Yesterday was White Day in South Korea. On Valentine’s Day the girls buy the guys candy, and White Day serves as payback. Just another opportunity for me to disappoint my wife and my students by not buying them candy. But this time I thought I would wow everyone at work by buying all of the women at work some kind of present. I should have understood the stickiness of undertaking such responsibility. Women talk. Women compare. Women are women.
The first woman to receive a gift was our vice principal. “Happy White Day” I said to her as I gave her a loaf of sweet bread. She was cleary touched by the gesture. “Thank you” she said in her broken English. Success.
However, not five minutes later the news made it back to the head English teacher. “I heard you gave the vice principal a present for White Day,” she said with a hint of accusation in her voice. The vice principal seems to be her sworn enemy, such a gesture was clearly lost on her.
As the other teachers made their way in to the lounge that morning the head teacher let them in what I did. “Did you really do that?” one teacher asked clearly dumbfounded. I was ashamed.
Uncomfortably, I sat there for the next 15 mins waiting for my discussion group with the teachers to start so I could give them the chocolates and bread I had bought them. It was agony. I could feel them looking at me like star-crossed lovers. My face was burning. Finally, we started class and I presented them with their chocolate. They ate, we discussed and after class one of the teacher’s pointed out to me that these chocolates weren’t Ferrero and Rocher. They were, “how do you say???…..fake.”
This video has nothing to do with this blog…but if you want to know what Korean television looks like then check it out.