A Canadian writer teaches English and finds out what it's like to be a foreigner.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bridge Mix Style

This post is going to be a random days events loosely stitched together by asterisks.

Peanuts, gumdrops, jam— all unified by a single-minded chocolate coating.


Gochu is the Korean word for chili pepper. It is the taste that thrusts itself on every aspect of Korean cuisine. One day when Paul was one his "pee house" kicks, he was trying to assure me that the proper English name for one's genitals is indeed pee house— he'd seen it on the computer so it must be true.

"Oh Jejus..." I thought.

"Teacher, Korean name for your 'this' (insert pointing gesture) is gochu!"

"I thought gochu was the word for chili pepper," I said.

"Yes, but that is gochu say, and that is a pepper, and the other is like cochu and that it THIS PEPPER!" and he gestured frantically to his junk and starting laughing hysterically.


Today— inside, in the heated classroom— the kids were complaining about the cold. Having just read a story at The Globe online about how Alberta has already had lows of almost -41 with the windchill, I explained to them that during a nasty Canadian winter, your eyebrows will freeze and icicles will form along your nostrils if you stay outside too long.

They stopped whining.

After class, in the Teacher's Room, Judy beseeched my boss to turn up the heat in the classroom.

He looked over at me.

"Are you cold?"


Judy then said what I'm certain was the Korean equivalent of: "No fair! He's Canadian!"


One of my sweetest, most bright-eyed students walked up to me in class this morning.

"Teacher?" she asked, "What is OTL?"

"OTL? Uh... I don't know..."

She giggled maniacally and scribbled down a cholaman.

It looked like this:

Why didn't I see it coming?

1 comment:

Micaela said...


Perhaps you should have asked Paul, if he was so cold in your classroom, why his gochu wasn't hot enough to keep him warm. Hehehe, that'd teach him alright. No no, I understand the need to be a kind, compassionate, dung tolerant educator, and not an arse. Well done, you. Stay cozy.

Mean Micaela