1.3 Winter 2020

Last Day of Desk Warming

This morning a small napkin full of popcorn and some type of delicous airy chocolate snack appeared on my desk. I told the room at large, “Thank you!” and also felt confident enough to finally ask if it was possible to print in this makeshift office.

I spent the morning finalizing Winter Camp materials and printing out the last of the worksheets.

For lunch I originally planned to revisit the stew place from my first week but didn’t want to commit to a full hour, so instead ate tuna kimbap at a very typical “snack” place. In Korea, orange signs indicate traditional Korean family style restaurants or quick snack places that actually serve what I consider meals: kimbap, sundae (blood sausage), fried vegetables.

It’s near the Ediya that I frequent during the semester as its the only coffee shop near school that’s open before 10AM. “Maybe I should save money,” I thought, then saw the same barista through the window.

This young woman is so cute, favors my cousin a bit, and she’s always so chipper and helpful; I couldn’t help but drop more cash on coffee today.

When I came in, her eyes lit up with recognition. I commented that it was really busy today; usually the mornings are empty save for me.

“Oh, yes, that’s because it’s lunch time.” She explained in Korean.

I’m glad I turned on my side quest because exiting the coffee shop I saw Baby J accompanied by two friends. Maybe it’s my imagination, how much could he have changed in a month, but I swear Baby J looks older than before.

The trio were crossing the side street crosswalk when they spotted me and screamed “Abigail teacher!” They ran to me in the middle of the crosswalk, one boy with open arms that wasn’t quite sure what to do with himself once he reached me. I patted him on the shoulder and commented on his monkey-banana headband.

After a moment I dragged us all out of the road so they could update me on their lives. One boy mentioned something about the virus and I asked why none of them were wearing masks:

“왜 마스크 없어요?” I asked, forgetting which “put on” verb to use with masks and just used “why don’t you have masks” instead.

Baby J said, “어… 이저버렸어요.” I forgot.

They were all hungry and just out and about. They asked where I was going:

“학교에 가요. 일해야 돼요.” I’m going back to school. I have to work.

They all sympathized and I added, 근대 다음 주에 아비갤 방학 시작해요! “but next week my vacation starts!” We all cheered.

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