Tuesday, November 11, 2008

pepero day

"can i touch it?"

this is what caused me to turn around to a gang of girls standing behind my office chair.

i have what they refer to in korea as a high nose. an extremely high nose. from what i gather, this means that i have a high nose bridge, ie, my nose comes right out of my forehead, not the gentle slope of the swedes, or the low bow of many asians. in turns out, this is a desirable feature that koreans want. this, of course, makes me laugh. in america, people get plastic surgery to lower their nose bridge, in korea, they get plastic surgery to raise their nose bridge.

never having left 6 years old, i replied, "only if i can touch yours"

suddenly i am having 2 girls (out of 5) touch my nose, and i am touching the noses of 2 girls (out of 5). they eventually leave.

kim, who saw all of this, and who is one of the best students, and kindest human beings, then drops off my pepero.

today is pepero day. (see photo)

after she gives them to me, she says, hesitently, "many asians...like high nose. you have a very high nose, so we like your nose. if i may, may i touch your nose?"


kim touches kev-kev's nose.

"do you want to touch my nose?"

now i was only touching these girls' noses because i think the entire thing is funny, and in part to remind them that i am a human being, and not just here for their nose touching curiousities. kim, however, seemed worried that i didn't immediately want to touch her nose. not wanting her to feel left out, i touched her nose.

the bell rings, kim smiles and heads to class. i eat a pepero. kim's pepero gift also came with a note.

it is 4 pages of various morsels of wisdom in english. my favorites:

Nothing matters very much, and few things matter at all.
Arthur Balfour

Why don't you go and sin a little?
So God deserve to have something to forgive you for.
Martin Luther

Money may be the husk of many things, but not the kernel.
It brings you food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health;
acquaintances, but not friends;
days of joy, not peace or happiness.
Henrik Ibsen

It is preoccupation with possessions,
more than anything else,
that prevents us from living freely and nobly.
Immanuel Kant

after class she returned and said, "did you read my note?"
"it is my hope that these things, that they help you."
'thank you'
"i was worried, i was up, i was writing them at midnight, and that, ohhh, at 1am i was so tired."
'you...you didn't have to do that. thank you very much. you are very kind.'

kev-kev shares a pepero with kim


KRIS said...

despite what i've said to you previously about this topic...i found that story very sweet and...dare i say "touching" in a v. non gary glitter way.

cid said...

I have the same issue with my kids talking about how high my nose is. I had a similarly awkward encounter when a 7th grade girl asked me if she could touch my hair. 'Only if I can touch yours!' Not surprisingly, it wasn't that different from mine. Go figure.


gm said...


Tiny Leone said...

Thinking of all the opportunities over the years I can't believe I never touched it. Story of my life.

I'll have to content mysel with a vision of you remaking the music video U Can't Touch This.