It all began when my best friend quit her job because she wanted to try “different things”.
I have always been the one among my girlfriends who studied the most. While my friends had already worked a couple of years and even gotten a promotion in their careers, I was still preparing and writing for exams, trying to complete my degrees. Truth is, I had never had a taste for a 9 to 5 job ever, but when my best friend took an indefinite hiatus from her somewhat stable job, it did strike as odd to me as probably to anybody else. Then she explained to me her reasons- traveling, odd jobs and as many new experiences as possible- and that intrigued me.
Next thing I know, I’m on board with what we called the”why-not” plan. And the deal was to say “why not” to whatever opportunity came my way before I could think up the excuses that I’d normally be making.
So coincidentally, I have a Korean neighbor (pure coincidence, totally unrelated to my stalker-ish obsession for all things K-Drama), whom I happened to have met at a market both of us frequent and regardless the age gap, I had befriended. She is quite some years older to me and has two daughters in high school. Through her I met some other Korean ladies who are forever impressed at my rudimentary yet quite good by Indian standards, Korean skills. And, one of the ladies asked me if I could tutor her children in English. Now, teaching was something I had always wanted to try, but always had cold feet about. But, since I was already looking out to try my ‘why not’ agenda, without even realizing it I had already said “sure, why not”.
The day I was supposed to meet the kids, I remember being nervous, out of my wits! Kids have never particularly been mean to me , but they have never particularly treated me as an adult as well (thanks to my baby-face). And, I wondered what kids from a different culture would be like. When I finally met them, I found the sister to be smart and outgoing and the brother, to be reclusive and I was almost sure he was the one who would make his teachers cry blood tears with his cold indifference.
Now, when I look back at that day, I inevitably laugh! How deceiving can first impressions be. The little boy went on to become my closest ally, or I his. We found a bond that I cannot explain. And, I found a new title – “Seonsaeng-nim” (teacher in Korean).
My stint was short though – I had to go back to my writing and music, it left me little time to seriously teach them especially because their English needed major polishing. And, I think they needed more professional teacher to help them out. But, the stint was full of love, and kinship and great food that kept appearing on my table ( and some great recipes I picked up that I plan to share here soon). Also some crazy crazy stories, that I’ll keep for another day.
In a nutshell, I tried something totally uncustomary to my usual fare, and made some everlasting memories and great experiences!