Monday, February 2, 2009

Not just a grandma flower

"Crazy Orange Chrystanthemum." October 20, 2007. Nikon D80, 60 mm Macro lens, f/3.8, 1/1000 sec. Suwon, Korea.

I taught English at a high school in Korea for a year. My students grew this lovely bloom for a Chrysanthemum Festival.

I said I would come to the festival, even though it was on a Saturday, and bring my boyfriend, since he'd never seen my school before, or met my coworkers. We were getting ready to leave Saturday morning, and got into a bit of a fight. He didn't feel like showering, since he wasn't dirty, and I thought he should shower anyway, so he'd look extra handsome when he met my co-workers.

"You don't always shower everyday. Nobody's going to care!" he argued.

"But you'll look nicer if you're all fresh & clean. & the students will be so excited to meet you! It's always fun to meet a teacher's boyfriend!"

Of COURSE I got my way, but he was Mr. Grumpy Pants the whole way to school. We got there, and some kids were playing soccer in front of the school. The whole game stopped, and everybody ran over to us. "TEACHER!!! Boyfriend?! Handsome!!!!! EEEEEEEEEK!!!!" There was much shrieking and picture taking. It was like that the whole time we were there, and new students would catch sight of us (& I had about 1000 students, so there was a lot of screaming!). "TEACHER!!!! Boyfriend?! SO CUTE!!!!" Johan felt like a rock star, and began to dream about teaching high school English in Korea, the most self-esteem-building job out there. The kids were always telling me I was pretty, and complimenting me on my hair, or my shoes, or my "S-line" (how a woman's hour-glass figure makes an S... totally inappropriate!). They also asked like once a week if I'd lost weight. But I think people always remember me as fatter, so I think that's why.

Anyhow. Don't chrysanthemum's always seem like old lady flowers? But there are a bunch of different types, some of which don't even look like their destined for a funeral or your grandma's bedside in the hospital after her hip replacement.

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