Thursday, October 10, 2013

Makes me happy

The food in Korea is good. Like really good for my body. I'd say it took me a week or so to start craving kimchi simply because it fills a void in my stomach I never knew I had. Kimchi, like all the Korean food I've had, isn't scarfed, guzzled, or stuffed down. It might be shoved, slurped, and curled in seaweed but in excess? Never. One is a belchful full, but I've found that I stop when I am satisfied. I'm not tempted to eat more than I need to.

Attribute that to the absence of the salt and sugars found in meals in America and the addition of fresh vegtables (mushrooms, onions, raddishes, cabbage...), beans of lots of variety, rice, and fish. I'd say Korean food is about nourishment of the body, mind, and soul. 

Watching the teachers eat at school is my favorite show. They eat incredibly fast -- something I read about but an observation I happily share with my new co-teacher (she also thinks they eat quickly). One day, we were served chicken wings, like the ones at Quaker Steak & Lube. And you bet I waited to see how they would handle that situation; they used their chopsticks. They picked them up and so beautifully ate those wings. I wish I could paint a painting that could capture that moment of grace. So I followed suit and hey, didn't do so badly. It's in my blood after all. 

Lunch at school is one of my favorite activities to do in Korea. Such a routine and natural thing, but I really enjoy the surprise and hope for what is served. Sin Hyeon Gyeong, my new co-teacher, and I head down around noon after our last normal class of the day, and being teachers and all, float up to the front of the line. I grab my "teacher" metal lunch tray, spoon, and metal chopsticks and move along the line. First comes the kimchi and the spicy vegetable-sometimes-pineapple stop (the pineapple happened once!). Then comes the rice stop - white rice, rice with flecks of beans, fancy rice that's seasoned up. Next comes the soup stop - soup everyday and everyday a different soup. I'm starting to love and need my soup. Last comes what I like to call the "this makes me happy" stop. This is where you get the chicken wings. The "corn dog." The "sweet and sour chicken." The protein and the familiar. Everything is a little different in Korea, including milk, gum, and popcorn, but the glimmer of familiar is enough and it's so good. 

No comments:

Post a Comment