I don’t know what I did to deserve it, but rather than Cupid shooting me through with an arrow of love, some other jokester angel must have sprinkled a dust on my head that has magnetized me to strange, awkward, and sometimes hilarious encounters. It is an ongoing phrase amongst my friends to say, “this kind of thing would only happen to you, Kaleena.” And as much as I wish I could claim it’s just an exaggeration, the evidence appears to prove otherwise.
The year 2013 was no exception. So before I do a post reviewing everything I’ve done this year, I’m going to share 13 of my absurd, ridiculous, hilarious or just plain strange moments in the past 12 months. They are in no particular order because I just can’t even fathom ranking this sort of thing.
1) A pint-sized Korean body builder poked my belly and laughed while I worked out. Read the post about my humiliation here.
2) I went on a blind date and fell into a large, abandoned fish tank. Don’t worry, that story is coming soon (it’s actually my next article in Platform Magazine).
5) A fat Korean boy sat on my legs while my face was shoved in the water during a very bizarre swim lesson. Read the account of my water torture here.
7) I fell halfway into the subway tracks and sort of almost died. I was running to jump on a train before the doors closed and didn’t see the unusually large gap between the train and the platform. My foot stepped straight through the hole and I started tumbling down into the abyss. With half my body dangling off the side of the train, the doors began to close. I heard a collective gasp and several people grabbed me and wrenched me out of the hole and into the train just in time. I stood up with a sprained ankle, covered in dirt and shaking, but also alive!
8) I went to a Korean weight loss clinic and was called obese, offered mystery pills, and told to stop eating a jar of peanut butter every night. Read my fatty mcfatterson story here.
9) I accidentally sprayed a bidet all over the bathroom. Korean toilets have a lot of buttons and after standing up I pressed one thinking it was the flush button… A fountain erupted all over the stall while I cowered in a corner for 15 seconds until it stopped.
10) On my first night in Seoul I couldn’t find my hostel and a drunk ajosshi (old man) decked out in hiking gear put me in a cab to drive half a block, and then led me in circles through the red light district. Nothing says “welcome to Korea” like an old man with beer breath and hiking sticks knocking on brothel doors with you. Here were my first impressions of Seoul.
11) At a temple with my friends we were unwittingly convinced to put on costumes and wear giant wooden blocks on our heads for a very serious photo session. Read about that lovely day here.
12) I galloped a mud run obstacle course. Read the details of how I “conquered” the Spartan race in Seoul.
13) I was attacked by my students for candy. But not in the normal kids-are-excited-for-candy kind of way. It was Halloween, and it was the only day I gave out candy at school. At the sight of candy the students’ eyes glazed over, and they descended upon me like it was the zombie apocalypse. It was a mob scene as over 50 children lunged at me, pushed and shoved me, and tried to wrench the bag of candy from my arms. So there I was on Halloween, 2013, dressed like a bat and running for dear life through the halls of a Korean middle school.
Sometimes I wonder what my life has become…