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MONDAY
It’s not only the children who torture us. The parents have fun at our expense too. I have a pair of twins in one of my classes, and their mother consistently dresses them in matching clothes every day. I have a computer now, but it’s not working yet, and I won’t get internet for it for at least a month.

Tammy was sick today, so I only had two girls in my advanced Bacchus class. We read a play version of “The Ugly Duckling.” I’m impressed that at only six-years-old, these girls are literate in two alphabets.

Brant and I went out for sushi. It’s funny that I go out for sushi to eat something familiar. We sat down with our picture menus. The owner came by and pointed at a picture. “Pork-a cutlet.”

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No, I don’t want pork cutlet. Not today, at least. I’m not your average round-eye foreigner. I want sushi. They served me this platter with four types of nigiri sushi, a sushi roll, some side dishes, and a wonderful soup, the best soup I’ve had in Korea so far. The sushi came with the usual wasabi and pickled ginger accompaniments, along with pickled pearl onions. The owner poured the soy sauce for me, and I didn’t even need wasabi in it. The chef put so much wasabi in the nigiri, you could see it through the fish. The rice also had more flavor than US sushi rice. No need to say I was a clean plater. When we went up to pay, the owner spoke a mix of Korean and English to us. As we were leaving, I pointed at the sushi chef and said to the owner, “Tetsujin,” which is what they call “Iron Chef” in the original Japanese. He bowed and thanked me. I love it. So many nice inexpensive restaurants in our “little” neighborhood.

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Brant was fighting the edge of a cold all day, so he turned in early. I headed back to my place to wait for Glen to bring over the computer. While waiting, I took out this kit for making samgye tang (Chicken Ginseng Soup). It had a whole small chicken, some rice, jujubes (which look like dried cherries), and a whole white gnarly ginseng root. I doctored it up a bit by adding soy sauce, sea salt, carrots, peppers, and a few whole cloves of garlic. Since garlic is the ingredient of choice in Korea, you can get big bags of it peeled for next to nothing. The soup turned out well.

Glen came over with the computer and some plates that Christina had found for me. After he left, I tried to turn it on, and the monitor refused to cooperate. So we’ll have to deal with that tonight.

TUESDAY
Brant and I seem to be having a competition as to who can dress more professionally for work. I’ve been wearing a sports jacket every day. Friday, he started showing up with a tie. Today, I’m in a black suit and Tabasco tie. I got nice comments from my supervisor and Trisha. I brought a container of soup for Brant.

Until the end of next week (graduation), I have to improvise what to do for Venus class. They’ve finished their books. Today, I took them to the gym for Kid Bowling. I line the kids up like bowling pins, and I have two kids compete to roll a ball and “knock” them down. Really, if the ball touches them, they fall down and are out. I hoped in vain that it would get some of the energy out of them.

I remembered to give them their anchovies today.

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