But really, I have eaten things here already that I would never have tried at home. I ate a mushroom. More than one. On several occasions. I choked down some tofu too, but that has far from won me over. I ate marinated hard boiled quail eggs. Who is the unadventurous eater now?!
On the top left, we have a soup with long skinny mushrooms and onions floating around in broth. Top right, the ever present (and still amazingly delicious) sticky white rice. On the bottom left, I am still unsure as to what this was. The green was basically young spring onions, and then the jury is out about what the other stuff was. One girl claimed they were onions. No way. I think they were strips of octopus/squid. They tasted fishy and were not the texture of onions. In the middle of the bottom, we have some sort of porky sausage that looked like boneless wings, and the QUAIL EGGS. Natasha ate them thinking they were olives. Oops. Thankfully a girl at my table told me they wern't olives. They were an interesting consistency as I would say they were about 90% hard-boiled yolk and only 10% (if that) egg "white." And then, on the bottom right, the one that does not belong. Delicious chocolate Chex.
Laura gnoshing on some quail eggs.
Ok, I think the white rice and cooked veggies are pretty self explanatory. The bread was a weird, coffee flavored bread, complete with raisins. Guess how much of that I ate. The exactly ONE bite it took me to figure out that it tasted like coffee (ugh) and had raisins in it (cringe). Missing on the right is the tiny scoop of AMAZING potato salad that I ate before I remembered that I was going to take pictures of my food. On the bottom we have a breaded chicken patty, covered in copious amounts of red sauce. In general, I would like my Korean food with about 1/3 of the sauce with which it is served. Oh well. The soup was a generic cream based soup (cream of celery? cream of cabbage? cream of something.) and you can see the teensie little shot glasses that pass for drinks here. I long for a nice big 20oz glass of water with a meal! In the non-water cup, you can see what might look like iced coffee. Those of you who know me (or read about how much I hate coffee a few sentences back) know already that it couldn't be coffee. I bet you couldn't guess that it was some kind of random black bean drink! Because I sure couldn't when I ladled it out of the punch bowl after being told by some Korean-American girls that it was "delicious." Delicious was a stretch. It had kind of a burnt flavor and it (terrifyingly) got thicker the closer you got to the tiny bottom of the cup. By the time I reached the bottom, it was roughly the consistency of pudding and had flecks of bean floating in it (think of how vanilla bean ice cream looks...now melt it....and make it browner). Mmmm. Not.
I keep forgetting to bring my camera to dinner, and I just ate cereal for breakfast this morning after video chatting with my parents, but here is today's lunch.
Today's lunch was, in my opinion, one of the best we've had. Starting at the top left we have the slightly more colorful that normal rice. Sadly, it was colored with carrots and seaweed, neither of which are my favorite. I ate it none the less. Next to the rice is a scoop of potato and corn salad, which was not as good as yesterdays' straight potato salad. The next item is a little tricky to explain. It is basically like they took mashed potatoes and mixed in corn, and some scallions, and possibly a few other little vegetable treats. Then they took a scoop of the mixture, breaded it, and fried it. Dip that baby in some (slightly spicier than normal) ketchup and you are good to go. Then we have a little bean sprout salad and the piece de resistance. Those noodles were AWESOME. They were thick and spicy and the veggies were well cooked. It was quite delicious. The soup was a generic brothy soup with onions and sprouts. I think they must be worried about us getting used to the bland food because they certainly kicked it up a notch with their spices today! Dinner's soup definitely cleared out my sinuses.
Today we did our teaching demonstration (which we finished waaaaay quicker than expected) and sat through nine other group's 15 minute presentations. A lot of people came up with really fun activities, so that was great to see. We got our temperature checked again, and I received my bank account card and bank book that is...drumroll please....completely in Korean. I need to find a bank near my school that allows me to do online banking in English. But, for now, Hana Bank has at least granted me an account.
I wonder what I agreed to when I signed those forms in Korean....
Tonight I have to pack up all of my stuff because tomorrow we move to our apartments and get to see our schools! Finally! The guy from SMOE posted the following picture on the website, with a notice that said "Dear Teachers, I have uploaded a map of the city limits of Seoul. All the yellow is Seoul. If you are wondering where you could be placed, please take a look at the map."
Um...helpful? Not at all.
We are still waiting for the (perhaps mythical) list to be posted that lets us know where we are placed. I am not even sure if it has the school name on it, or only the district. "After dinner" has turned into later and later. Hopefully I will be able to see it before I go to sleep!
I am off to pack. Leave a message if you are reading this blog. I realize that there are a bunch of you out there who I might not even know that are keeping tabs on my life in Korea. You know about me, let me know something about you!