Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Weekend in Food

Since it was Thanksgiving in the states last week, I spent the week teaching my children about the holiday and strove to get them to stop calling Native Americans ‘Indians’. All this talk made me hungry, especially when I would call my mom and here her plans for the holiday. So, Thursday night Sam, Andie, Nick and I met up with our recruiter, Henry, and his girlfriend for live octopus. Not really traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but I cannot stress how fun it is to try to pull the thrashing tentacles after the plate. Don’t worry, the octopus that we ate had been decapitated minutes before consumption. However, I still want to try eating the whole live baby octopus. Along with this treat, Henry had ordered this giant smorgasbord of seafood: clams, shellfish, shrimp, mollusks, and oysters. It looked like they had scraped all the seafood from the sea floor and served it in a monstrous tray. 맛있어요 (delicious)

On Friday after school we went out for a real Thanksgiving dinner. Toque restaurant in Itaewon served us turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberries, green bean casserole, tuna casserole, candied yams, and pumpkin pie. It was a surprisingly good meal, but some of us realized we missed the spiciness that is Korean food. Most of the people that went were foreigners, but two Koreans came as well, and Byeong Hun tasted turkey for the first time.
Andie, Paul, Allan, and Chloe enjoying their meal

The weekend of food continued on Saturday when Andie, Sam, Liza and I went to the Seoul Fancy Food Festival. Although it didn’t apparently compete at all with festivals in New York, we were still able to try samples of random desserts and drinks as well as a quick wine tasting. There wasn’t as much free food as we hoped, but whenever a line built up we would sprint to the end and see what was in store. After walking back to my home, I jumped on a bus to Dongdaemun to go shopping for a winter coat. I had seen one earlier, but it was $150, and I didn’t have the money. I told the shopkeeper that I would be back, but she definitely did not believe me. However, I returned and when she recognized me she was so excited that she knocked the price down to $100. I could have probably bargained more, but since this was the price I wanted to pay, I said thank you, bought it, and am now rocking my new Korean coat. My students love when I wear Korean clothing, as it looks so much better than the clothing I brought from the US.
At 8 pm, Rachel, Arianna, Byeong Hun, So-Jin, and I met up to go out for drinks with some of BH’s friends from the Asia-Pacific World Deaf conference. While we were waiting, a Korean American approached us because we were signing and she knew ASL. She wants to learn KSL, and joined us for the rest of the night. Her name was Charity, which is fitting since she wants to be a social worker. I was jealous of her signing skills, but I know I just need more time and practice. We met up with a bunch of Israeli guys and they were crazy. Fun, but crazy. We ended up dancing at the Loft in Itaewon for hours, before finally heading home.
Oh Sundays. Omelet for breakfast, coffee with friends at Konguk University and then dinner in Gangnam. Rachel Frank, BH, So-Jin and I went out for budaejjigae, which is this soup that originated during the Korean War. Apparently the American soldiers gave it to the Koreans who just kept adding stuff to it until it tasted good. Nowadays, it tastes delicious. Afterward, we went for a long walk and then back to sleep to start the workweek. This week I am teaching The Giving Tree to my second graders and we are making ‘cootie catchers’ in first grade. This job is awesome.

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