A year in photos – Day 74

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Wednesday, May 9

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Grand Openings in Korea are really interesting. A lot of times there will be these large flower arrangements out front (that look like funeral flowers to me), the air powered blow up guys that flail around or girls in short skirts dancing. This BBQ restaurant in Seomyeon (Busan) had all 3! It also had a very disapproving ajumma monk that had decided to sit down next to the scantily clad girls.

A year in photos – Day 63

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Saturday, April 28

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Something I REALLY miss are blueberries. I only started liking them about a year before I left for Korea and now that I’m here, they are hard to find.

Last year I found them in my local grocery store for about 9,000 won, I think. Thats about $8. I finally broke down and bought some and they were majorly disappointing.

Today, Dave and I were at Hyundai Department Store in Ulsan and I was so excited to see blueberries again. Only this time they were 18,500 won ($16.50 for about half a pint)! That’s an insane price to pay for a few blueberries.

A year in photos – Day 53

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Wednesday, April 18

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Yesterday was field trip day. All of the students were gone so the kitchen was closed. The school ordered kimbap for everyone (super cheap sushi roll looking things). I don’t eat kimbap so I was really disappointed. JuHye offered to order some delivery for me.

Food delivery in Korea is so fascinating. It’s a big business. The meal comes to you on real plates and they bring you actual cutlery (none of that disposable stuff). They wrap it in plastic wrap, put it in a thermal box, strap it to their scooter and off they go. When you’re done with your meal, you put the dishes outside of the door and they come back later and pick it up.

That meal cost me 6,000 won (about $5.25 US). At the top are my side dishes — radish kimchi and pickled radishes, rice, miso soup, fried pork cutlet (돈까스)/salad/fruit, gravy.

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