Thursday, January 13, 2011

You know you're a foreign teacher in Korea when...

you find humor and perhaps even complete joy in waving ridiculously at all the Koreans who stare at you.

Microsoft Office in Korean characters stops seeming like such a beast and more like the program you used to be friends with.

eating octopus is not only not an accomplishment, but has become practically an essential food group.

you use the universal sign of acknowledgment, 네 (or ney), around everyone, including non-Koreans.

the best part of your day is coming home and laying on your heated floor.

you can't imagine your life in winter without a hat and scarf, or anything else that will assist in covering every square inch of your body 3 times over.

your Korean co-teachers can't eat the soup you just finished because it was too spicy for them.

that fateful day comes that you accept that standing on public transportation is not only polite, but convenient for you since all the elders will glare until you stand up anyway.

you value stickers and candy more than the won, because it's the only thing that will motivate your students on 'those' teaching days.

conversations among teachers after work include over-exaggerated hand gestures and accentuated pronunciation.

your planner is full of Konglish and cartoon stickers from your students, completely killing any chance of getting that date you were trying to plan when you pulled out your planner to begin with (damnit).

everything seems to smile at you.

you cringe at catch phrases such as "so-so" and "I'm fine, thank you. And you?"

the best scolding you've given all week is, "WHY HOMEWORK NO? DO YOUR HOMEWORK. YOU MAKE TEACHER SAD."

you find yourself improvising choreography for a song aptly titled, "I Like Oranges"... in front of your 3rd graders... after hearing it once.

To all my fellow teachers in Korea, you're daily, crazy, outright heroes. 
Here's to you.
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  1. This is so very true and so very well said, thank you fellow sister, foreign trooper, teacher in the land of morning calm~Korea

  2. This brought a smile to my face and make my laugh outright. It's funny the things we get use to and will miss when we finally go back to our own countries.