Scandals and murders and elephants, Oh my!

Thursday 21st April 2005
Hello everyone,
There’s been tons of scandals going on in Korea recently inolving foreign teachers.
First two canadians got into a bar fight in Seoul and went to jail, then there was a Korean documentary about foreigners working as teachers in Korea, mostly portraying us all as unprofessional and unqualified money-grubbers!!
The papers have been having a field day with it, and the government’s been having a crackdown on foreigners working here illegally – either not having a proper visa or lying about their qualifications. So, tons of hagwons are losing kids cos the parents are freaking out about the teachers, etc.
So anyway, we’re not the most popular people just now!!
In my adult class the other day, Mary, my new student who’s 49, really freaked me out too!!
We were having quite a serious discussion, we started off talking about Korean views on single mothers and abortion etc, and kinda moved into a discussion about rape and how women can defend themselves etc. We were talking about really bad crimes like rape and murder, and Mary suddenly goes “Do you know about the murders over at Hwa-Seo station?”
– I should point out that Hwa-Seo station is about two streets fom my school, and is right next to a large area of fields/wasteland that the agriculture college use for seed experiments and stuff.
Anyway, she goes on to inform me that about ten to thirteen bodies were found in those very fields!! I was having a mild panic attack, cos this is my neighbourhood, after all, when she continues “Oh yeah, it was about ten years ago now” Phew!!
I later asked Jenny about it, and apparently it was a serial killer who only picked off young women wearing red coats – and he always struck when it rains!! All very spooky and they never caught him – although they did make a movie about the ‘red coat killer’, which I’m hoping to see at the weekend.
Jenny also told me that last year another girl went missing who was last seen on a rainy night wearing a red coat, but i’m not sure if they ever found a body, and they think it may have been a copycat rather than the actual guy.
Needless to say that red coats are none too popular around here, especially when its wet outside!!
(And I am sooooo glad I don’t own anything really red!!)
All very spooky and strange!!
Aside from that, the weather is finally warming up, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and I’m getting ready for the monsoon season, or what constitutes summer over here – I’ll need to go shopping for plastic flip-flops and a raincoat – of a clearly non-red orientation!!
So, I’m sensing my tan will have to wait!!
One last weird thing – On friday I was discussing with Joanna what kind of things I could do around town at the weekend that wouldn’t cost much, and she recommended that I go to the zoo. I was ecstatic at this idea, cos I love the zoo (it’s one of my all-time favourite places), and I haven’t been yet since I got here. I got all the directions for the subway etc, but then Penny called and begged me to go into Seoul with her on Saturday to help her find a birthday present and stuff, so I couldn’t go (Sunday I had to spend the whole day cleaning my flat – don’t ask).
And what should I hear on the news, but six elephants escaped from the very same zoo!!
Clearly they heard I wasn’t coming and revolted and left in search of me!! (Elephants love me).
So, better stop now, this emails pretty long already,
Cheers for all your nice emails the other week – I am feeling much better now, my tonsils have receded back to a normal size, and my slow recuperation enabled me to discover the delights of MacGyver!! For those of you who don’t know him, he’s an eighties action genius – Columbo’s crime-solving talents, a Blue Peter style ability to make a small amount of explosives using nothing but a tube of toothpaste, a length of copper wire, and some sticky-back plastic, all rolled into a gorgeous body in really tight jeans (even his mullet is forgivable!!).
Ahhh, MacGyver.
On that note i’ll love you and leave you,
tons of hugs

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