The Bees and the Bird and the Biggest Thing in the Ocean


A bus is parked in front of my classroom. It has little naked children standing on flying lilypads on it.

“It’s the bees and the bird bus.”

Later on at lunch, in an attempt to divert the conversation away from the usual topic of students, children and mothers-in-law, I brought up the subject.

“What do you think they talk about on the bees and the bird bus!?”

“They talk about how to make babies.”

Flashback to naked children on flying lilypads.

“Oh. In our sex ed classes, we always learned how not to make babies.”


“Well, so do they teach you about contraceptives?”


“Really? Do you get sexual education classes in high school?”

“No. How’s the soup?  Too spicy?”

And just like that, despite having said “sex” twice without getting kicked under the table, I had failed. I resigned to a future of students, children, and mothers-in-law.

So you can imagine how– only later that day– I was shocked, and frankly pissed, when a little purple puppet made a cameo in my classroom, rife with sexual innuendo in the form of one tentacle.

That video made it 30 seconds before the teacher turned it off– proof that I wasn’t the only one thinking it.

It’s the voice right? And the laughing adults. Adults don’t laugh at puppet shows.

And the tentacle…

So I learned my lesson that day. Koreans don’t talk about sex, even under the guise of “the bees and the bird.” But sometimes it flies in on a lilypad, or pulls up on a bus. And sometimes, if you’re really lucky, it just might be “the biggest thing in the ocean.”

Anne-Claire Siegert
Anne-Claire Siegert is currently living in South Korea. She is a journalism graduate from The University of Tennessee and has worked as both a photographer and journalist for print and web in the U.S. and in Italy. Her passion is travel and so currently, she is teaching in Seoul, South Korea where she funds her own adventures until the day she can make it as a travel writer. She loves red wine, reading and, most of all, Kris Kristofferson.
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