I don't know where this last week went. It completely flew by. We had another round of 6th grade students, whose English levels seemed to be a little lower than usual. It made classes a little slower, but things went fine overall. They were sweet as always.
I met up with some girlfriends for a dinner of shabu-shabu. It is a Japanese meal centered around a pot of broth at your table. Ingredients get added in in stages, and you pull them out as they are ready to eat with dipping sauces. Various mushrooms and beautiful greens like chard, kale, and napa cabbage. Bean sprouts and zucchini. Rice cake fingers and fish cakes. Then thin slices of beef that cook quickly. Pork mandu, or potstickers can go in whenever you want. A spicy-tangy coleslaw-type salad to eat cold. Pickled radishes and cucumbers of course. You are supposed to eat all the veggies and meat before adding the house-made sweet potato noodles. By that point we were stuffed, but one of the best parts is last: cooked rice is added to the remaining broth along with a raw egg to make a porridge/risotto-ish savory dessert. Then some sweet tea and you roll yourself home. I really want to cook in my convection oven but there is one tiny problem... I have no idea how to use it. So as with my washing machine, I took pictures of all the buttons and settings so my Korean coteacher could translate. I know how to use the microwave setting, but after that I'm lost. Well, I still don't totally get it, but I think I just need to experiment and possibly make a sacrifical loaf of banana bread. Saturday I had an awesome run in Eumpa park. It was sunny, mild, and I was feeling focused conquering a long distance. The half marathon is just 3 weeks away, and training has been a little difficult since I don't know exact distances for anywhere. But I ran for a solid hour and a half, so I should be right on target for my training. Satuday night by coworker had a housewarming party at his new apartment. It's actually an old piano hagwon, or private school. So the layout is funky but pretty cool, and it is much bigger than the average space us foreign teachers live in. In the living room there are like 7 doors that lead to little rooms, the old practice rooms. It was a great crowd and nice to meet some new friends, including foreign English teachers, Korean teachers, and a Spanish teacher from Ecuador. I got to speak Spanish! Here are some of my coworkers, 4 out of the 6 of us at the school. Sunday was warm and sunny... dare I say hot! Every one and their mother was at the park, and I went to walk along the water, look at what's left of the cherry blossoms, and eat ice cream. Later my friend Michael and I met at the store and finally made the bold move of buying bicycles. I was ecstatic! We rode around the city in the sun, not totally sure where we were going but finding our way nonetheless. It is soooo nice to finally be more mobile, and not have to walk or take a cab to go anywhere. We headed home exhilarated, tired and hungry, and luckily found one of the few neighborhood restaurants open on Sunday. We had a great meal of samgyeopsal, this time with thin-sliced meat that I haven't seen before. I went home and read, did laundry, and got ready for this next week. It was the perfect Sunday to end a pretty darn good week.
I'm a writer and editor in Seattle. I started this blog in 2008 to chronicle my travels in Latin America, and continued writing through jaunts in Europe and Asia.
Now I'm back where I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and can't stop hiking to fire lookouts in the Cascade Mountains.