Friday, April 11, 2014

Welcome To Cake Week

After one month into the first semester at school, we always hold our parent-teacher conferences for one week. But last year, the other kindergarten English teacher and I decided to forever call it "Cake Week" instead. This name is much more fitting since every parent that comes in to meet with you to discuss their child's progress comes with a cake in hand. Sure, having meetings with parents is a bit of a drag. But free cake? Now that's just awesome.

Don't believe me? Please, take a look...
First up, a Japanese-style cheesecake. Many of the moms favor this store. To get one of these is one of the greatest food gifts of all here, in my opinion.

Here's the Japanese cheesecake itself. It's so light and fluffy, very cake-like, yet very creamy. It is deliciously evil.

Another mom gave me a giant box of these awesome chocolate covered almonds. While not technically cake, getting this made my day.

Because I have 20 students, and the potential to receive 20 cakes, I can't eat them all. Well, perhaps I could but even as much as I love cake, I simply cannot bring myself to eat all of it myself. So some of my cakes, I've stashed at work and cut up to share with the other teachers. Here's my Korean teacher, Christina going for a piece of one of those cakes. Yes, there are cakes I neglected to photograph. My bad.

 On another day this week, this is what I brought home...a chocolate cake (pictured below), a scrumptious cheesecake (on par with that Japanese cheesecake pictured earlier), an assortment of 3 different kinds of insanely yummalicious cookies (from the Japanese bakery) and a brownie. And this was just what I brought home. I gave away one cake, which I actually didn't want to do. Christina put me on the spot and asked me if she could give it to Ali, the part-time Korean teacher who we have for the 6-year-old class. I had stashed that cake and another one in the fridge to share with all of the kindergarten teachers in the morning. How could I say, "Well, she didn't earn this cake so no. I'm not giving it up." It's what I wanted to say but I smiled and handed it over. As long as no one tries to take one of my cheesecakes...
 I would have gotten in a fight if I had to part with this chocolate cake. No fucking's MY cake and it's coming home with me so my husband and daughter can eat the bulk of it. I teach 20 kids every day. Ali has 7 students. Her life is easy. I win. Cake cake cake!

 I also received this delectable box of Italian chocolates. GOD! These are so sinfully chocolatey. Christina got a box of them too and like me, hoarded them. They are THAT good!

Why yes, it's another Japanese cheesecake from the same bakery. When I received this one, we still had part of the first one we received in our fridge. Don't will get eaten!

Here's an assortment of strange cookies that one of the moms sent in for all the teachers. It was really sweet of her to get something for everyone in the department. The orange-colored cookies were very hard but very good. I stayed away from the others. They reminded me of bland Chinese snacks.

Here is one of the few non-cake gifts I received. One of the moms made me this pencil holder. I'm not currently stashing pencils in it though. I was using it to hold some of my bottles of juice, which we all received as gifts. Some moms will bring you a box of 12 bottles of juice and we always split them up between all the teachers. Not pictured: about 7 bottles of various flavors of juice that, by the end of the day Friday, had accumulated on my desk.

But you know what's just as great as getting tons of cakes? Getting Engrish with those cakes. My box of chocolates came in this gorgeous flowered bag. I tried to take about 100 photos of the words but every time, they came out blurry. I eventually gave up. Can't make it out? Here's what it says:
Gift to you
Life is a paper white, there on each of
us may write his word or tow.

How exquisitely poetic! May I have a word or "tow" with you too? Sigh. I'm in love. Though, this next one takes the cake, pardon the pun...

That non-Japanese cheesecake also has some priceless packaging...
Again, I tried desperately to photograph it but as you can see, I just suck. In any event, here's what it says:
Pay attention, there is a fully new taste go public. It is healthy,
delicious. It really is the best snack for all of you.

It's hard for me to choose which one of these I love more. The first one is so charming, but yet, this almost passive-aggressive-scolding-Asian-mom-style translation really warms my heart too.

As Cake Week comes to an end, I'm left with way too much cake, despite my best efforts to share it with others. I sadly did not photograph all the cakes given to me. So just imagine a refrigerator full of cake (and some farty-smelling dumplings or whatever the hell it was MIL made us eat yesterday) and that's what I'm working with. Once the cakes go, at least I will always have the Engrish to make me smile.

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