Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bits of Randomness

So the week improved. I thought I had lunch duty for 8 straight weeks; they gave me 2 on, then 2 off, then 3 on, so that's better. And I got a really awesome blues song out of it, so it's not all bad. My kids have actually been pretty well-behaved (for them) and despite having bronchitis and another sinus infection, my days aren't wiping me out. Which means I have time for adventures.

On Monday I did something. I don't remember what, or with whom, but I was out enjoying the bitter cold before the swelter sets in. Tuesday, Hannah and I got Phil's free movie passes (they expired that day) and saw Shopaholic. Blah blah Kate goes to another movie blah blah, right? Wrong! They were for a specific kind of cinema, and there are two of them in the downtown area. Hannah and I wandered for 20 minutes or so before accepting defeat and walking towards the one we knew where it was (but we had missed our movie time). As we walked, though, I read signs, and, in Korean, I found our cinema! OH MY GOD!! It really was my finest moment since coming to Korea, and I kind of ruined it by obsessing, but there you have it. Not only did I get lost, but I got found--in Hangul. You've come a long way, baby!

Last night I had a night in and got my apartment sorted out--laundry put away, mostly. Dead kleenexes moved from the floor to a trash bag. That sort of thing. I got a second wind, though, and started calling people back home. How I miss you guys. It makes me feel pretty confident to end my current contract on schedule and come home for July--I can always return to my current school or find another contract. But I miss my dad and his fake accents (oh so fake, and I love them), my mom's wit and cooking, and the unique spin that everyone has.

I've thought a lot about how weird it would be to be in an English-speaking country. At the YMCA on Saturday mornings, I feel overwhelmed by being in a room full of foreigners--the dull roar of English overloads my senses, and I wish they'd all switch to speaking Korean, haha. However long I stay home, it won't be for too long because I'm sure I'll miss my movie star status. ("Ohmigod it's a foreigner!") And I know I'll miss the food. I just got in from a night of galbi. Yum!

I am fairly confident I will be able to come home and make bulgogi, bibambap and kimchi jjigae, though. After trying Misha's Korean grocer, I should be able to prepare delicious spiciness. Yum.

Eight months have passed, now, and I find it interesting how my tastes in Korean food have progressed. I've gone from eating peanut butter and jelly my entire first week to cheesy ramen, to devouring anything with kimchi in it, to bibambap. Bibambap has bean sprouts, spinach, kimchi radish, greasy potatoes, seaweed, and onion on top of rice. To this you add spicy red pepper paste to your liking and blend with chopsticks, then eat with a spoon. Can you believe I would eat something so healthy with great relish four times a week? No wonder my hair has gotten so shiny.

I also take pleasure in reading signs, now. This week I hit studying Korean hard, and now I recognize words, like restaurant, clothes, etc. I can find ingredients for cooking, now, and I feel like I'm coming into my own. So, I know it was only playfully, but I was whining on Monday, and I'd like to retract it. I am quite happy, know that I am in the right place, and look forward to whatever comes next.


I just hope it's cherry blossoms with Albert.


Tracy Paige said...

I'm rooting for the cherry blossum tour... lol.

misha said...

You could show me how to make those great Korean dishes. I'd love that!

Julie (It is.) said...

Yay for healthy food (although... greasy potatoes?) and bring on the blossoms!