would never marry because they really didn’t have any desire for sex.

The thing is, they are all now, without exception, married.  And I can only assume (without thinking about it too much) that they have had the dreaded sex.  

It really doesn’t seem fair, does it?  I mean, I’ve been told that celibacy shouldn’t be that big a deal – I’ve actually had the “What’s wrong with celibacy?” speech given to me, on more than one occasion, and by more than one person.  (All of whom are, again, married, by the way)  Yet how many people are actually voluntarily celibate?  Honestly, we were not designed for that.  Of course, now I’ve just opened myself up for the “we were not designed for homosexual sex” argument so… never mind.  

I tell people I’m happy being single, and I’m not lying… not really.  But I know it’s temporary, it’s kind of like being full.  It’s good, and you’re satisfied, but it’s not like you don’t know that you’ll be hungry again later… and if you never eat?  Well, you know what happens then.  My mother actually brought up the gay issue recently, saying she was happy I had “chosen a healthy lifestyle, but you can’t emotionally starve yourself forever!” And she’s right.  The only reason I can endure this is because I don’t think about my life… I think about right now, and maybe a month from now… or if I’m ambitious I’ll go as far as a year, but anything beyond that is too much to handle.  My mother’s solution, of course, is that I get fixed and marry a man… and well, if you’ve read any of this blog you know where I stand on that issue.

Anyway, it’s 3:11 in the morning here in Korea, and so I’m a little darker than usual.  

I’m getting more and more into the swing of things.  My class is actually starting to behave, and I already have my favourites (shhhh, don’t tell anyone!  Teacher’s aren’t supposed to have favourites, but we all do!).  And it looks like my biggest trouble maker will be leaving in about a month, which is something to look forward to.  I get along fairly well with all the other foreign teachers, and the newest one is actually a practicing Catholic, so that is cool.  I meant to go to the Seventh Day Adventist Church this morning to check it out and get back to her, but I’ve come down with bronchitis and have spent the day in bed (watching my Battlestar Galactica DVDs and sleeping).  

One of the other teachers, whom I shall call the Punster, cause, well, he tells horrific puns all the time (i.e.: “This looks like a traffic jam, I prefer strawberry jam so I’m going to go home”) happens to also be one of the sweetest people to have ever existed.  He took me out for lunch the other day and in the process of telling me a story about a previous teacher at the school informed me that coming out here is tantamount to asking to get fired.  Apparently this particular teacher taught at our school for about 3 weeks and quit, and then proceeded to get fired from about 5 different schools when they found out he was gay.  He was apparently not very discreet.  Of course, I knew this before I came, but it was interesting to have it confirmed.  

Oh, and an update on the little, so-called, ‘lesbian girl’… I’m beginning to agree with the other teachers… this little girl (who is actually about 7 years old, not 5) has had more (voluntary) girl on girl action than I have at 30 (of course, that’s not hard to do as I’ve had… uh, let’s see… about… none!).  She kisses other girls all the time, and I don’t mean little innocent pecks, I mean “Holy crap, are those two girls making out?” kind of stuff.  The girls she kisses just giggle and joke about it, but she appears to be quite serious.  It’s not uncommon to hear “Girls! Stop kissing!” coming from her classroom.  

In other gay news (heh), I think I got gaydared last night.  I went out for supper with some of the teachers from my school, and they invited this girl from another school who I think pinged me.  I could just be being paranoid though, because she’s rather pretty and is the first girl I’ve caught myself giving the once over to… and I think she caught me doing it too.  I actually only caught myself because I caught her catching me. (Does that sentence make any sense outside of my head?)

Anyway, it’s now 3:36 in the morning and I really should go to sleep.  G’night… or G’morning, whatever.    

Sunday, January 15, 2006

52. Week 1 in Korea

Okay, well, I’m here.  In the Land of Morning Calm… that’s Korea for those of you who have never heard that before… I hadn’t until a few days before I arrived.  I’ve been here for a week, but honestly, I kind of feel like I’ve been here forever!  And I don’t mean that in a bad way, I just mean that… well, I feel like I’ve been here forever.  There’s no other way to say that.  There are all these things I’ve been warned about – parents complaining about me, racist taxi drivers – actually racist everyone, the director criticizing me, none of these things have happened yet, but I have to keep reminding myself that I’ve only been here for a week, so they are still very likely to happen.  

The racist thing is interesting, and I’m not sure if ‘racist’ is the right word.   But according to one of the other Canadian teachers, one of the things I can expect is some ‘confusion’ about my race because I’m Canadian but not white.  Apparently the director of the school showed him (the Canadian teacher) my picture about a thousand times to ask if I was “really from Canada”.  It’s funny, in Canada I constantly have to put up with comments like “Are you sure you’re black?  You’re so light skinned.”… but well, here they have no doubts about that.  One of the kids actually said “Teacher… your skin… it’s…um… black!”  It’s really not.  I have white friends who are darker than me… even more in the summer when they all seem to tan so much better than me.  It’s very frustrating.  

Anyway, back to Korea.  I’m liking my job so far.  I am mainly responsible for the kindergarten class – which range in age from 4-6 (they are all 6 or 7 according to the way Koreans count age, that was confusing for me at first, because all the kids were way too small to be that old).  The previous teacher was apparently not very good (they let him go), and the class has no discipline.  I know they are young, but I’ve worked with younger kids who are better behaved.  And it’s not that the kids are bad, they are just used to running things, so they have to get used to the fact that I’m in charge.  I’m not usually very strict as a teacher, but I’m having to be.  I’m hoping to get them in line fairly soon, so that I can go back to my normal teaching style, which is much more laid back.

The weirdest thing about the school is the video cameras.  All the classrooms have video cameras, and there are TVs in the lobby where the parents can watch us.  It’s a weird feeling.  So far I’ve only been watched once, but that will change next week.  I am taking over a class that the parents watch regularly.  Fun!

I’ve eaten things I would never have thought of… I’m sort of living by a “eat first, ask questions later” policy.  I figure that way I can figure out what I like without being prejudiced against it.  In doing this I have found out that I like dried, sliced, sticky squid and a weird fried fish/egg paste thing.  

My living arrangements are pretty much what I expected… perhaps a little smaller than I thought, but well, I didn’t expect much.  It’s one room about the size of a decent sized living room.  I’ve got the internet though, so that’s the most important thing!

I went to a Korean church this morning that had English translation.  The thing is, besides the translator, I was the only English speaker there, so I think next time I will try the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which apparently has services in English so there must be more English speakers there.  It’s not that I don’t want to hang out with Koreans, it just that part of the point of church is the fellowship, and I can’t really fellowship with people I can’t speak with, you know?

In keeping with the theme of this blog, the sermon was interesting.  The pastor brought up homosexuality (particularly gay couples who don’t hide the fact that they are gay couples) as evidence of society’s degenerate nature.  That sort of stuff is always fun to listen to.  

Oh, and the first day of school I heard the other English speaking staff joking about a little girl (who is 5 or 6 by the way) that they believe is a lesbian.  They weren’t being malicious though, so I wasn’t upset or anything.  But Korea being what it is, I have no intention of coming out here.  

And not that it’s all that relevant, but one of the Canadian teachers went to high school with Tricia Helfer – who plays Six on the new Battlestar Galactica (which is, I think, my favourite show on television right now – yes, I know, I’m a nerd.  And proud of it!  Besides, the show rocks.  It’s not my fault there’s a hot girl on it.).   He actually was her ‘date’ at a lot of her early modeling events.  I’m normally into the ‘hot blonde’ types, but… well, she’s… hot (and I hunted to find the least provocative pictures of her).  And she’s just so good on Battlestar Galactica.   See, if I was out, I would have sat right down and peppered him with questions about her, but instead I just nodded and said I thought she was an amazing actress, and that I love her show.  Ah well, it’s not that important.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

51. Leaving on a Jet Plane

Well, this is it.  The last post while I am still in the Great White North… my home and (not quite) native land.  I fly out to Korea tomorrow.  I have nothing to say… nothing profound anyway.  I barely have time to write this down.  But I value all your thoughts and prayers.

I hope to have my internet up and running fairly quickly once I get there so things can get back to normal, blog wise.  Not sure how possible that will be, but time will tell.  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and a Happy New Year.