Sunday, August 24, 2008

Guess What I Ate, Dad!

My dad will probably be tempted to vomit when he hears what I ate today!

Cate asked me to go on a picnic today with the kindergartners and their parents (the picnic was today; she asked me last week). We went to a picturesque valley, with a fetching river running through it and glorious tree-covered mountains all around it. The kindies had a ball swimming in the river, even though it was cool today, and I had fun getting to see the parents of these kids that I spend each day with. For our meal, the men barbecued beef strips, which we then ate the delicious Korean way - wrapped in lettuce leaves with chili paste and a bit of kimchi. Obviously, there was also rice. For dessert, we had slices of luscious watermelon.

There also was a rather interesting side dish - seasoned raw beef. Cate offered me some and I decided to go ahead and taste it, despite my initial revulsion. It was delicious, albeit quite creepy. I ate a nice portion of the raw meat, feeling like I should now be a recruit in the Lyconthrop Society!

I also tried white kinchi, which I found tasted a bit better than the type I'm used to. I'm really not a big kimchi fan, since I fail to understand why anyone wants to bury something, wait until it rots, and then dig it up and eat it, but I do usually eat a little when I'm out with Koreans. There's something oddly addicting about the stuff. Plus, it's an important aspect of their culture.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"