My Life in Korea: Another Weekly Roundup

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This week was the first week of my “staycation”. Since I will likely be teaching through the summer up until the end of my contract, I took my vacation now. I completely understand the need to do this and have come to terms with my staycation. I hadn’t expected that my last big trip while in Korea would be to travel to Bali, but it was. And honestly, that’s not a bad way to end things.

So this week, I spent a lot of time washing dishes, doing homework, and studying German. Why am I studying German? Because I am moving to Vienna! I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I was awarded a Fulbright and will be going to Austria in four months. But I am doing my best to soak it in while still living in the present.

In honor of leaving Korea, I have started to really try new foods.

This mostly comes in the form of convenience store snacks. One thing I didn’t know before I moved to Korea is how common meat and fish are in most foods, whether in chunks or in the form of stocks and pastes. This has made my time here a bit difficult when it comes to eating out. But fortunately, most snacks do not have meat and fish (except some potato chips and shrimp chips).

I tried is an ice cream shaped like a fish and it instantly became my favorite. It has sweet red bean filling and vanilla ice cream. Delicious! I also tried a milk flavored like “candy bar.” I don’t really like milk to begin with, but this milk tasted like pop rocks. It was gross. 0/10 will not drink again.

I’ve also taken the time this week to get outside.

On Earth Day, my friends and I went for a 10 mile bike ride along the Nam river. It was windy, but sunny and beautiful. The following day I went for a solo bike ride of 5 miles along the Nam. Finally, yesterday my friend and I just walked. We didn’t really know where we were going, but we followed a path near his apartment until we were walking through farm land. After about an hour we turned around and headed back. In total we walked about 5 miles.

Finally, I’ve been cooking and reading.

This week’s culinary creations include refried bean dip using homemade refried beans, a beautiful loaf of sourdough, Italian herb crackers, fried rice, and vegetable dumplings. And I can’t forget the whipped coffee craze that has taken over the internet!

I’ve been trying to cook with what I have, only stopping into the grocery store for some carrots and bell peppers once I run out. This means I finally used the dumpling wrappers in my freezer and that I am one step closer to using up the insane amount of rice in my cabinet.

I’ve also started reading my way through the physical books I have in my apartment. I finished reading Eat, Pray, Love for the second time. This book is so meaningful to me since I read it right before moving to Korea. This time around, it made me incredibly homesick for Bali. I imagined I was back in Ubud, eating, laughing, and drinking with my friends.

Following up Eat, Pray, Love is The Alchemist. I’ll talk more about this month’s books next week. Finally, I am reading Der Kleine Prinz, which is The Little Prince, but in German.

I have another week ahead of me where I will continue to read, cook, and finish up the last two weeks of my graduate school semester!

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