Monday, March 29, 2010

Little things

I realize that I've been kind of inactive on the blog front this past month or two, so I'm trying to get back in the swing of it with little entries.

So, here's a little story for you.

Being a vegetarian in Korea is hard. But, I'm really lucky that I have host families that, for the most part, get it. My school, well, that's another story.

Yesterday, I went to lunch: fish, sesame leaf kimchi (my all-time least favorite Korean food period), radish kimchi, squid and octopus kimchi, shredded chicken/some-kind-of-mammal soup. With an almost-empty tray of rice and radish kimchi, I sat down and stared at my terrible lunch.

"Amy! You're lunch is terrible." For once, my co-teacher correctly read my mind.

"I know," was the only thing I could think of to answer.

Don't worry, this has a point.

So, while I was eating my rice and radishes, I thought, "Why do such little things make such a big difference?" I mean, think about it. I was struggling to not let some seafood and sesame leaves be the ruin of an entire day! 10 minutes (10 seconds if you only count me going through the buffet line) can dictate the overall mood of 24 hours! That's stupid! It's just food!

So, I finished my rice and radishes and spent the remainder of my lunch period scolding myself for being so childish.

But today. Oh, boy. Today. Today is the brightest, happiest, perfect-ist day ever in the history of the world. Why?

Because lunch was awesome.

Vegetable bibimbap! Bibimbap is a dish of bean sprouts, spinach, zucchini/cucumber, blacken fern stems (the best part! never would I ever thought that I'd love eating stems...), dried seaweed, rice and red pepper paste and beautifully mashed and mixed into a perfect consistency. Usually, at school, they ruin it by adding shredded pork, so I spend the first five minutes of lunch picking it out. (The dish comes unmixed, so it's not that hard to pick stuff out that you don't want. But, I will say, shredded meat is a pain in the butt no matter what).

But today there was no pork! No pork, beef, chicken, fish or anything else! And we had sweet-potato-rice donuts for dessert! I was in heaven!

So, do I let these 10 minutes define 24 hours? I mean, it's positive, not negative, right? But isn't that hypocritical? If I'm allowed to be happy because of this lunch, then aren't I allowed to be unhappy because of other lunches?

So I defer to the words from the book, The Princess Bride (yes, the novel that made the movie): "Life is not fair, and it never has been, and it's never going to be." Since life's not fair, I don't have to be either. So, I'm not going to let bad lunches bother me, but I'm going to dance in the street if I get another good lunch like today's again (the chances of which are so small that I don't hesitate to make this promise).

Hooray for bibimbap and good moods!


  1. Well, I personally am glad you are back in school, as I have really missed the blog. Somehow you always find the sun in a rain cloud which is probably a great thing to be able to do being so far from home. I am hoping that you are getting the recipies for all these delicious meals so you can cook for us when you get home.

    Not to much new here. Spring may be on the way as it has to be close to 70 degrees here today, YAHOO.

    Take care, keep blogging, hope the food stays good, and talk to you soon.

    Love You,
    AS & UJ

  2. Kimchi and rice... that sounds like my lunch some days, although I do that because I get extremely lazy when it comes to preparing meals for myself. Bibimbop is great as long as somebody else makes it for me :-)

  3. why is your lunch only 10 minutes???