Tuesday, 10 November 2009

That’s Funny, Mr. Vice Principal

Today during lunch, the Vice Principal sat right across from me. He asked a lot of questions about the food I ate in Canada and if my parents ate Korean food for breakfast. I told him, of course they did. Then he asked me what I ate for breakfast in Korea: rice or bread (he thinks it’s funny if a Westerner eats bread for breakfast in Korea…it’s like we can’t handle the rice or are incapable of making it). I told him that I ate nothing for breakfast and all of the teachers around me gasped. Then I told all of the teachers, “Just today. I didn’t have breakfast this morning,” to make them feel at ease.

Then he noticed that I had a lot of rice left on my plate and proceeded to ask me why I didn’t eat as much as I should. “Are you on a diet?” he asked.

“No,” my co-teacher quickly replied, “She likes to eat all of the side dishes first. I’ve noticed that.”

The Vice Principal laughed. “So eat the side dishes first and eat the rice later at home (because it’s easier to make)?”

Young-hee turned to me. “He was making a joke. I hope you understand,” she apologetically said.

I laughed, and then the Vice Principal laughed again.


After lunch, I was working at my desk in the teacher’s lounge, and the Vice Principal shouted in Korean from his desk. “Hey Jessica, you should eat yoot (a Korean rice taffy).” I looked around at the snacks the Principal had left on the center table (a tradition carried out before university entrance exams begin). One of the teachers was holding up yoot. All of the teachers laughed. Young-hee quickly translated, “Do you know what that means?”

“To eat yoot?” I answered back.

“No, it’s an innocent way of saying f***you,” she said.

“Oh,” I said, “Great…”

“Of course he was joking,” she said.

I laughed, and the Vice Principal laughed.

Oh, Mr. Vice Principaleat yoot.

Just kidding!

- Jess


  1. Everyone sounds pretty comfortable now and I'm glad that they can joke around. That must make it easier for you after all the initial stress of trying to fit in and not knowing all the teachers. I'm scared that you'll be too comfortable and never come back home!

  2. Hmmm, ya maybe I will just stay here!
    On second thought, I'll miss your cooking too much. I guess I'll just have to come home...