The trees told me it was Easter, but the people didn't.
It's Easter? Doesn't that mean I get holiday time, Korea? I see you wearing crosses. How dare you make me work on Easter Monday. Sure, eating chocolate eggs and biting into a bunnies' ear, to honor Jesus, make little sense- and it's unfortunate holidays have lost their religious significance, but I find myself mourning the consumerist traditions- and time off work.
Living in Korea has been like residing in an alternate universe. There were cold spots this winter but nothing compared to Canada's freeze, global warming considered. There was rarely enough snow in Suwon for boots. As I told friends, living 14 hours ahead of them, and experiencing more of a lingering autumn than winter, has been strange. Where are the milestones that give my life order?
More importantly, where are my Cadbury eggs?
Korean kids don't go 'trick or treating.' I enjoy telling students how I spent my October 31sts marching through the neighborhood in costume, with a pillowcase of candy. They're impressed when I describe sorting the mountain of sugar- licorice from caramel squares. Korea has its own version of Halloween: Ghost Day, just like its take on Valentines Day: White day. But somehow Korean holidays don't seem as much fun!
I mean how cool was it to get 30 Valentine cards from classmates with captions like, "You Captured my Heart," beside a picture of a butterfly net? You're so clever, Hallmark.
Most of my students haven't decorated a Christmas tree, in their living room, received more than a dinner out on their birthdays, dressed up as a Power Ranger to get candy from strangers, or scoured the living room for hidden eggs. For me, these things were a vital part of childhood.
It leaves me wondering. Do Canadian kids have "better" childhoods than Koreans? It seems like Koreans grow up too quickly. I wouldn't think twice about demystifying the tooth fairy or Santa Claus, because they wouldn't believe something so silly, anyway. I went for a walk today and was saddened by this empty park: