Tuesday, 1 June 2010

C is for Changwon, South Korea

 Thats where I am right now. I've been here since my Sunday night- USA Sunday morning. There is a 13 hour time difference between here and South Carolina.

For letter C, I'm going to blog about a few things I've noticed so far.

1. Chopsticks. (Another C! go me!!) How did I forget that I would have to use chopsticks? I totally should of practiced. Remember A is for Accident Prone? It could just have easily been filed under Coordination (Lack of). I am not adept at using chopsticks. No where close. First, I'm left handed so having our friend A show me how to hold them took a bit. And then I had to learn how to actually use them. I think she told me they use their back 3 fingers to move them, but Mr. Groom holds them more like pencils. Silly me, the first thing I tried to practice on was sushi. Note to self: sushi is very soft and will break when squeezed.

2. I had a bit of trouble yesterday getting around because I'm used to using signs and words as my markers. But, while there are some English signs they are few and far between. And I am not familar with Korean characters so I don't recognize them when I'm walking. So I've learned some basic landmarks: Bank, tennis court looking field, wind tunnel parking lot, cross the double street, restaurant with piles of wood outside, pharmacy.

3. Speaking of pharmicies, hospital patients here don't have to stay in the hospital. They are free to go about their daily lives, pushing their IVs around with them

4. Sunglasses. A says the older generation hates them and tends to think people are sleeping when they wear them. So instead they carry umbrellas or wear HUGE visors. I think I might want to buy a korean umbrella- they are very pretty- but I can't tell if the ones the ladies carry in the sun are not water proof parasols or double duty umbrellas.

5. Lets talk food. Yesterday, my first Korean meal was a fried porkchop paired with a bunch of other things. There was a rice porridge type thing (very oatmealy- not my cup of tea), several types of sushi which I tried for the first time. It had an okay taste, because it was mostly rice, but everytime I thought "raw fish" I'd start to get queasy.  So I had to force my self not to think about it. There was also kimichi (sp?), or spicy cabbage, which wasn't too bad.  Next to the sushi, were some vegetable looking things. I tried one- pickeled radish. And Mr. Groom pointed out that the other things were garlic, so I didn't try it. The fried porkchop was the best though. And it was easy to eat with the chopsticks. Today I walked with Mr. Groom to work and he ordered us both Lunch Club sandwiches. I had  slightly spicy Sun chips and lemonade. Best damn lemonade ever.  Go figure. The Lunch Club had bacon, lettuce, cheese and egg, and maybe turkey. And two different sauces that of course dripped all love me. I'm going to feast on vegetables when I come home Oh- and today I learned that there is a western grocery store. I got very excited when Mr. Groom told me about it. I was dissapointed to learn that is very expensive- $7 for peanut butter. I think if I was here alone I'd deal with those prices for a block of cheese and some peanut butter. We're suppoused to go grocery shopping tomorrow, so I'll have things for dinner-because he eats dinner at work.

6. I have a feeling I might lose most of my vocabulary while I'm here. For example, Mr. Groom ordered our lunch this way "Lunch Club. Two (holds up two fingers). Cola. Lemonade. Here (points to the ground). I'm just thankful that as many people speak English as they do- it reminds me a bit of my visit to France, where a lot of the restuarant people spoke enough English to get your order. I always say thank you, even if I'm pretty positive I'm not understood. I should learn how to say thank you in Korean.

7. I don't know why. I really have no clue. But I am awfully tempted to speak Spanish. It would probably do me less good than English, but everytime I don't understand (like in the airport) something, I am tempted to give it a go in Spanish. Korean and Spanish don't even share a similar alphabet. What is wrong with my brain?

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