Thursday, 10 June 2004

Ghost School

I arrived at my school, as usual, at 10.30am this morning. To find... a ghost school...

Well, not quite. Winnie the receptionist was there, but the usual bustle of children being taught, and teachers and bus drivers were curiously absent. Winnie looked surprised to see me. I was equally surprised to see just her.

It turns out there was a fieldtrip today, leaving at 10am as they usually do. There's one every few weeks or so, and they'd obviously just forgotten to tell me. This isn't the first time - a couple of times I've received a phonecall telling me to get to the school as quickly as I can because there's a fieldtrip on.

Yeah, communication is lacking here sometimes. In all likelihood David didn't know either, but as he's always at the school early every day he would have just found out this morning.

I quite enjoy fieldstrips, but I'm not too upset to be missing out today as it means I don't have any classes till 2.30pm, and of the five I do have today, two are doing tests which are always dead easy to do.

However, it does mean that I'll have to find my own lunch.

The school is strange when it's so empty and quiet. All the lights to the classes are off. Sometimes, at the corner of my eye, I think I see the shadow of a young child dash by. But I turn my head, and there's nothing. Then the patter of feet, or the echo of laughter. But all so distant and ghostly that it can only be my imagination. And most spookily are the bells, which still go off every 40 minutes, loudly. But these bells are playing to an empty school, to children that are no longer here.

In actual fact, Korea strikes me as remarkably unhaunted. Maybe in some of these temples there may be a few monk ghosts, but in the cities it's all new apartment blocks and continual renovations. There's no time or space for ghosts here.

Anyway, I'm getting hungry.

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