February 14th, 2011
I wrote during the day then headed to 봉산탈춤 Bongsan Talchum in the evening for the regularly scheduled class. Class was, strangely, me and ten men. One of this, 박신마 Bak Shinma, was a brand new attendee who has been studying with 손병만 Son Byeongman (who performs with 허창열 Heo Changyeol). I have to interview Byeongman. He seems to have a lot going on. The class was pretty ordinary, we practiced the monks in order, then did the lions dance at the end. The only really out of the ordinary thing was that since in Korea Valentine's Day is when women give chocolate to men (even all men co-workers or fellow students they see for the day) and White Day (that's March 14th) is when men give it to women, 병호 Byeongho started giving me crap for not giving him chocolate and how (poor poor pity pity) he hadn't gotten any chocolate all day. So while 김은주 Kim Eunju was teaching the beginners I ran to the convenience store and bought a bag full of chocolates which I shared with the entire class. The funniest thing that happened all night was I started sort of mini-interviewing Shinma to see why he was studying Bongsan Talchum (he teaches drama to kids as his regular job). And he looks at me as if I've asked a question I shouldn't need to ask and says "(I) like (it). Because I'm Korean." (좋아해요. 한국사람이나까) which if I hadn't been squatting on the floor would have made me fall off a chair laughing. If only it was that simple. I mean, if it was, we'd have thirty students in the class and it'd be running every night of the week.