Well, one of my students came into class all steamed becasue her boyfriend (in very poor form) not just looked at a poster of a hot model in a bikini (which are rife these days, and which, being a guy, I would have defended him for doing -- those posters are specifically designed by advertisers to ensnare us dink-havers into looking, so it's difficult to say he was out of line for that. . . however, he also COMMENTED on it to his girlfriend, which isn't cool -- ogling whilst in the presence of one's girlfriend should ALWAYS be done surreptitiously, if at all.
Well, to balance that gripe out with a laugh, I told a story about a time I was out with girlfriendoseyo:
We were walking by a bus stop, and I spotted, as we approached, one of those long-legged, beskirted sort of specimens that keep some men in Korea way longer than they need to be. . . but I was with girlfriendoseyo, so I thought very specifically, "MUST. . . NOT. . . OGLE!" and focused my gaze with laser-intensity at the pedestrian overpass nearby.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Girlfriendoseyo giving that very same h-h-h-hawttie a big-old up, down, and back up again.
"LeeeEEEEEEeeerrrrrr" would have been the sound-effect, if this were one of those old 1960s Batman TV episodes.
So I turned to her, with a hurt look on my face, and said, "Were you looking at that girl?" Girlfriendoseyo knew she was busted, so she nodded.
"Do you think she's prettier than me?" I said, and made my chin tremble.
We had a good laugh then, and had another good laugh with my all-ladies class, and we started talking about girls checking people out on the street, which is a conversation I've never had before.
(ps: Magnetic Fields is playing as I write this, and they just used the word "unboyfriendable" -- sweeet)
So, anyway, here are the things I learned, and sure, it's only a sample-size of four, so I'm not going to be writing any scholarly papers, but it was interesting nonetheless:
1: Women look at other women more then they look at men, when they're out walking the street. (Usually for the sake of comparison.)
2: In the street, (at least these) women's attention isn't caught so much by a man's looks, as the way he acts: particularly, a women's attention will be caught by a guy who's acting sweetly to his girlfriend. (talk amongst yourselves as to why this might be; for now, it was interesting enough just to learn that)
3: When watching TV, women look at the men more than the women. At least these ones did. That was interesting, too.
We theorized as to why that might be, and we came up with this:
Women (to be broad-brushy) are more interested in a man's character (though we all know men are generally more visual); the men seen on TV are generally celebrities that (these) women have seen before -- they get a chance to kind of gather a series of impressions about the men on TV, to get a feeling for what their characters might be like, which makes them more interesting to watch, while the men passing in the street are probably impossible to meet, impossible to get to know, so the mere look of them isn't as interesting.
Anyway, that's what we hypothesized that day. It was a really interesting class, and I learned something about women. Cool.
Next: I had ANOTHER free-talk class which (that day) was all men, and we talked about drinking (may as well throw a proper sausage party, you know?) The two men also REALLY got a kick out of my teaching them the phrase "sausage party". Well, I mentioned how I love Korean drinking culture -- you never see Korean men more friendly and jovial than when you're drinking with them (and if you can somehow dodge being goaded into drinking WAY more than you planned to, it's a fantastic experience). I've argued here before that I'd love to see Kora's drinking culture separated from its business culture, for various reasons (though I'd be sad to see Korea's drinking culture vanish completely).
And one of my students asserted (without any prompting), "I don't like drinking culture as much these days: it seems more extreme, and there's more rudeness and violence in drinking districts than I seem to remember when I was younger." Such a frank admission was really refreshing, and then he followed that up by saying, "But my boss is trying to curb that kind of unhealthy alky-culture: he's encouraging us to be more moderate during office dinners" -- a pair of sentences that filled me up with hope and happiness.
Then we got back to telling hangover stores.
aaaand. . . pictures.
From the Puk'hak expressway, where I went with Girlfriendoseyo (avoid the Italian restaurant at the lookout point there: the service was awful. Not the worse we've EVER experienced, but definitely the second worst. [you have to ask nicely if you want to hear those two stories]):
look at all the colours of green (pics from my flickr account)
. .. a mulberry tree?
The weather on Sunday was the most perfect I think I've ever seen. Just look at that sky.
I climbed Buram mountain with Matt in the morning:
We could see all the way to Gwanaksan (way south of the city) from Buramsan (way north of the city)
And, for good measure, there in Gyungbokgung station. . . a naughty horse from the Shilla Dynasty. I guess we know what was on their minds back then. . .
I didn't realize C&B stood for Cannon and Bells.Now do I need to include the close-up, for any who doubt what it is?
Yeah. Surprising, unexpected appearances of phalluses occur in Korea from time to time (see here for more)-- you just never know when one will, um, pop up.
Anyway, that night, one more of that cute neighbourhood I walked around with Girlfriendoseyo