I've never heard of anyone receiving four cakes on their Birthday!
Andrea, my co-worker and best friend in Korea celebrated her 22nd Birthday yesterday, Korean style! Yes, she was given a total of four cakes on her birthday and numerous presents from her students.
I have to admit being a little nervous for Andrea’s Birthday. We are in a foreign country, and have only been here for a month, so anyone can understand that it might be hard to spend such a special day at work and among new acquaintances. But this was definitely not the case.
When arriving at work I realized that Andrea’s students were going to make sure that she had the best Birthday in Korea ever. Three out of her five classes actually set up a little party for her in class. The students brought amazing cakes from some of the most expensive bakeries in town, and practiced their English by singing Happy Birthday.
Students brought her many gifts such as hair clips, t-shirts, and snacks. Among my favorite of the gifts was a famous Korean children’s book. The book is titled "Puppy Poo" by Kwon Jong-saeng and has also been adapted into a movie which can be bought on Amazon at the following link.
The children’s book is about a piece of poo that finds meaning in its life when it fertilizes a dandelion. The moral of the story is that everyone can live a good life regardless of their status. The beginning of the story is below:
One cold winter day, a puppy pooed on the side of the road…
A sparrow flew down and began pecking at the poo.
‘Poo! Poo! Geez, you’re dirty!’ said the sparrow.
The poo’s heart was deeply hurt. “I’m dirty?” he asked, to no-one in particular.
A cloud of dirt nearby began to laugh.
“Why are you laughing?” the poo asked angrily.
In between classes I took Andrea out to a great dinner in Insadong and we ordered beef gal-bi the most expensive and delicious meat in Korea. After our last class at 10 PM we went out with four of our co-workers from YBM. Two of them were Korean language teachers, one of them was the doorman, and another was a fellow native English teacher. Lets just say that the Koreans know how to get down on a Wednesday night. I felt so Korean dancing in a bar called “Mania Club” in my work clothes! Below is a video of some of the business guys who came out to the bar right after they got done with work. (The video is a little dark, but you’ll get the picture.)
Finally at midnight Andrea and I decided that three beers and one shot of Jägermeister was enough to call it a night. On our walk home we couldn’t stop talking about the fact that Koreans will go out of their way for people on their Birthday to make sure that they have an amazing day.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Posted by Marie W on 7:02 PM
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