Monday was... interesting. Actually, the bulk of the day was fairly normal for a Monday. Then, at exactly 7:00pm – right as my final class of the day was beginning – the power went out. Not just to The London School, but to the entire city block in which the school is located. All the teachers wandered downstairs, wondering what the protocol might be for such a situation, only to be handed candles inside little plastic cups, and sent back to class. As you know, all of my classes are fairly low-level, and this class was Elementary 4. We’re currently studying the present perfect. After asking as many “Have you ever...” questions I could think of, I then began asking every low-level question I could think of. (We couldn’t really hold class by the dim light of a candle, and I couldn’t find my stellar headlamp flashlight.) Eighty minutes of basic questions was a bit much, but luckily my last class of the day is filled with hilarious, good natured people. It might not have been the best lesson, but at least we laughed a lot. Well, except for the point when I may have begun shouting profanity as my candle caught my plastic cup on fire and melted plastic dripped onto my finger. Yeah. I’ve got quite a pleasant battle scar from that.
After class ended, the power was still out in the entire block, which included our apartment building. So, some of the other teachers and I decided to go out for dinner. Jess, who has taught in Korea, had mentioned a Korean restaurant earlier, although when she suggested we dine at a place called Santa Maria, I certainly didn’t connect the two. Yes, we went to a Korean restaurant with the odd name of Santa Maria. I have seriously mixed feelings about this place. I had utterly delicious bibimbap and kimchi which tasted *exactly* like it does in Korea. Nick had scrumptious smelling samgyopsal, which the manager not only cooked, but wrapped up in little lettuce/rice/garlic/gochujang bowls for him as well.
The problems came with the bill. For starters, I had ordered a Baltica 3 (a type of light beer) to go with my meal. I’ve been drinking Baltica 3 pretty regularly since 1999, and I’ve never had trouble ordering it. (Baltica comes in options 1-9, by the way.) However, the waiter somehow was under the mistaken impression that what I wanted was 3 Balticas of some indiscernible number. While I managed to convey that I only wanted ONE beer, when the bill came, I was charged for three. (At least this we managed to get them to remove from the check.) Katie was overcharged for tea, Jess and I were charged for the extra gochujang we’d requested for our bibimbap (not to mention we’d had to pay for kimchi!), and Nick was charged for the extra lettuce he’d asked for. Boo! Additionally, the meal didn’t exactly, shall we say, digest well. Sigh.