“What’s Your 18?”

I learned a new Korean colloquial phrase this week, even though I don’t know how to say it in Korean. “What’s your 18?” I learned it on “Let’s Speak Korean” on ArirangTV (which you can watch on the internet). It refers to noraebang culture where your 18 is the song you tend to use as your trademark when singing. I think you can use it in other situations too. I don’t know what the 18 stands for, but what does the 10-4 stand for in CB talk? So that’s my second Korean “street” phrase, the other one being, “Are you counting your rice?” This is what mothers say to their children when they’re eating slowly.

It’s been an uneventful week. Well, sort of. We have a scanner/color printer now, so I’ve been scanning pictures of mine for the blog. It also rules out my need for a digital camera, so I should be taking more pictures in the near future. Crystal Teacher also quit or got fired. We still don’t know. We just arrived one morning, and Eric introduced a new teacher, Jessie Teacher, to us and asked us to cooperate with her. That’s how we found out Crystal left, by being introduced to her replacement. Well, that’s how we found out Tally left, when they introduced Crystal as her replacement.

I guess food is a good subject to talk about. It tends to be my favorite. I tried the new Guava Yangnyam Chicken at BBQ. Very sweet, and it was pretty good. I like the regular Yangnyam Chicken better because it balances the sweetness with the garlic flavor.

I finally had success in getting meat from a butcher. Before, I had tried to get some pork from the local market, only to have the lady behind the counter say something back to me in Korean, ending up in both of us getting flustered. This time I went to a standalone butcher. He welcomed me as soon as I walked in and tried to speak to me in English, even though he didn’t really say anything. Luckily, I had been practicing what to tell him with my students in class.

(pointing to a beautiful slab of pork) “Taejigogi. O baek gram (500 grams).”

He took it and sliced it thinly, and it was as easy as that. I have definitely found my neighborhood butcher. That had big stacks of samgyeopsal, or unsalted bacon. I’d like to get some of this, take it home, and salt it for breakfast bacon or what have you. That’s one thing I learned when I was living on my ex-wife’s farm. They had shot a wild pig that was eating their peanuts, and I helped them clean it and turn it into edible portions, which included making bacon. The meat here has a lot more flavor than what you get in American supermarkets. I guess because they’re not grain fed or penned up in factory farms. That’s my guess. Grass-fed beef has more taste, and I could tell last week when we went to Outback (I’ve uploaded a picture of that night).

After getting the meat, I went a few doors down to the new re-opened market. It still fascinates me the stuff you can get here for cheap. The mushrooms–all different kinds–dirt cheap, fresh and exotic. Garlic, peeled. A handful for 500 won (35 cents). But hot dogs are about $1 a weenie.

So I’m turning this pork into fajitas tonight. Also made sausage and peppers. I have Korean food every day for lunch, so there are times I just have to have something different. Something without rice.

Canada Joe is flying in tonight for a 10-day stay. The big news is that he’s decided to move up here in September to live with River. They’re getting married in December. So we’re all discussing the details of how they’ll set up house here.

SJ has set up an appointment for me to get my first medical check up in over ten years this Saturday. I’m looking forward to that, I guess. I’m afraid I’m going to get the same treatment mechanics give you when you bring your car into the shop after years of neglect. It’s like going to confession. “Forgive me doctor for I have sinned. It has been ten years since my last check up.”

Mom sent me pictures of the crawfish boil they had when Ben came home for a visit. I printed some of them up, and they made River badly homesick. It had the same effect on me. I miss the crawfish, but I still love it here. I get fresh sushi.

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