Friday, March 14, 2014

Tortion Yogurt

Happy Pi Day! 3.14. Of course, my students could recite it to the twelfth digit and more. Though they're all quite nerdy, they weren't as excited about Pi Day as they were about White Day, the Korean accompaniment to Valentine's Day. On February 14th, girls give chocolates to boyfriends; then, on March 14th, boys reciprocate and give candy (1). Friends also give candy to friends, and in general everyone in the country is just encouraged to buy unnecessary stuff for the commercial holiday.

Meh... I just really wanted to eat some pie.

Unrelated: a hilarious conversation in mixed Korean and English over dinner today with some teachers at my school.

짜요짜요 and 떡
Biology Teacher holds up a tube of yogurt, similar to Go-Gurt.
Biology Teacher: See this? The brand is called 짜요짜요 (2).
Me: Oh, really? That's Chinese.
Physics Teacher: Chinese? What does it mean in Chinese?
Me: 加油 (3). Um... 가유? 자유? (4)
Biology Teacher: It means 화이팅 (5)!
Me: Yeah, Chinese for 화이팅.
Physics Teacher: Oh! Well in Korean, it means... 짜요. 짜다... Like this: 짜요짜요짜요!
Physics Teacher picks up his tube of yogurt and squeezes it quickly and repeatedly in an unintentionally yet extremely suggestive way. I almost lose it.
Biology Teacher: 짜다. Squeeze.
Biology Teacher squeezes his tube of yogurt, and then wrings it with both hands like you would a wet towl.
Biology Teacher: This is squeeze. So... what is this?
Me: Oh, that's also squeeze.
Physics Teacher: No, that's tortion!

Conclusion: I eat at least one meal a day with the teachers at my school, but I have got to get them to talk more. Laughter will make you live longer.


(1) And then on April 14th, Black Day, anyone who got nothing for the previous two holidays eats 짜장면, or black bean sauce noodles, alone. Forever alone.
(2) jjayo-jjayo
(3) jia1you3
(4) I meant to say "주유/add gasoline"
(5) "Fighting", Konglish for "You can do it!"


  1. Correction: Valentine's Day = girls give chocolates to boys; White Day = boys give candy to girls. I know this because the vast majority of my students do their best to deny the existence of White Day (since most of them don't have boyfriends and are thus unlikely to receive candy from a boy). Haha. It goes something like this:

    Me: What is the date today?
    Class: March 14th!
    Me: Is there...a holiday today?
    Class: ....NO. No holiday. Just Friday. Ordinary day. Candy, what? Today, nothing special.

    1. Ah, got it. Thanks! One of my first-year students gave me a Chupa Chup! I asked the class if anybody was planning to give candy to their girlfriend today, and I think he misunderstood and thought I asked if anybody was planning to give ME candy. ;)

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