From the BK to the SK
 
Where to start?
Perhaps the best way to start is with my least favorite word in the Konglish dictionary: Maybe. Maybe, when your co-teachers and co-workers tell you that are you going out for dinner, that meal includes live entertainment from your very own colleagues who sing their hearts out and dance their feet off while the noraebang. No, I promise that isn't a dirty innuendo - it's the word for Korean karaoke. 
I've been out to eat countless times with my co-workers before, most of which are an aggressive attack they launch at 4:29 p.m. just as you're packing up and leaving work for the day. For the first time in seven months, I was given the heads up for our Tuesday plans, but only that I should make sure to be 'hungry' as there was a giant buffet we could feast upon.
One thing about Koreans and buffets: You're given basically a teacup saucer to pile as much food as you can on while balancing them on your head, elbows and hands as if you were formally a circus worker or professional server. It confuses me a bit, but regardless, they inhale their small plates and are up again before I can even place my napkin on my lap.
I sat with one of the English teachers, my co-worker Nick and a few other of our Korean co-workers, one of whom is the man who sits at the desk beside me and constantly talks to himself in English, saying the same things over and over again. God, give me strength.
Not only is his Konglish a difficult experience, but sitting across from him at the table while he demolishes his crab legs and sucks the meat out of the legs, leaving bits and pieces on his chin in the chance he is still hungry later (which I learned he is constantly hungry). Another interesting fact i learned once more about my co-workers is that they tend to drink in excess, and the 'one shot' beer chugs amongst 60 year old Korean mess is definitely an experience and a half. They'd fit right in at Penn State, and they more than likely would put a good amount of frat boys and proud students to shame with shotguns and funneling.
As the meal came to an end, people had been joking about creating our own singing room that we would use for entertainment after dinner. Let me preface this story by the fact that in high school, my best friend Connie broke the news to me that I was terribly tone deaf. Thanks, Con, for breaking any dreams I had to be become a singer.
Suddenly I had a book of songs open on the table in front of me, and I was told to pick one and get ready. I couldn't comprehend what was going on. My 'loud and good' classroom voice was sure to bring down the house but not in a good way. I could just picture mirrors shattering, glasses breaking, people's eardrums losing all hearing capabilities; If anything was going to get me fired, this was it. 
Nick and our one English co-teacher settled on singing the Beatles, 'Let it Be', to which my lifesaving co-teacher and I were dragged into and handed a mic. I have to be honest, if I was going to sing, there was no way I was doing it alone, so part of me was almost relieved that I was part of the group, no more how reluctantly I was pulled from my chair.
So I did it - I sang as part of a group and faced my fear of public singing. I mean, realistically, with the way some of these teachers sang, there was no way I was going to be embarrassed. They are SO intense - they close their eyes, clutch their hands to chests, throw in some fancy footwork and embrace the melody and the chance to show off what they've got. It's not the best turn on, especially for the one and only teacher at my school I thought was attractive who became so emotional when he  was singing I thought he was convinced he was performing live at Madison Square Garden.
But I hadn't totally cleared the hurdles. The more beer that started flowing, the more the feet started moving, and the more 'Jimney Cricket (my newly developed nickname for the co-worker who talks to himself in English all the time)' wanted to dance with me. Mind you, he's at least 65, was grossly intoxicated and wearing his newspaper boy cap backwards, with a strip of hair delicately falling onto his forehead like he was straight out of Grease or something. 
He kept telling me we were 'Black Swan', and he forcefully whipped and swished me around the room in twists and twirls that did give me some whiplash. I kept my body as far away from his as possible, which many of the teachers mocked me for, but I supposed I wasn't far enough away. He spit up his food on me. I was almost certain I was going to faint on the spot.
It isn't funny, but in retrospect, I can't stop laughing.
But I danced with my co-teacher, the Jolly Green Giant of a man whose moves on the dance floor definitely impressed me given his stature and beer belly. The next night I saw him hitting tennis balls around in a pretty competitive game on a court near my house. He's full of surprises, that one.
But the night soon came to an end, and I was home by 10, tired, in my bed and not sure what I was going to walk into at work the next morning. Would everyone be severely hung over?
Seeing as my co-teacher fell asleep standing up at the front of my class, I'd say that's a yes.
Until next time!
 


03/26/2011 07:22

Good day everybody... Good post...

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