Pepero day??? What the heck is a pepero?

Tue Nov 11, 2003

Today was Pepero day. As far as I can make out it’s a kind of Korean Valentines’ day where you’re obliged to give peperos to your girlfriend/boyfriend/good friend/anyone really. So what are peperos? Well, check it out - they’re long, thin chocolate straws. They look like number ones, in other words like 1111. Clever, isn’t it? But not as clever as the confectionary industry who no doubt spawned this little holiday!

It was also my birthday today, which worked out quite well because I got lots of peperos. No day off though, like in Canada where it’s ‘Memorial Day’. The teachers were nice, they got me a cake and paused to sing a quick happy birthday before getting back to their work. And the kids were really nice too, they all sang happy birthday and then tried to get away with murder because they knew I wouldn’t be too hard on them. This is a sweet letter one of my ten year olds gave me:

“Hi? my name is Sarah. Teacher Happy birthday. K K K [kkk = sound of laughing in Korea] Teacher I love you~ boy~ Happy birthday - Sarah -”

How cute! I feel like all those other teachers out there who love receiving affection from their students because they don’t have any kids of their own. It’s funny I was thinking back on my most memorable birthdays and they happen to be in ten year increments, when I was 7, when I was 17 and now another decade later I’m 27. I’m not sure I’ll remember this one though, in fact I don’t remember turning 26, although I do know I was dead-broke this time last year so I probably did the same thing I’m doing this year. That is, chill out, put on some Smashing Pumpkins and feel a little melancholy at the fact that my late twenties seem to be slipping away into obscurity.

Ok, so you’re probably wondering about 7 and 17. Well, when I was 7 I had a party and all my school friends were invited, we wore super-hero party hats, and my Mom made an awesome cake shaped like a train, with little liquorice all-sorts nestled in the carriages. We watched Spiderman videos and I thought it was the coolest party ever, thanks mom and dad! When I was seventeen I had another party in my garage, this time with alcohol and a mosh pit and grunge music blasting out so loud it echoed through the valley and caused a neighbour who went to the same Catholic church as us to come and complain whereupon we rudely told him to ‘F-OFF’ and cranked up the Nirvana even higher (I feel bad about that now of course). At the time though, I thought it was the best party ever!

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