Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Yes I know that I promised to be more diligent with the blog than Matt, but it turns out I have been worse. I am so sorry to leave you in the dark for so long. So much has happened since I last published, where to start....

We officially feel settled in to our apartment and our lives here in Korea. That doesn't mean we don't have our moments where we crave the normalcy of home in America. When I am feeling lazy and don't want to cook, there is no Atlanta Bread Co., Panera, or (heaven help me) Chick-fil-a to run to. Partly this is a good thing, because it forces us to stay home and cook here. We have however, discovered a love for Pizza Hut, which is our guilty pleasure. We have made our way to most of the restaurants here in our ville, the ones that came recommended anyway. We tried one on our own when I first got here that didn't go over so well. Needless to say, we didn't go back. We just recently went to a Korean BBQ place that we always pass on our way to post. The sign was very advertised BBQ spare ribs and other delicious dishes. Once Matt saw the sign he wouldn't stop talking about it until we had tried it. So one Friday night we went with another couple to give it a go. First of all, no one spoke any English. Luckily the menu was in English for the most part, but we didn't understand how to get the meat that was being barbecued in the pit. Usually at the Korean restaurants they bring the meat to you raw and you cook it at your table on the griddle. We didn't want that, we wanted the true BBQ. After lots of gesturing and broken Korean/English we got our order taken. We still didn't really know what we were getting. Once the food arrived, we realized that we had ordered ribs, pork, and sausage links. All of the sausages were different flavors: some were spicy, some were plain, and some had corn inside (weird I know). At a typical Korean "beaf and leaf" restaurant, you get your meat, rice, and then a bunch of condiments. The condiments include things like different kimchis, tofu, bean paste, raw cloves of garlic and other unknown items. You also get a plate of lettuce leaves. The idea is to put rice, meat and whatever else you want on the lettuce and then eat it like a wrap. The whole process takes quite a while. It's no wonder the Koreans are so skinny. They are burning calories preparing their food. However at this particular "BBQ joint" the lettuce looked like something you would go in your backyard and pick. It looked just like a plant's leaves. Where is the iceburg and romaine when you need it?! Also, unless you order a drink such as coke or beer, you get a tiny cup of water. The cups are more doll size than human size. In Korea the waiters don't come to your table to check on you and refill your drink, you have to press a button when you need something. So, since our cups were so small we were constantly needing a water refill. BUT, the button on our table must have been hooked up wrong, because every time we pushed it signaled to another table. So the waitress was always passing us by going to another table. The whole experience was very amusing. If you are a carb-lover like me eating at Korean restaurants can be very frustrating. I am always eagerly awaiting the bread basket only to remember that carbs don't really exist in Korea. It is experiences like these that are the ones we will look back on and laugh about. We are well on our way to making lots of memories.

Monsoon season began at the end of June and just finished last week. We had four weeks of solid rain. I think we had one sunny day in there. My rainboots have definitely come in handy! We were all so happy to have monsoon season over, and we had a week of beautiful sunshine. Now we are back to another week of rain due to typhoons. I have never experienced weather like I have here. To have weeks of just rain, is so crazy. Hopefully the worst has passed and we can look forward to the sun next week. The good thing about the rain, is that is cools everything off nicely. I know my Southern friends and family are dying in 100+ temperatures and terrible humidity.

Matt has been doing well with his job, he has been getting a decent amount of flying time, although not lately with all of the bad weather. He is getting a lot of good experience flying in different settings. I know they have been practicing hoists with the medics, and they fly a lot up around Seoul, close to the DMZ. Everyone takes shifts going up to Camp Casey. They go up there for a week to cover that area and then another group switches out with them. When he is gone, that week is a slow one, but I have lots of friends to keep me company. The people here have been so nice and welcoming. It has made the transition so much easier. We are so blessed to be surrounded by good people. This weekend we are going up to Seoul for some more exploring. Seoul is such a cool city, I wish all of you could experience it. There is so much to do, and see. Plus there is LOTS of shopping which is perfect for me! I miss you all so much, and I will update you with more stories soon! Love to you all!