Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fatty Fatso McFattigan

Take a look at this picture: 
Now, please tell me: what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see this girl?  If you said pop star, you're right.  She's Tiffany from Korea girl megagroup So Nyeo Shi Dae, or Girl's Generation.  If you said, she's pretty cute, I don't know if you're necessarily right, but I agree with you.  Itty-bitty shorts, leather studded bracelet, hair in her face, etc.  There are many things one could say about this girl.  But, there is one thing that I thought I would never hear about this girl, let alone ANY Korean celebrity:

Two of my female students were talking today about a non-present male classmate, Raphael.  They were giggling and saying his name, so I asked them what they were saying.  "Do you know 티파니 (spoken, "TeePanee" using Korean English)?" I didn't.  They explained who she was, and I knew her group.  "Raphael likes her." *more giggles* Then they said something else in Korean, and puffed out their cheeks.  "Are you saying she's fat?" "Yes!" they responded, and continued to giggle.   Like I said, I have NEVER seen any Korean celebrity who I would consider fat, so I raced home to find a picture of this obese pop star I'd heard about.  This was all I could find.  Fat? Did that pass through your mind?  It certainly did not for me.  

Image in general seems very important to Koreans I've met and not met (on TV, heard about through friends), especially body image and otherwise appearance.  I've heard multiple people assure me that 100% of Korean celebrities have had plastic surgery, and on many it is very apparent (like, they've gone overboard and their faces crinkle funny or don't move at all).  Maybe chill out, Korea.  I don't know; just sayin'. *^^*

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cherry Blossoms in Gyeongju

Last weekend, April 10th and 11th, I took the KTX cross country train far south to Gyeongju to see a more touristy side of Korea.  We arrived at about 11am, found a cute little hostel, rented some bikes to tool around the city, and viewed a ton of cherry blossoms and magnolia trees.  I have a few highlight pictures directly on this page--please click to view a larger size--and many more located at this link.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kinda Miffed

So I just bought a new camera--sweet, right?--but everytime I take it out at school the kids try to cover their faces and run away like I'm some kind of child-molesting freak.  Today I had this great shot of three boys sitting in front of the plasma watching Cartoon Disney, eating the stinkiest dried squid tentacle snack, just dazing out, but as soon as I stopped in front of them they flipped out as if I was trying to murder them.  It's not just that "most Korean students are very shy," as my coworker Katie says, because tons of my friends have really great pictures of their students posing, doing the cheesy two-finger pose, huge smiles on their faces.  Maybe my kids think I'm creepy or mean and they're trying to punish me, unconsciously, of course.

Will I remember them if I don't have their pictures?  Will they remember me?  It makes me feel good to imagine my future with Korea in my distant past and still have some physical evidence that I existed in another country.  Some tangible proof that I helped some kids make it to adulthood.  *huff*