김밥 and 만두국


So after yesterdays posting about my stuggles in the Pig Place, I’m making considerable effort to actually learn how to read Korean and be able to order in a restaurant.  Seriously, when travelling to any foreign country, perhaps the only thing you need to know how to do, other than say hello and thank you, is have the ability to order food.  It’s a nececssity taken forgranted. 

I had several hours to kill before my classes began today, even after I had done my planning. So I took it upon myself to go to a restaurant and try and read the menu, order food, and relax.  I went to several “learn Korean” websites and studied the food language, looking at certain words so that I could order what I desired.  I’ve been dying to eat 김 밥 (Gimbap/Kimbap/Gimbab/Kimbab…the Koreans aren’t too concerned with pronunciation and change it quite often).  Gimbap is similar to a Japanese maki-roll…seaweed on the outside, goodies on the inside.  It’s a cheap quick meal that is extrordinarily healthy.

참치 김밥 Tuna Gimbap

 I need to eat more of this and not pork belly wrapped in lettuce and spicy bean paste (Samgyeopsal 삼겹살)  it’s not healthy.

All kinds of wonderful

  While waiting for my Gimbap to arrive on my table, I continued to start at the menu on the wall, trying to see if I recognized any words and I recognized 만두 which means dumpling.  That excited me to no end.  Ever since my mom began making potstickers, I’ve had an unhealthy obsesession with Asian dumplings.  Seriously I’ve eaten them everyday I have been here, aside from yesterday and it’s because it was too cold to go to the GS25 at midnight.  So obviously needing my daily fix, I searched the menu for the word soup and I found it 국.  So I ordered that as well.  The Gimbap could have used soysauce and Sriacha, but doesn’t everything need Sriacha?  I ate about half of the portion given to me and awaited the arrival of soul warming happiness.  It came I ate…I was in heaven.  The soup had a clear broth with egg, beef (or pork?) dumplings, and sprinkles of seaweed and seasame seeds.  The stars alligned as I burnt off all my tastebuds.  This is what I’ve been wanting for days since it’s been so cold outside and I finally ordered it…all by myself. 

Happiness on a Winter's day

Happiness on a cold Winter day

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About L. Arnold

As a recent graduate from Florida State University with a degree in English Literature, I have recently accepted a position teaching English in Gwangmyeong, South Korea at a private academy. Follow me on my journey through the Land of the Morning Calm.
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