A year in photos – Day 38

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Tuesday, April 3

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I had dinner tonight with my friends Jamie and Jenny. We went to a place that specializes in fried rice. We ordered a spicy chicken fried rice dish. They cook it for you right at the table. It was so good and really cheap! One serving is just over $4 (4,500 won).

A year in photos – Day 31

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Tuesday, March 27

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After school I met up with Jamie and Shanna for dinner. There aren’t many restaurant choices in our neighborhood. Basically, there’s the oven baked chicken place and 2 kimbap places. Kimbap looks a lot like a sushi roll. It’s rice, ham, crab, cucumber, pickled radish and egg rolled up in dried seaweed. There are several varieties available, but I don’t know much about it because I don’t like seaweed.

Kimbap places serve a large variety of foods. You can get soups, dumplings, stir fries and even fried pork cutlet. These places are cheap and fast.

This is what our favorite neighborhood kimbap place looks like from the inside. They are usually hole in the wall types of places…Jamie and Shanna actually walked right past it today and we have gone there several times. The menu is posted on the wall and it’s all in Korean so you either need know how to read Korean and have a basic knowledge of what various Korean foods are or go with someone who does.

A year in photos – Day 27

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Friday, March 23

Fun Fun English Time!

Today was a pretty rough day. I teach 1st graders and I planned the entire 40 minute class all on my own. I have never taught students with such a low English level before and it’s pretty intimidating. I have a co-teacher for the class, but the class was mostly led by me so there was very little translation happening. Some of the activities I thought would work were too advanced for the kids and the first class bombed… hard. It probably wasn’t the worst class ever, but I felt like going into the bathroom and shedding a few tears afterwards. After class, I had a chat with my co-teacher and things were better for the 2 classes after that.

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Lunch was a bit disappointing, as well. Today was what I like to call a “rice & kimchi day.” That means that the only things I found edible were rice and kimchi. Today was a little bit different than most rice & kimchi days because we were served 3 different kinds of kimchi. On any given day, there are only 5 things served (usually rice, soup and 3 side dishes).

The soup of the day was seaweed soup with beef and rice cakes. We had rice with seeds (or grains of some sort?) and a few black beans mixed in. Today’s side dishes were radish kimchi, cabbage kimchi and a kimchi made from apple and cucumber. I know apples and cucumber in a spicy red sauce may sound gross, but don’t knock it until you try it. I love it!

The teachers I eat with have been so funny lately. They are so curious about English now…  and me. They’ve been asking me questions (through JuHye) like, do I have a boyfriend, do I like to go to public bath houses, am I on a diet (because I wasn’t eating soup). They have been trying to learn new words every day. Yesterday they learned lettuce and cucumber so today they had a little review and also learned seaweed and “Don’t do that!” One of the teachers turned to me and said, “Meagan, fun fun English time!” hahaha Ahhhh! Why are they so cute??

A year in photos – Day 23

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Monday, March 19

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Here’s another example of my school lunches.

From the top left: dipping sauce, fried tofu, kimchi

Bottom: Rice and kimchi/ham soup

A year in photos – Day 15

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Sunday, March 11

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Tonight I ordered a Gorgonzola pizza for dinner. It was a bit of a surprise when it came out topped with potato chips.

A year in photos – Day 14

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Saturday, March 10

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I took this photo today at Woobang Tower Land in Daegu. I went on a road trip with Dave, Shanna and Jamie (the duo has been affectionately named Shamie). We were going to eat in the revolving restaurant in the tower, but as it turns out, no one was in the mood for robster.

School Lunches

My school has started sending out messages each day describing the day’s lunch. Once translated, it is probably more confusing than not knowing at all.

“Please note that from meals room>1. Food and Health News No. 4 exit. (“Stress too hard come harderchungonjeung received”)2. Today, my kids are too like boiled.
Suddenly you’re feeling better this year for things to “loin” was prepared.
Please enjoy delicious.3. Lettuce, carrots, cucumber prepared by Eco.
May worry that you have folded like sigo.
To eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, especially in the spring.(Chungonjeung Prevention)4. Talking theology students have a lot of changes in the amount of pear is often lacking.
If you have jeonchulip It’s yours when you blow a note to the meals room will be modified.Lunch today was more alert.”

I wasn’t sure what we were having until I walked into our lunch room and it all made sense. Up until today, I hadn’t taken pictures of any of my school lunches because I was pretty sure I’d look silly doing it in front of all of my fellow teachers… but the interesting thing about a new school year is that half of the teachers I have lunch with are new to my school (teachers in Korea rotate schools every 2-3 years). None of them know me or talk to me (only about me) so I decided to go for it today.

Across the top is boiled pork (수육), dipping sauce (쌈장), water kimchi (물김치). Across the bottom is rice (밥) and lettuce for wrapping (상추). They also served soup, but I rarely ever eat it because it’s usually fishy or made with some sort of fish based broth and I don’t really care for seafood. This lunch is like a treat for me. There’s a good mixture of protein and vegetables, which is usually lacking in the lunches at my school. The lunches at my school aren’t that amazing and occasionally I find myself only able to eat the rice and kimchi (if it’s good that day).

A year in photos – Day 10

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Tuesday, March 6

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Today was a bit stressful for me. My teaching schedule keeps getting changed. The changes wouldn’t be that big of a deal except I’m now expected to turn in lesson plans to the vice principal for a class that I have no idea how to teach and I’m not getting much support from my co-teacher.

I am fortunate enough to have amazing friends and a fantastic boyfriend. I had to cancel going to Costco with the girls tonight because I was feeling overwhelmed by work stuff. Dave offered to come down to Busan a night early because I was having a rough day. I picked up this cake on the way home as a thank you for coming down.

Jamie called me after she got back from Costco. She had picked up a chicken bake for me. So sweet.

A year in photos – Day 8

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Sunday, March 4

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Why do the weekends go by so fast? I really enjoyed the past few days and I’m somewhat dreading getting back to reality. These past few weeks have been so nice.

Dave and I stopped into the Caffe Bene near my apartment for a waffle and gelato. It was a nice way to end the weekend.

Ups and Downs

I went to the doctor again today and he said the graft on my ear looks better than yesterday. He has a camera hooked up to where you can see inside of your ear on a monitor on the wall. He had me look yesterday and it was obviously very pink and inflamed and today you could tell it wasn’t as irritated. He said it was turning back to white, which is good.

He’s really nice. He said, “During the recovery process there will be ups and downs. The past few days we experienced some downs, but we’re working through them.” I go back again tomorrow and probably Monday too.

Afterwards I went to my favorite neighborhood restaurant. It’s a small hole in the wall kinda place. It’s the Korean version of fast food restaurant (no drive thru, but they do deliver). The most expensive thing on the menu is 5,500 ₩ which is just over $5. That is a sweet potato and cheese stuffed fried pork cutlet. It’s much better than it probably sounds. Today, I got 제육덮밥 (jae-yook-dup-bap).  It’s basically stir fried pork and veggies in a red sauce that’s a little bit spicy served with rice. It also comes with miso soup and a tray of side dishes. Every Korean meal comes with side dishes. Today’s sides at the restaurant were kimchi, some kind of potato/macaroni salad thing, fish cakes, and dried anchovies mixed with some sort of green veggie. All that for 4,000 ₩ (about $3.50).

I had to go to a cheap place because I am skint (my new English word for broke). After what I spent today, I only have 1,315 ₩ (less than $1) in my bank account. Thank goodness tomorrow is payday!