Guess what I’ve learned. That you can’t travel through most of SE Asia with a passport that expires within six months of travel. Guess when my passport expires. NOVEMBER. Now, as soon as I found out, I hauled ass to the embassy to get it renewed. What is it about dealing with government officials that makes one feel as though one is up to no good? I probably looked guilty as sin and I hadn’t done a thing. Well, I hadn’t done anything that should impede getting a new passport. I’m still pretty stressed about this situation though. It takes three weeks to get a new passport. I go on vacation in three and a half weeks. Wish me luck. I’m going nowhere if that passport doesn’t show up first. I’ll let you know.
So, at go-home time the other day, I notice a rank smell. I’m thinking one of the kids just farted. After lunch, some of them let fly and they are rank-tastic. Kimchi doesn’t smell good as a food. It smells worse as a fart. The kids are picking up on the bad smell situation when they finally figured out where the smell was coming from (I was too busy getting things ready to go).
There was poop on the floor.
Not like a turd rolling around; more like a poop smear. But, and here’s the thing… how did poop get on the floor? I checked the bottom of my shoes, less because I thought I had stepped in the poop that had magically appeared, but more because I thought maybe I stepped in poop outside and brought it in. Nope. Clean shoes. And thank goodness, ’cause they were flip-flops. Not much poop protection there. Emily and Lauren saw me check my shoes, so they checked their shoes. Emily’s shoes were clean. Lauren’s right shoe – poop show. And not a little poop. Quite the slick there. I managed to get her to take off the poopy shoe before she walked around any more. I told her to take it to Lily-Teacher at the front desk to get it cleaned up. Once the kids were out of the room, I took some tissue and cleaned the poop up off the floor.
I cleaned the poop up off the floor. Cleaned. the. poop. I don’t think that is in my contract.
What remains a mystery is where the hell the poop came from in the first place. The kids change their shoes from outside shoes to inside shoes (much like Mr. Rogers) every morning. There was no poop in the classroom in the morning. The poop was on Lauren’s outside shoe. The poop didn’t hit the floor until after lunch. How did she get her poopy little shoe into the school without smearing poop all over the place until after lunch? It’s a mystery.
Funny end to the story – Jacky, one of the directors, was very concerned about where the poop may have come from. She seemed unable to accept that it just showed up after lunch. Apparently shit shouldn’t be so mysterious.
It is raining like a mad bitch right now.
::Dinner with Amelia::
I went for dinner with Amelia (who I’m pretending isn’t leaving because being abandoned might be easier than saying goodbye. Again) the other night. Dinner was hilarious for us but probably unremarkable for anyone else. We went to Sizzler and ate ourselves sick. Amelia punched herself in the nose laughing because I said "soft delayed" (actually, that punch in the face probably would have been hilarious for anyone that would have been there) but other than that dinner was just dinner. And a Brooke-less dinner at that (hope you got your evals done). But something did happen on the way there that I kind of want to jot down.
The traffic here is bad. People only vaguely follow traffic laws when they are in the mood. They treat them more like suggestions. They honk. A lot. They have to swerve around each other and pedestrians. They don’t always look for pedestrians. A monk almost hit Brendan once. But for all of that, I’ve never seen anything more than a fender-bender. On the way to dinner though, we saw something happen that missed being a tragedy by only a few seconds.
Amelia and I were on bus 15 on the way for dinner, talking about Woody’s suprise birthday party because Amelia had to miss it. Suddenly, the bus slammed hard on the brakes. That was no big shock – that happens a lot in Korea because they all drive up each other’s asses constantly. But then we heard the most horrific scream from outside the bus.
The driver had run a red light for a crosswalk. And a mother with her two twin girls, both less than seven or eight years old, were trying to cross. The bus just knicked the one little girl – it looked like it possibly just touched her knee. The little girl was not even crying. But the mother….
Even know I’m not sure how to explain what it was like to witness that woman’s pain. I’m sitting here in my room, listening to the rain, and shaking my head. I can’t even imagine what that poor mother went though. She came within seconds, mere seconds, of losing her little girl forever. And you could hear the realization of that possibility in the anguish of her cry.
Although the driver ran the light, and was therefore entirely at fault, my heart goes out to him as well. The guilt that poor man must be feeling. And for all I know, he was having a bad day. Perhaps he was distracted for a very good reason. But he will have to live with the fact that he almost seriously hurt that little girl, and that he did emotionally hurt her mother very much.
I know that in the end, it was all okay. But I sometimes wonder about close calls like that. I’ve had a few. It makes me wonder about the purposes we may have for sticking around, even when circumstances take us so close to checking out.
Sorry to be Captain Bringdown at the end of this entry… but this is what my week has been like. Some ups, some downs. Some moments of just wanting to crawl in bed and cry. Or scream. Or both. Some moments of laughing until it hurts. Moments of just being glad. Of being exhausted. Of being relaxed. Of being sick. Of just being, I suppose, in the end. And in the end, that’s enough for me right now.