It's also a little bit of a weird day today because it's the first day back at school, but really also the last day of school from last year because the new year hasn't started yet. Because of the Korean public school system where teachers can't stay at one school for more than 5 years and can't stay in the same area for more than 8 years, staff at public schools frequently change, so today we had a leaving ceremony for about 12 teachers who are going elsewhere, and in one special case, retiring. For the teacher who is retiring, it has been a very emotional day, as he is leaving after 40 years of teaching to do a PhD at Hankook University of Foreign Language Studies, and, I gather, has spent most of that time here in the Chungbuk province. As well as giving everyone a leaving gift (an embroidered hand towel - this is a common 'remembrance' gift here I think) and inviting us all to the leaving dinner later held by the school which is mostly in his honour, he was presented with awards and flowers from the school, the Chungbuk Education Office and from the Parents Association. The Principal and Vice Principal made speeches, as did the new school captain, who even hugged him.
So to cheer myself up from all these slightly gloomy farewells, I and Cali Amy are taking ourselves off to the Bau Haus doggie cafe in Hongdae (Seoul) on Saturday to immerse ourselves in unquestioning canine affection (and one cat). This is the website if you are curious: here (it's in Korean). As far as I can tell, you get there by going out of Sangsu Station exit 1, walking straight down Wa-U-San Rd (not the main road that follows the subway line) until you see the 7-11, turning left and going straight (across the traffic island or whatever it is in the middle of the big road you'll have to cross) until you see it on your right. From the sounds of it, you'll smell a distinctively doggy smell when you get close.
For those who are only slightly curious and just want to see cute puppies, here are some screenshots :)
Ooh and I also went to the Hello Kitty cafe last weekend so stay tuned for a post about that when my computer is being less schitzo.