The death of a Chef

While we were home. We got lots of questions. “Are there many English speakers there?” “Are you fluent?” “Do you feel safe?” “Do you like the food?” “Do you miss any American food?”

I love writing about food almost as much as I love eating it. So I must answer the food questions. We love it and we rarely miss anything we use to eat back home.
Except for Mexican food. I go back in forth here craving kimchi or burritos. Unfortunately, I just can’t imagine marrying the two together. Korea meets Mexico. Scary thought.

Lindsay and I have fixed some guacamole here a couple of times. If you want an image of what that might look like, think of two street dogs and one bowl of food. It can get quite ugly.

Back home I use to love to cook. I even thought I was pretty good at it too. I felt like I could go in a kitchen throw a few things together and voila! A gourmet meal. In Korea, I have been relegated to “college sophomore” status. Instead of cooking, I just go out. Or when I do cook, it isn’t that good. When Lindsay and I don’t eat Hanguk-shik(Korean food for you non-Korean speakers), we eat one of two things: spaghetti or fried rice. It’s official. My chef life has expired..dead…DOA.

Sure, we have tried other things, and most certainly could go to a bigger grocery store up the road and replicate something we use to eat at home, but why would we bother? Just moments from our house we can eat some tasty, spicy, succulent food.

Tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes)

Last night, for example, we paid $3 for street food. Fried pork and spicy rice cakes. It doesn’t sound all that good, but we got seconds, and walked away satisfied.

We also frequent a diner up the street called Kimbap Nara. It is awesome. Tons of dishes to choose from and never do we spend more than $10. Even when we order enough for 3 people.

That leads me to answer another question. Are we fluent? No. But we have become quite fluent in restaurants. Hardly any restaurant worker speaks English. So out of necessity we can hold our own in a restaurant setting. But stick me anywhere else in town and I am just another Miguk fumbling through his phrase book.

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