Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Roses and a pillowcase

Today was the last teaching day of Business English. At break time, I took a moment to start grading some quizzes, and when I looked up again, the ladies had set out a full spread of cake, juice, coffee, and sandwiches, complete with incense burner and mood music. It was amazing.

They had me cut the cake and then I took about two dozen co-selfies with them. They also presented me with a gigantic bouquet of roses, as in, it's bigger than the bouquet I carried when I got married. They were spray-dusted with golden glitter, which doesn't come through in the photo but which was very much appreciated.

One of the students crochets and embroiders and she made me a pillowcase. Whatever awesome thing your students have ever given you, YOU LOSE, because this is the best:

I actually think my name being misspelled makes this better. It is beautiful, and so heartfelt, and really unique to this class and the rapport we had. I'm touched they would call themselves my daughters when some of them are near my age or a little older.

I have enjoyed teaching these women so much, and I hope to tell more stories about them over time. Like how one woman's husband just got back from a tour of duty in Iraq "fighting Daesh" according to the jokes of her classmates, and how another woman's husband is a detective "like Sherlock Holmes," and another woman has had six c-sections but only four living babies, and how another woman ordered a birthday cake for her husband, but when it arrived from the bakery, it had a childish illustration of an airplane on it but they needed a cake for the party so they just kept it even though it didn't really suit an adult man.

We learned what "foxy" means, and how there are seriously so many ways to say "bathroom" (toilet, loo, WC, ladies' room, restroom, washroom) and what is even up with that, and how to pronounce "water bottle" like an American, and how in the US you can't just walk into class and announce that you're on your period and teacher, can you give me a break?

So yeah, stories like that. Someday!

I'm a real girl!

March 13th, outsourced