I was met by my main co-T as I arrived at school today. Never a good sign.
“Today at 3pm, we will be playing foot volleyball,” she announced.
“Ah,” I replied, wondering where to start with my questions.
“You will play,” she declared, pinning me with a steely look that stopped any protestations I was about to make.
“What exactly is foot volleyball?” I asked, opting for the safest question.
“It is foot volleyball!”
“Right. So it’s like normal volleyball but played with your feet?” I attempted to clarify.
“Yes,” my co-T answered, nodding. “Maybe. But maybe it is different.”
“OK, so I will play with my feet?”
“Yes, if you want. Or your hands. Or maybe your head.”
I felt like banging my head against the wall and decided instead to move onto a different line of questioning.
“Can I run home and get my sneakers?” I asked.
“No!” she replied, sounding horrified. “You must stay at school. Your shoes are OK.”
Let me remind you what my ugly school shoes look like:
Not exactly prime foot volleyball playing shoes! Although, for all I knew foot volleyball was played while sitting down.
And so at 3pm, I found myself in the school gym (which oddly, is on the 3rd floor of the school). Apparently the principal had decreed that all the teachers must play because nearly all of the 110 staff members were there. I was happy to see that I wasn’t the only one in fancy “school clothes” and inappropriate footwear.
A net had been set up in the middle of the gym. It looked like the net used on a tennis court and was at about waist height. The head office lady organized everyone into teams by either grade or subject. I found this an intriguing method of dividing us as it meant that every team had a different number of players. For example, the English team played first against the Grade 6 team. Our team had 7 players and theirs 12.
The game itself was mayhem. The men, who presumably were much better at volleyball than the women (simply because they played it often during their military service years) were only allowed to use their feet. The women were allowed to play using any body part they wished. The three hit per side rule was the same but other than that, I think everyone was playing with different rules.
Any time I went anywhere near the ball, everyone stopped and clapped for me. 🙂
Our team lost by one point. Even after playing the game for 14 points, I still had no idea how the points were scored or which lines on the gym floor were being used. I’m not entirely sure that anyone else knew either but no one seemed to mind.
Once all the teams had played, the principal came around, shook everyone’s hands and handed out the participation prize: a tube of Alpine Herb flavoured toothpaste.
Just another day in Korea…..
Here are a few more pictures of my school:
The school lobby.
Shoe boxes, where outside shoes get exchanged for inside shoes.
School cafeteria. I love the HUGE rice cookers. Aren’t they neat? 🙂