Girly Pains and Squirmy Dinner
June 3, 2009 § 1 Comment
It’s days like these when I wonder why I am being punished for a sin I didn’t commit. I had severe stomach cramps all morning and slept for most of the day. Luckily after I took some medicine and a nap, the pain subsided. I learned a new word though. It is 생리대 (saengridae) and means menstruation. =) This is very useful to know if you are stranded in Korea and need medicine or other related supplies.
Around 3pm or so my Big Aunt came. She is my mom’s eldest sister and 17 years older than my mom. In my mom’s family there are seven kids: 4 girls, 3 boys. My mom is the youngest of the girls and it’s funny seeing her babied here, even at her age (she has a son that is almost 30). Her sisters are so good to her and take care of her but also lovingly nag her and tell her what to do. They still treat her like a child and buy her trinkets and snacks. I guess that makes me the baby’s baby but I feel like they baby her more because she is their little sister and they love her so much. I’m just the weird kid that follows them around.
I thought that I would be more independent this trip and learn how to use public transportation and be able to get from one place to the other but I’ve realized that is impossible when traveling with relatives. I zone out so easily when I am following them so I never remember where we came from. It makes me sad because I will never be able to recommend the places I am eating at to people who will be traveling to Pusan. Therefore, I have resolved to be more meticulous and pay more attention as I travel. Korea is a very landmark oriented country though and in Seoul we never use street names. You refer to locations by the closest subway station or direction. I have no clue how public transportation works in Pusan and I doubt I will, considering we take my uncle’s car. Anyway, I will try my best.
After my Big Aunt arrived, we (Third Aunt, her husband, mom, me, Big Aunt) all went on a walk and hiked on the same trail my Third Aunt and I went on yesterday. My uncle grew up in Pusan and it was fun hearing his stories about how he used to come to the same exact pond fifty years ago to play with his friends. I saw such a different side of my uncle today. I was/am(?) so scared of him because he looked so formidable when I was younger and didn’t pay any attention to the kids but he is so nice to me and my mom now and loves to impart his knowledge.
After the hike we went to go eat 곰장어 (gomjanguh). In Pusan they have an accent so they pronounce it 꼼장어 (ggomjanguh-its hard to explain in writing), and they basically cut up live eels and fry them with some red pepper paste and onions. I took a video of them squirming and flopping around in the pan. After I get back to Seoul I plan to upload some videos and pictures and update these posts so make sure you come back and look at them. It was kind of sad and gross but I guess I have an iron stomach because I had no problem eating the eels once they stopped wriggling. The texture was a bit chewy (much chewier than unagi) but I still liked it. I didn’t really taste the eel though because there was so much pepper paste and spicy flavoring.
**See my facebook for the video. Youtube won’t let me upload from Korea**
I also tried 막걸리(makkullee) for the first time. It is a type of alcohol made in Korea that isn’t readily available in the States. I don’t really drink but I wanted to try some so I took it in a shot glass. It actually didn’t taste that bad considering how sensitive I am to the taste of alcohol. It tasted like carbonated water mixed with a little bit of alcohol.
I didn’t drink enough to feel anything. I was a bit bored though and planning to drink more but my uncle took my cup away. lol. After dinner we came home and visited the 50th floor sky lounge in their building. My uncle made me laugh when he said (in English) that this apartment complex was for the bourgeoisie and high society. He didn’t say anything wrong or untrue, it was just funny because he was so personable when he said it, not like a stuck-up rich person at all. He said it with an air of genuine pride, that all his hard work had paid off in the end. It’s nice being able to interact with my older relatives now that I am at an age where I will remember them. I wish there wasn’t a language barrier and I could express myself more clearly to them. That is something I will have to deal with for the rest of the trip.