Well friends, I've been in Korea for 3 full weeks and am acclimated to the weather, my schedule, the food... but not the language! I have less than 30 pp. left to complete my TEFL Certification, and I am anxious to begin studying Hangeul. I feel paralyzed here in Tongyeong, unable to venture farther due to my lack of understanding and inability to communicate. Unlike me, yes, but all my other ramblings have been through Latin-speaking countries, or holding the hand of a friend in Turkey for a few short weeks. I don't know what I'm ordering in restaurants, so I find myself sticking to the same ones and eating the same thing, that's getting old quickly, even though I love the food. I have no idea what shopkeepers are saying to me as I buy household items or groceries, and luckily, they all have calculators handy to show me the price, because I certainly can't understand the numbering and counting system, which is a combination of Chinese and Korean and switches between ordinal and cardinal when counting vs. $$.
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So, while I am NOT at all complaining, i find the language barrier challenging. I love it here though! And I am ready to get out and about on weekends, (like today!) and start exploring the country. Of my 52 weeks weekends here in Korea (of course I want to stay longer), 3 have past.
Today's lunch at home:
Bap (rice) sits atop fresh red leaf lettuce from Momi's organic garden
A red sweet and slightly tangy/spicy sauce I decided to try from the market, absolutely no idea what it is called
On top of the unique licorice-like sesame seed leaf, is my favorite: melchi, a miniscule seasoned fish OkHee always made that I LOVE! salty and sweet!. Next to the melchi is marinated squid (if I remember correctly) I purchased at the street market yesterday. Also tangy, sweet, with a slight spicy heat. The sauce in the bowl, and the sauce used on the melchi and squid are similar but not the same: made with red pepper, sugar, salt, and other yummy stuff.
Then a big gob of kimchi, holy sh** is it hot! Sinuses are clear! Also acquired at street market. Not cheap! The kimchi, squid, and noodle soup cost $15 together!
...is in Korea loving Korean food and culture!