Expat Dribble

Andrea Avery Jackley: An expat with lots of dribble to write about.

10.28.09

“FEED BABY!” This has become my mantra as I toil through my days at the Haegwon. I have a class of mostly elementary-aged students, reading at about level two, and one very large middle-school student who couldn’t quite keep up with the work in the more advanced-level classes. Brian stands about five feet, nine or 10 inches tall, and has a rounded face and figure. His sleepy eyes are always barely visible just below the bill of his cap.

Everyday Brian lumbers into class late, and after forcibly removing any small child who’s in his way, sits next to his favorite classmate – the tiniest boy in class, Peter. Peter stands no higher than my shoulders and has a mousy frame with a voice to match. He wears large spectacles and always has a cheese-eating grin on his face.

Once Brian has plopped down next to Peter, he starts some form of mild torture. One Friday, which is always “game day”, and also when I pass out treats, Peter started screeching “Teacher! Teacher!” from the back of the room. I turned around to find Brian with Peter in a headlock, trying to shove a piece of candy in his mouth.

Trying not to laugh, I demanded: “Brian, WHAT are you doing to Peter?”

In his low, rumbly voice, Brian replied, “He’s baby. FEED BABY!”

If that didn’t make you laugh, you must be an android. This story is truly the pinnacle of my experiences in Korea the past month or so; it embodies the randomness, sheer craziness and honest joy. For those wanting to know more, just wait.

On to the absurdity of our current times. Sarah Palin’s “memoirs”, “Going Rogue”, will soon be piled high on all Walmart shelves and given as door prizes by conservatives everywhere. I’m all atwitter with expectation and tandem queasiness. My father had an amusing comment in anticipation of the ghost-written demi-autobiography: “I hope she announces my [ultimate] fantasy – the Palin/Bachmann ticket.”

Please watch this video for the latest in Asian entertainment:

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