Monday, October 6, 2008

Chapter Twelve: The Best Day Ever or Peanut Butter and Jelly: An American Institution

Today, obviously, was the best day ever. It started off with getting a package from Mom full of birthday goodies! (It was my fault, I didn't give her my address until way after my birthday). Included in the box: peanut butter! because it costs $7 for a tiny jar here, Larabars (my soy-free protein snack of choice which I have been running dangerously low on and was hoping would appear somehow), chocolate chip cookies which were then consumed and enjoyed by my co-workers, brownies which I kept for myself, three DVD's from Jessie which all look amazing, and a really wonderful, thoughtful birthday card. I teared up!

Also, today I finally got paid so I now have real money. I also finally got my alien card and passport back and now I have proof of my existence. I also finally got a bank account. Quite productive. I feel totally loaded and I'm definitely going to Seoul this weekend. I might do a bit of shopping, too. Most importantly, I can afford food now!

On a totally different "best day ever" note, I brought in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for my really well-behaved elementary class. We had read a Little Bill book in which Little Bill eats a PB&J sandwich and they had never heard of such a thing. Not too much of a stretch for me, so I explained that these sandwiches are a huge staple of American "kid-food." What I was shocked to learn is that they are not popular in England or Australia. In fact, Chris had never heard of them. Both Chris and Nicole agreed that the idea was incredibly foul. My students, likewise, were dubious. However, I presented it as a "special treat" and they partook.

My sandwiches are all packed up and ready to go. (Thanks to Mom for more tupperware!)

Ready, set, bite! Tommy, Daniel, and Cindy.
Tommy and Daniel need to check on Cindy's approval, apparently. Cindy wonders what it looks like in there. The first bite involved a response of "oh, jam!" I had neglected to explain what jelly was, oops! The second was "well, I've had peanut butter before, and jam before, but not together." The third was a confirmation that they had all, in fact, had any kind of sandwich before. The PB&J seemed to get overwhelming approval. Tommy and Cindy each had a second piece. I sent the extra home with Cindy.

At this point, Cindy is still contemplating the nature of the PB&J sandwich.

Cindy eats and explains where the idea came from in Little Bill. I really enjoyed getting to read a Little Bill story; I absolutely love Bill Cosby. My explanation of Bill Cosby definitely did not translate. Ah well.

Lastly, I heard from another '08 who is in Korea! I had two classes with her throughout my time at Smith and she's actually just outside of Daegu. Hopefully, she can make it to Wednesday night dinner. I'm incredibly excited to see another Smithie. I hope it brings back that part of my personality that I think gets diminished here.


  1. I've also had to explain the PB&J to some of my British friends. Some of them had heard of it, some hadn't. I think the first problem is that jelly translates to Jello-O in British English, so if your British friends think that the sandwich sounds foul, it might be because they're picturing jiggly jello-squished into a sandwich with nut butter. Ewe!

  2. Hey Colleen! Found your blog by way of Em, who's been apparently lurking on mine. So glad to read about PB & J, and kids, and being abroad and whatnot. Keep writing, woman!

  3. It costs 7 pounds (about 12 dollars) for the jar of peanut butter here(if you can find it.)