Sep 05

State of Affairs: An Update on my Life (Sept 2014)

An Update on my Life

Although I’m overflowing with stories and photos from Borneo that I can’t wait to share with the world, it occurred to me that I haven’t had a personal post in a while to give an update on my life. Oh sure, I went on an incredible vacation, and I’ve been busy having weekend adventures too, but those are only highlights. What about the nitty gritty, the everyday details of life? Those little moments that we so often neglect to share on social media because they aren’t photographable or compactable into a status that will garner enough “likes”? (Ahem, you know we’re all guilty).


My life has been quite the roller coaster of emotions lately, but I do feel it’s finally on the upswing. Maybe it’s because there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for my time in Korea… but even so, I’m finally enjoying my Korean life. So here’s a little window into my life as of late:


School Life

After a year and a half my students are finally warming up to me. More and more have started attending our lunch time conversation group and today a boy I’d never heard speak English before started telling me about his bug collection. The kid apparently has expensive beatles that people in Japan will pay out the ass for! How strange is that?! I love weird kids.


Two of my students made me just about die of embarrassment and laughter in class yesterday. While writing doctor/patient dialogues the girls asked me, “What’s the thing between a boy’s legs?” I kept hoping I was misunderstanding them… But after multiple hand demonstrations I knew I couldn’t play dumb anymore. I sighed and told them hesitantly, “erm, well… penis…”. “Teacher, spell it please,” they demanded. Next thing I know they’ve written a dialogue in which “Doctor Kaleena” is giving advice to her patient about his “penis-ache”. Luckily they only suggested a hotpack, as the real Doctor Kaleena would have offered some more rather inappropriate advice…

ESL Teaching in Korea

One of my favorite students with the cake and pinata he and another student made for my birthday. Heart melted.


One of my best friends and I “broke up” recently, which was devastating. I thought the benefit of being single was not having to deal with breakups? Not so, apparently. I have hope that someday we’ll speak again amicably, but for now we’ve gone our separate ways. Friendship breakups are the.f-ing.worst.


In Korea, I’ve expanded my social circle and I finally have a well rounded group of friends that make me laugh uncontrollably. For my birthday, I somehow convinced over a dozen of them to abandon their pride and dress like “ajummas” (the old Korean women with a very distinct fashion style). We took on the town in our clashing floral print and giant visors and basically blinded overwhelmed Daegu with our awesomeness.


Ajumma Birthday Party

Requisite Ajumma Squatting


Health: Percy, the Little Bitch

Percy, the demon that has lived in my stomach for the last five years, has been throwing a giant trance party for over a month now and wreaking havoc on my life. Physically, I’ve felt like hell since July. I finally broke down and went to the doctor (which is a testament to how badly I felt, considering we all know how much I loooooove doctors) but when the doctor laughed out loud at me when I said the word “constipation” I knew we weren’t going to get very far. I’ve seen so many doctors about this that I’ve nearly given up hope. All I know is the jokes about the Poo Baby are getting old, and I’d like to actually wake up just one day without feeling nauseous and dizzy and down in the dumps (womp womp). Settle down, Percy, you’re too old to rave anyway.

Boryeong Mud Festival mudfest

No Percy, you cannot keep hosting a Mudfest party in my belly




My trip to Borneo, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur was AH-mazing, of course, and I’ve got approximately one gazillion photos to edit and post with fun little stories. But in the mean time, tomorrow I’m heading to TAIWAN! (Have you noticed I really like to capitalize the name of the place I’m going? EMPHASIS.) I’m traveling with a few fellow teacher friends from Korea but will also be meeting a friend from Santa Barbara who just moved to Taipei! I’ll be touring the gorgeous Taroko Gorge, having drinks at the top of Taipei 101, going river trekking to jump and swim in waterfalls, checking out the night market and temples, and whatever else strikes a fancy. And I will eat ALL. THE. DUMPLINGS.

Beach on Mabul Island Borneo

Sigh, Borneo, sigh… Hoping to make it to a beach in TAIWAN!

And that’s pretty much my life in a nutshell! It’s 1am now, so I guess it’s time to finish packing and get ready for TAIWAN tomorrow! I’ll talk to you lovelies next week.

  • I’m glad to read it’s all finally settling (except for Percy, that b*tch). I hate going to doctors abroad – I even fly all the way bad to Spain just for the weekend to go to my doctor. That’s what I call luxury!

    • KaleenasKaleidoscope

      Thanks! Wow, that is crazy that you fly back to Spain, but totally understandable. Health comes first! (Plus not a bad excuse for a weekend getaway, haha)

  • I love that you’ve named the problem in your stomach ‘Percy’. I got a parasite in my stomach while I was living in Mexico and I named him Kirk. Haha.

    I love your ajumma squatting. Sooo accurate!

    • KaleenasKaleidoscope

      Hahaha Kirk. Love it.

  • Taiwan?! So cool! I’m so jealous that you get to see so many awesome places in that part of the world! I can’t wait to hear more about your trip to Borneo 🙂 How old are your students? I would NOT have been able to keep a straight face if my students had asked me that question!! So awkward! (But also hilarious.)

    • KaleenasKaleidoscope

      Thanks! Yes, I’m pretty luck to be able to visit so many places in Asia while I’m in Korea. I teach middle school… you know, that wonderful golden age. 😉 I definitely didn’t keep a straight face… Kids say the darndest things I guess! haha

  • Audrey

    I love stories from the classroom! Students always say the most hilarious things!!! ;D

    • KaleenasKaleidoscope

      Haha yeah, nearly every day they give me a good laugh with the strange things they come up with. I’m sure you have some good stories from your days in Korea, too! 😉