Tuesday, December 17, 2013



If I had a dollar for each time I heard this greeting I would be a rich man. Yet, somehow it never gets old.

I recently obtained a new hair style. It was time for something different. I let my hair grow out and then got the sides cut short with the top still long. I think it looks nice and the reactions from co-workers has been great. I also obtained a new necktie, one given to me from 행님 at a teachers dinner last Friday evening. He might have had a little too much to drink. Being his friendly self, at one point during the night he sat across from me and we had a great conversation via our English speaking teacher friends. I told him his tie was really awesome and the next thing I know he's taking it off and telling me to have it. This tie really is awesome. I mean, it's the coolest tie I've ever owned. I gave him a tangerine.

The next day was Saturday. I had a meeting with a lady from the local Presbyterian 교회 (church) at noon thirty. We had lunch at 교회 thanks to a wedding reception (no, I didn't know the couple). Then we met for a while talking about her Sunday school program. They want a native English speaker to help them. I'll write more about that in my next post. After the meeting a got my hair cut. Here I got to speak a little Korean I know as my hair stylist knows no English or refuses to speak it (not sure which though she is very nice to me). She got the job done perfectly. I felt so good with my new hairstyle, I walked down to the Dunkin Donuts and treated myself to a jelly filled cake donut with vanilla frosting and sprinkles. 

Okay, now you're thinking, "He's lost his mind." New hairstyles? Stealing ties from drunk guys? Jelly filled cake donuts with vanilla frosting and sprinkles??"


So after a near-media free Sunday spent in the company of some friendly Presbyterians and at my apartment hot-compressing a stye, it was Monday and time to look good. What could go better with a new hairdo and tie than my suit? Oh man, what a day.

Reactions from my co-teachers were my fantastic, but the students had quite the time figuring me out...
"Teacher, why?" they asked. "For you!" I answered. The girls liked that answer, the boys....not so much. But, boy oh boy, did I feel great. It's fun to switch things up now and then.

Today, I didn't wear a suit. Reactions on the hairdo are still coming in though. I like to keep things interesting at work. A few times a week I do something off the wall when I walk into the office, like greet each of my office mates (all women, mind you) with the most polite of Korean greetings, 안녕하십니까! while bowing each time. I love their reactions. I'm practicing my moonwalk. At the end of this week, I'll moonwalk into the room.

Getting reactions out of students is a huge reason I love this job. A foreign teacher posted on facebook the other day: "Beat a male student at rock paper scissors. Now go slit his dog's throat in front of him. His reaction will be the same." It's true, they just go nuts. Show em a funny video and they don't just laugh. They writhe on the floor as if possessed. It's the same scene you see at those charismatic slain in the spirit services where people are barking like dogs and behaving like serpents. The reactions are priceless. 

So I continue to come up with ways to keep people on their toes. All because I want to see the classic reactions I have come to love. Whether it's a teacher swooning over me in a fancy suit or students hardly able to breathe because they just saw "the funniest video in the world," I just can't get enough. 

This entire post really is nonsense. I just finished my nightly Korean study and now my head is pounding and I need to shut off my screen. I just wanted to share with you the nature of things here. The littlest thing hardly goes unnoticed in this country. So when it's a bigger thing, like a guy who wears the same hairdo and wardrobe every day suddenly changes both, it feels like the end of the world. In a good way.

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