I love my students. This week we are doing a lesson on ingredients. So I downloaded a cooking show, and had them read a recipe, and then had them get into groups to make their own recipes. Well, I got to hear some very interesting takes on common foods. I really liked the super sandwich. It included chicken, ham, bacon, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, and lettuce. I also liked the vegetables that should be “cooked until they die”. I never knew vegetables could live through the chopping process. I guess we learn something everyday.
One of my students is a bit of a bad girl. She was all “hoochie baby”, rolling her eyes and generally acting bored through the lesson. I wanted to say ..’ listen hoohice baby, I was a hoochie mama way before your mama even knew what hoochie was- so don’t even go there’ but I didn’t. Instead I waited and watched, and believe it or not, she came up with a pretty good idea. So I said, “good idea” She looked up at me with a deer in the headlights wide eyes shocked expression. Then she smiled quite shyly, and straightened up in her chair. She worked pretty hard the rest of the lesson too. Never underestimate the power of a kind word.
After work I felt a bit restless and bored, and no one was answering my phone, so I decided to have a bit of a walk. I started on a quest for some street food. I found a nice little chicken on a stick stand, and kept going. I found a nice furniture store, and was able to negotiate two bookcases and delivery on Friday, mostly on my own. I felt pretty good, so I kept going. I stopped at a small park and watched a kid kick a rock around. I thought – boy, he is easily amused, then realized so was I, as I was just as amused watching him as he was kicking the rock. I kept going, and found an outdoor market. I love outdoor markets. You can find everything you ever wanted, and a few things you never knew existed. There are of course the plastic everythings, pancakes in the shape of a fish and filled with sweet bean paste (they are really quite good) cinnamon donuts that aren’t quite the same as we would have in the states, but they smelled really awesome. Unfortunately I could not say the same thing about the live fish in rubber tubs, the pig somethings that I’m pretty sure I don’t really want to know about and some kind of herbal tea.
After I walked through the market I got a little bit turned around. I wasn’t too upset because a) I don’t have much of a sense of direction and b) it was still pretty early. I walked further, peeking into a couple of restaurants that I made a note of to visit again, if I can figure out exactly where it was, and asked a random street guy where my subway station was. He pointed the direction I just came from, and I wound up on a shopping street/market. This one had street vendors but also a lot of shops. I was feeling a bit peckish so I got some kind of snack on a stick, but I’m not quite sure exactly what it was. It tasted pretty good, and then I had the fruit juice stand make me a banana juice. I like these stands, they have the whole fruits in a cup, and you can pick out the ones you want. I kept walking, and came out on a main road. I asked a woman this time to help me find my subway station, and she pointed in the opposite direction I was going to go. I kept walking, met a Pakistani who was selling jewelry, bought a pair of lovely green dangle-y earrings and finally found my way home.
Something I love about Korea. Half the small grocery stores and convenience marts have tables and chairs outside, and many of them have potted plants around them to make the rest stop more pleasant. Many people stop and have a quick drink or snack and watch the rest of the people go by. I like that a lot.