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2004-09-02 6:27 p.m.

no! i refuse to accept that answer! go back and get another one!

Got word today that, after approving our request for visas last week, the North Koreans changed their mind and nixed the tour. Apparently word came down from the higher ups that it was a no-go.

I haven't been this disappointed in a long time. I'm also sad and angry, though I don't really have a good target for my anger. Getting mad at North Koreans for not letting Americans into the country is like getting mad at dung beatles for rolling shitballs all over the place. That's just who they ARE, man.

I was really, really looking forward to going.


Went to the preschool for the first time today, which was extremely fun and extremely tiring. I did some teaching (we worked on counting in English) but mostly I just played with them. At the beginning of each day they have this little song and dance routine they do, a kind of warm-up, I guess. It is now officially THE CUTEST THING EVER.

In the afternoon I was at the middle school, which didn't go poorly, but it didn't exactly go well. The teacher (who is a substitute and will only be here for another month) is actively resisting doing anything fun in class or having me do much of anything besides be a tape recorder... (And she actually asked me after class to use MORE JAPANESE in class.) She's pretty young, too (same age as me, or perhaps a year younger); I woulda expected her to be a little more progressive....

And it was this afternoon that I found out about North Korea. And I haven't gotten enough sleep the last two nights and I feel like hell.

I think I'm just gonna drink some C.C. Lemon, eat a tomato, and go to bed.

Tomorrow is my first day at the high school. It only has seventeen students. (Most kids on the island go to high schools on the mainland, and the high school on the island is being phased out.)

Oh. I like Sinfest.

like a patient etherized upon a table,


P.S. And oh, I've already mailed off my hundred dollar Chinese visa application and reserved a flight to Beijing (pre-req for being able to go to North Korea), so I guess I'm spending a week in China.