Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas Partay

A few weeks ago Mr. Kim talked Rachel into having a Christmas party at my house (thanks Rachel). Well, on the last Friday before Christmas I threw what was supposed to be a huge Christmas celebration with all of our teacher friends in Korea. But apparently Rachel and I don't have that many friends.

We had the bright idea of making special holiday invitations. Rachel drew them up, and had a fellow teacher translate them into Korean; we were making every effort to have this party be a blast. I did most of the handing out at school and teachers faces just light up like they were getting asked out to Prom by the quarterback of the football team (or the head cheerleader, depending upon who I was giving them too). Nearly everyone I handed them out to said yes on the spot. But because I'm super anal I still had Rachel add on a tear off portion of the invitation that said "yes" I will be coming, or "no" I will not be coming. This was to try and avoid getting too much food, or having no one show up. Well after all of our precautions, that's exactly what happened.

We bought a ton of food, planning for over thirty people to show up, in the end we barely got to twenty, and that was with a few people who responded "no" coming. Tons of food went bad. My principal regifted the present I gave to him from my trip to France, people showed up late, and left early.

Now, with all of those "less-than-spectacular" events going down, you would think the whole event was a wash, but it wasn't. Somehow, with the help of Alex and Jeff, we salvaged the night and gave some people a night they would never forget.

First off, for example, my mother. This night in Korea happened to also be the birthday morning of my mother in Tennessee. Almost 10 Koreans, 2 Iowa boys, a Bostonian and myself sang Happy Birthday to my mom over webcam. It was a surprise to her, and I think it went over well. It made everyone's night at the party too. Honestly without this webcam call, the night would have never gotten to its feet. My coworkers loved seeing my parents, and everyone kind of fell in love with the idea when I told them about it.

Two other young Korean ladies, Jinjew, and Jenny will also always remember this night because it was their first "house party" (or apartment party, whatever) that they ever went to. Apparently in Korea this type of thing isn't that common among young people. I'm guessing it's because young people usually live with there parents until they're married, and places in Korea are usually quite small for parties, but either way they had a new and fun experience.

Overall, I'm really, REALLY thankful for all the people who did come. Honestly, I just hope everyone had a good time and I think most of us did. To those that couldn't make it, I keep hearing that it's just "Korean culture" to say "yes" when invited, but it was a bitter pill to swallow when you didn't show up. I guess it's the thought that counts though. Either way, I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Birthday (mom), and last but not least, a Happy Festivus.


Anonymous said...

Just great to keep up with the hotest American in Korea. Thanks for sharing your story and blogs with me. I feel like I am there with you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your story.cb

Mom said...

Seeing you, your friends, and colleagues and hearing you sing 'Happy Birthday' to me over our video connection made this year's birthday celebration the most unique and memorable. Thank you again for the best present ever! Love, Mom

Dave said...

Your principal regifted your gift to him right in front of you? Haha, that must've been awkward for you.

Paul A. Kroll said...

Yes Dave he regifted it right in front of my eyes, but then looked at me and we both had a good laugh. If you knew him you'd understand. He his this thing about him, he's just so like-able. Moral of the story is that I guess I didn't know what a 70year old Korean man would want from Russia anyway. But Rachel was sure happy to get it. I can live with that.
And Mom, I'm so happy you enjoyed your birthday song live from Seoul. It was so nice to see your big smile on my tv screen. I hope I will talk to you again soon.

Coolest Sister Ever said...

A package of cookies should be there soon!...YUM!!...check w/ school!

Paul A. Kroll said...

Bridget, I got the cookies. THANKS!!! They are great.

And Anonymous who called me the "hotest American in Korea", I'll ignore your spelling mistake (hottest) and say that I thank you SO MUCH :) I hope I keep you entertained.

Lastly but not least CB. Thanks for reading, it's my pleasure.