Cus why not

Hello Kitty face in my Hello Kitty coffee.

Hello Kitty face in my Hello Kitty coffee.

It has been rather rainy lately. Thank you, Monsoon season, I had forgotten what it was like living in Vancouver. You have certainly done a good job reminding me.

So anyway, in order to cheer myself up, I went to the Hello Kitty Cafe, cus, why not.

Whatever you’re imagining in your head, it’s like that.

Pink, girly, and full of Hello Kitty.

Hello kitty cups, Hello Kitty waffles, Hello Kitty toys, and Hello Kitty water.

It’s great and I love it. And actually affordable too, though I rate the coffee as ‘meh’.

So here’s to Hello Kitty everything!

 

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A World of Comings and Goings

One of the hardest things about working abroad is the rate at which people come and go.

There are 5 foreign teachers at my school, and so far the other 4 have all left, and been replaced by 4 more.

On one hand I’ve met 8 people, which is wonderful. They have been, for the most part, pretty cool.

On the other hand, I have had some very sad and teary goodbyes. One of which happened yesterday.

It’s rare to feel such a strong connection with someone in such a short amount of time, but it happened to me, and I’m so sad that they’re gone.

Now they live halfway across the world, and it seems like forever and a day until I’ll get to see them again. But I remind myself that I have formed a lifelong friendship, and this means that no matter where we are, we will find a way to meet again.

Sharing a friendship, a connection, is beautiful. Beautiful in the sorrow of parting, for it reminds us how much we cherish each other. And beautiful in the joy we feel in greeting them after so long. I am so lucky to have met the people I have, and that is what keeps me going in a life of comings and goings.

Buddha’s Birthday

Buddha’s Birthday

Yesterday was Buddha’s Birthday, so I went into Seoul with some friends. We went to the temple at Jonggak, and were greeted with an amazing sight. The people were celebrating happily, and the crowd was great. The weather was perfect … Continue reading

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My Students, A Study, Part II

You’re bubbly and round. Roly Poly. Your neck likes to hide in the collared shirts you wear.

Your hair circles downwards, an upside down bowl on your head.

You think yourself a riot, and giggle yourself into hiccups. A cheerful boy with rosy cheeks. Eyes that are sparkling with excitement every day.

You are spoiled by your parents, and you always have to be the best, but nonetheless you are a good friend.

Your laugh is the purest I have ever heard. It contains undiluted joy. Such a sound clears the mind of all weight.

And then there’s that mischievous look you get when you want to be tickled. You begin to giggle before it even starts. You’ll giggle at the mere prospect of it.

And it brings such a smile to my face to see you do so. I hope you are always able to feel such joy so easily.

My Students, A Study

His eyebrows curl together in perpetual worry, though he is only 6 years old. His wide, black eyes stare up at me and the world.

“Why?” he loves to ask, and only relents when an adequate explanation has been given.   Already a critical thinker, and already a troublemaker. I feel sympathy for his future teachers, but I can’t help but love his rebellious ways. He will never be a follower. I want to see where he ends up in twenty years. I don’t doubt he will be great.

It has been almost a year since I started teaching him. I’ve seen his habits develop. His once messy writing has turned neat and precise. He used to finish his work as quickly as he could, and now he takes as much time as he can. He strives for perfection. He hates being rushed. And I want to give him all the time in the world, but the clock’s ticking hands bind my own.

His distinctive laugh has begun to grate the ears. No longer small and cuddly, he has slowly transformed. In less than one year, he will be in elementary school, and his first stage of evolution will be complete. But no matter how much he changes, he will always be my precious student. A curious little candle, being hurtled down a treacherous river. My only hope is that I have helped him build a sturdy enough boat.

Skin tone

Today my 8 year old students were talking about skin tone.

I’m not quite sure what they were saying, since they were speaking in korean and the only English words they said were “skin tone”, but apparently it’s a subject of great interest to four of my 8-year-old male students.

It must be spring

My students were very adamant about finding out whether or not I have a boyfriend. They even drew a picture to make sure I understood their question. They don’t know the term ‘boyfriend’.

They are also (unintentionally?) asking if I’m into polyandry.

Teacher, is men, love?

Teacher, is men, love-love?

Belch and gullet

We went on our monthly field trip today, and it was actually quite a good one, with animated sneezing and burping exhibits.

Sometimes the field trips are weird, and the kids get super bored, but they had lots of fun here.

It was a ‘play museum’ that was modelled after the digestive system.

I think the favourite exhibit was the nose that sneezed out coloured balls.

The translations were odd, such as ‘belch’ and ‘gullet’… rather difficult words for 6 year old kids, but most of it was in Korean anyway, so I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

There was a ballpit stomach, and it even talked about this:

I couldn't resist this photo

I couldn’t resist this photo

Then there was a bridge that led to the intestines. And what looked like pillow-shaped poo. It was probably coils of small intestines… but it really did look like poo…

Of course the kids found them hilarious.

Every kid wanted to do this

Every kid wanted to do this

Note that they are lying on ‘big intestines’.

They had fun, I had fun, and it was a great day.

Food, glorious food.

The best days are always the days that are filled with good food.

I love eating Korean food. It’s delicious.

But sometimes I get foreign food cravings. Yesterday was one such day.

I spent the day traveling around Seoul with my friends, eating amazing food, and sneaking in some shopping in between.

I started off in Gangnam at Butterfingers, where I ate the most amazing buttermilk pancakes.

Vanilla butter. Mmm.

With Vanilla butter. Mmm.

Then I went to Myeongdong, where I got Red Mango frozen yoghurt.

Red Mango

So yummy

And finally I ended in Itaewon, where I got amazing Thai food at Wang’s. The Green Curry and Pad Thai were delicious, and not Korean-ized, which is what I find happens with a lot of foreign foods such as Vietnamese Pho. The restaurant was really busy, and we waited quite a while for a table, but the food came very quickly, and it was well worth the wait.p20130324-000105

A happy stomach means a happy me.

I had to travel pretty far to get such a variety of foreign foods, but it is definitely worth it!