As a foreigner here in South Korea, I can sometimes feel like I am in a bubble. Sometimes without my participation in the process, sometimes willingly. At work, I am often left out of discussions about matters that might affect me until the last possible moment, or until the actual matter takes place and I am just kind of thrust into it. Often, at night, either Jen or I will ask the other if it’s time to “say goodbye to Korea,” code for closing the curtains on the outside world and cozying up to our insulated world of two inhabitants. That latter example does not necessarily reflect a poor opinion of Korea, but rather an opinion of the world at large and whether or not it’s sometimes therapeutic to escape it and all its associated bullshit; someday, far from today we might play out a similar scene where one of us asks if it’s time to “say goodbye to Middletown, New Jersey” or “Walla Walla, Washington.” But, I am not holding my breath: houses are too damn expensive in Middletown.
It’s 2 p.m. at Bricks Coffee in Seomyeon, Busan. I have a “Dutch Americano,” which was just dutch-styled coffee extract alongside a mug of hot water. So, coffee. It’s pretty good. Clouds have come in and it looks like rain outside the window of this second floor but no one is carrying an umbrella, not even one “just in case” paranoid person. I think my bicycle is safe.
I’m diving into my “private stash” of writings from my first, second and the time leading into my third time in South Korea. It’s called the Korea Chronicles and its access is not locked so, if you care, if you find it, by all means enjoy. I won’t be offended.
I am not an expert on Thai cuisine, but “Thai” and “corn” don’t seem to fit.
When I think about it, I will post our weekly menus up here, especially if we’re debuting some new recipes. Included in this week’s excitement is a Thai Corn Soup that sounds awesome and hopefully tastes the part. For those not in the know, or who cannot read my handwriting, “OOO” is “on our own,” HQ is a favorite expat bar here in Busan, and that mess of writing in the middle is for “Leek and Potato Soup,” made with leeks from our friends at Busan Organic Vegetables. Oh, and “B for D,” high fives for those who can figure out what this is.
I like to play armchair dream interpreter from time to time when my dreams are full of layers. I often tell myself after a particularly interesting dream that I should be writing these down for future reference. Partially because it would be interesting to look back on them and reflect. Perhaps also some of them could be reimagined as stories to write about. Or, by writing them down I can look back on them and recognize that, to no one but myself, they weren’t very interesting.
Last night’s dream could end up being of the latter quality if only because it features several recurring themes that are more interesting to me than to you because of their history and for their recurrence.
Admit it, lettuce soup sounds gross. Why though? I admit I instinctively felt the same way, despite having it and enjoying it immensely eight years ago. Oh well, better late than never to throw old biases out the window.
Reading the headline above, it almost sounds like we’re in abject poverty over here. “Lettuce soup?! Are you doing OK over there? Do you need me to send you some money? Are you wasting away, subsisting on nothing but a few wilted greens? The horror!!”
Food is a connection to culture.
Whether it’s for comfort or simply sustenance, food is essential. Of course, eating for survival is important, but isn’t it better when it’s more than just a way to stay alive? Food’s fun. To make. To talk about. To write about, for sure. But, mostly to eat.