I teach at four elementary schools. Each remarkably different. One is a 15-minute walk from my apartment, the other almost an hour away. One is home to three budding serial killers and the fourth is a Waldorf school where students learn through colour therapy and are arguably the most adoptable of the lot. The only thing they really have in common (besides the consistent amount of red pepper paste injected into daily lunch) is the ocean.
My main school, and where I spend the most of my time. This is the only school that isn’t directly opposite a beach. It’s about a 10-minute walk to the harbour. Still, some days I think I can smell the sea from my office window…
This is a little strip of village in the middle of nowhere. It’s where an old woman told me I had a “good face” and a mentally disturbed man tried to feel me up at the bus stop. It’s a weird little place, with weird energy, but I sort of like it.
Gong Hyeon Jin
There’s something kind of magical about this tiny, tucked away strip of road. There’s a hole in the wall that leads to the ocean. It might be my favourite discovery so far.
It’s always raining when I go to Cheon Jin. It’s also always Monday. Then one day, it wasn’t (raining, that is, it was still Monday). The waves here are always turbulent and your lips are always salty after a few minutes on the shore.