From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."


Teacher’s Real Face

1One day, I walked in the classroom and found two of the girls in my elementary class wearing pink eyeliner which they made from clay.

“Wow, you girls look prettier today,” I said, trying so hard not to burst into laughter as the girls gingerly walked to their seats with their heads up, so that their clay eyeliner would not fall.

“Teacher, we wear eyeliner like you,” one of the girls, Mary, who was barely blinking, mouthed.

“I can see that, but mine is black and yours is pink.”

“Pink is pretty. I like pink.”

“I like pink, too, so sometimes I wear pink lipstick, but I have never worn pink eyeliner.”

“Sometimes teacher eyeliner is blue,” the other girl, Tiffany, was now putting back her clay eyeliner that fell as she was speaking. “Yesterday yesterday (the other day), teacher dress is blue, teacher eyeliner is blue.” 

I was flattered that these kids remember.

There is one boy in that class, and I didn’t want him to feel out of place with all the girlie talk, so I began asking the class about the weather and what day and date it was (which they all answered well), but to my surprise, the boy was also interested in eyeliners… not that he wants to wear make up, too, but he was obviously curious. In fact, he was the next one to mention eyeliner again just as we were about to start with our warm-up activity.

“Teacher, you have pink eyeliner?”

“No, Eugene, I don’t have a pink eyeliner. I use only black or blue.”

“Teacher, you buy pink eyeliner and next time wear.”

“Uhm, do you think I will look prettier with pink eyeliner?’

“I don’t know.”

I shouldn’t have asked Eugene that question. ^^

That time, the girls were busy putting back their clay eyeliner, which fell everytime they moved or spoke or giggled. Tiffany gave up, but Mary was persistent… and Eugene just would not let up interrogating me.

“Teacher, why you wear eyeliner?”

“I want to look prettier. Doesn’t your Mommy use eyeliner?”


“I want teacher next time not wear eyeliner.”


“I want see teacher real face.”

Okay, an anvil just dropped on my head.

“But… this is my real face.”

Eugene and the girls took turns in skinning me alive with words.

“Next time teacher come here and wear no make up,” this time it’s Tiffany making the request.

“Sorry, guys, but I can’t do that. I never go to work without make up.”

“We want see teacher real face! Teacher real face! Teacher real face!”

Ugh, the kids were relentless!

“How about I just wear pink eyeliner next time I come to class?”

Of course I was kidding!

“No, teacher… we want see you not wear eyeliner.”

“No make up, teacher.”

“Only real face.”

“I told you, this is my real face. Do you think there is a monster beneath this make up?”


“Does teacher wear too much make up?”


“Okay, maybe next time I will wear less make up to make you happy. Shall we begin with our activity now?”


Kids… ^^ (sigh)


Sweet Potato Pastries for “Chuseok”

This year’s 추석: (Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving Day) falls on September 19th. As one of the most important celebrations in South Korea is fast approaching, Chuseok gift sets abound. Have you thought of what present to bring along when you visit your husband’s parents or your Korean friend’s house?

If you happen to pass by Dongdaemun station, why not check out 고구마명가 (Goguma myeongga)? This small cafe and bakery, which is actually just a food stall, sells delicious pie, bread, cookies and other pastries made of goguma or sweet potato. They have gift sets which are very affordable and perfect as Chuseok presents.




Here are gift set samples for Chuseok.



A 20-piece gift set costs 26 USD (1,137 PHP); a 14-piece gift set is 17 USD (771 PHP)… not too pricey compared to other Chuseok gifts like traditional Korean sweets or pastries, wine, fruit, meat, etc.

Today, I found a Chuseok gift set of traditional Korean sweets in Lotte Department Store, and my jaw dropped when I looked at the price… 200,000 KRW (183 USD) (8,119 PHP)! Traditional Korean sweets are not even that toothsome.

I don’t really like sweet potatoes, but 고구마명가 makes very good sweet potato pastries. My favorite is goguma-green tea pie which is best eaten when it is just out of the oven. I always ask for the newly-baked pie whenever I buy.

Here in Korea, there are so many dishes made of sweet potato, from appetizers to desserts such as salad, pizza, cookies, cake and even ice cream! Sometimes it’s cooked with meat, too.

You can buy 20 pieces of assorted sweet potato cookies in a box for 16 USD (731 PHP). If you would like to bring some for your family, you can buy 10 pieces of different flavors of pie and cookies for 13 USD (568 PHP).

I bought sweet potato pastries for my parents-in-law the other day, and they liked them. I am going to order a Chuseok set for my husband’s eldest uncle. I think his family will like the gift. =)


고구마명가 has shops all over Korea. Here is a list of where the shops are located and their numbers. Visit their website for more information. 


What other gifts are great for Chuseok? Please share them with us by clicking the comment button. ^^

Have a happy Chuseok! ^^