Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Take A Rest

Do we even say "take a rest" in English? I have been around non-native English speakers for long enough that sometimes I don't know what is correct in general American usage anymore. I call cell phones "hand phones" and scarves "mufflers" and cheating "cunning". Sometimes I leave out articles like "the" and "a" which I know is a horrible habit.

I'm not sure anymore, but I think I should say "rest up" or "get some rest" or "take a break" instead of "take a rest", which Koreans always say. Anyway, I did just that this past weekend (however you say it). The last few weekends have been pretty busy with the holidays and going out of town, and I really needed a mellow weekend in Gunsan. Plus, I came down with a killer cold last week... no way to bring in the New Year or the beginning of an energy-intensive Winter Camp. I dragged through the week until Saturday when I woke up at my usual time before 8. Then I went back to sleep until NOON- which I don't think I've done since I was 17. It was disorienting but I felt SO much better. Sometimes extra sleep is all you need.

Saturday night I went out for shabu-shabu, which is a Japanese-style hot pot dinner where a pot of beef broth simmers at your table and you can add thin slices of meat and greens and mushrooms to cook as you go. There are also side dishes of kimchi and salad, and after the veggies you can cook homemade pasta noodles. The final course is juk which is a savory rice porridge. Cooked rice is added to the super-flavorful broth and stirred with an egg and finely chopped green onion to make a really delicious ending to the meal. Overall you eat mostly broth and cooked vegetables, and it was the perfect end-of-cold food.

After that I went to a live music bar (new in Gunsan! So exciting!) to see a band from nearby Jeonju. It was 3 girls and a guy who looked about college-age and all played multiple instruments. The lead singer, though initially unassuming with her baggy sweatshirt and short bowl-cut, had an incredible stage presence. They were the first Korean band I have seen who didn't just play rock covers. They had a unique sound and wrote their own music. They sounded like if Mary Lou Lord got another vocalist, an electronic bongo, moved to the Caribbean, and spoke Korean.

On Sunday I really wanted to go for a bike ride, although it was freezing and there was still snow on the ground. I rode across town on icy sidewalks without one incident. I did a fair amount of sliding and falling in the last 2 weeks, so I think now I'm becoming a competent snow-rider. The roads are totally clear of snow, but more has been forecast for the coming week. And temperatures down to -10C... which is 14F... much colder than I'm used to. But I'm having fun doing drama with the Winter Camp students, trying to get outside when I can, and rest when I need to.


ElizaBeth said...

I've just caught up on your blog since Christmas and feel caught up in the magic that is your writing. Sure, you have good subject matter, but you are able to envelop us all in the beauty of your day to day life with such wondrous description it sometimes makes my eyes leak with appreciation.

I check the wather in Korea every day and have found myself saying things like 'snow again??' Enjoy it - the mild homogeny of Seattle isn't going anywhere.

AmberAnda said...

Eli, you are the best! Thanks for your kind comment. AND I can't believe you check the weather in Korea, that's amazing.

Dre-n-Mike said...

Hello, Amber :) I stumbled upon your blog when I was looking up the expression 'take a rest'. Like you, I've been in Korea long enough to question which expressions are actually used and which ones I have just become accustomed to. Anyway, I enjoyed reading your posts. I'm also a PNW girl and I'm going on my 2nd year here in Seoul, love it, but do plan on going back to Seattle next year. Best of luck in your job search. ^^

AmberAnda said...

Hi Dre-n-Mike... thanks for your comment! It's nice to know that people in Korea are still stumbling upon my blog even though I'm back home. It's great to be back in the PNW but it was an awesome year in Korea! Enjoy the rest of your time in Seoul :)