I Love You, Korea: Summer Love-Letters

Let’s talk about the things that I love lately and why I do that thing where I love them.

 

오징어 순대 (Ojingo sundae)

 

Want want want want want want want want

I am not a big seafood fan. We’ve talked about this before, internet. If it has pincers or a shell that is also its house or horrible beady little eyes floating away from its body on fibrous little shiver tendrils, I don’t want to ingest it. If it lives in the darkest, scariest parts of the ocean where things are basically two steps away from being Cthulhu, I don’t want it on my plate. Why do people do this to themselves? We have other food now, don’t they know? You don’t have to scrape the things off the bottom of your boat and suck sustenance from their horrible chitinous razorshells.

However. Occasionally I will stumble on something vaguely seafoody that surmounts my defenses. That proves tasty despite my long entrenched biases against the entire food genre. I will reluctantly savour this food, as though the sea itself conspired against me.

Never before has anything been so victorious against my tastebuds as ojingo sundae.

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Soup On The Right: Lunch Has Never Been So Hard

Your average lunch.

An entire post about your Korean school lunch? One month in Korea, and you are out of ideas, you, the non-existent interlocutor, remark. However! Lunch at my Korean elementary school is, hilariously, a time when I expend nearly as much effort as I do lesson-planning and teaching. It is one of the few places I interact with a large group of Korean adults. It is one of the few times I am required to use Korean utensils and eat Korean food right beside actual Koreans. There are arcane, arbitrary, and sometimes hilarious practices which I must mimic and master if I want to gain greater acceptance. I am watched much of the time. And thus: a post about lunch.

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Weekly Waygook: My Dinner is Wriggling

 

Photo donated by Kin Wong

 

The Seoul Fireworks Festival is an international competition, this year featuring China, Canada, Japan, and Korea. My co-teacher directed me to the event, and informed me that we should go early. Being entirely naïve, I assumed she meant, say, an hour to an hour-and-a-half ahead of time, giving us an ample window to settle down in Hangang Park, somewhere near the river. As we discovered, she probably meant something like, “Camp out there the night before, and also the night of, otherwise you will experience dehumanizing, untold horrors.”

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