I recently took the plunge into eating lunch with some Korean co-workers and I am absolutely loving it. It has many benefits, and few cons. Lunch at my Academy is at 12:35. I have 3 classes before that, and I get pretty hungry and look forward to it for a few reasons. First of all, the culture is great. Some of my American coworkers go out together and buy some food from a nearby restaurant that serves much Ramen Noodle. Ramen is very big over here, but I have had a lifetime of Ramen Noodle in my college days. I'd like to think I stepped up in the world...lol.
So, I came to Korea to eat authentic Korean food with beautiful Korean women. Period (the period is for you Pops).
So, I go downstairs to the auditorium/cafeteria and meet my really beautiful, outgoing, genuinely great coworker (name outstanding) for lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She is so friendly and won't stop talking. Pretty much my other half except she is beautiful, full head of hair, and a great body (I can dream can't I?). Of course, as with all things in my life there is a catch---She is engaged. Lucky f-ing Korean guy, let me tell you.
Anyway, so as soon as we arrive we get these trays that have multiple containers. I'ts basically a rectangular bowl with divisions in it. Koreans eat many side dishes for a meal versus the American "meat and one side" idea. So this is intended to grab a little of each. And remember, Koreans eat everything in proportion, so they eat as much meat as they do soup, rice (bap), veggies, and whatever. It's basically a cornacopia of side dishes. And remember, eating in Korea is like sex in western culture. They are obsessed with it constantly.
So, as today my American coworkers got Burger King or whatever, I sat with 2 really cool Korean girls and had the best authentic Korean food and great conversation comparing cultures. the food was sooo good. Rice is served with every meal and it has black beans in it and it's soo sticky that using my chopsticks to grab it is like playing my guitar. Second nature. There was Kimchi (fermented cabbage and the healthiest food on the planet), a slimy noodle mixed with garnish (Bry if you're reading this, you will be the ONLY American that appreciates slimy noodle for what it truly is/Maybe Jamie Deitz as well). The best, and for me my MAIN dish was the Moon-O (Octopus) marinated in hot sauce and sauteed!!! The cool thing is that since you're using chopsticks, you really get to take you're time and enjoy the small amounts you give yourself every time. There is always a spoon available, so if I'm in a rush, I turn into the U-nourmous American that I am and use the spoon....lol. But I like to impress my Korean coworkers, so that is rarely the case.
The con would be that after teaching raging and crazy Korean kids for a few hours, they are also in the cafeteria and constantly coming up to me and making it like they've never seen me before. Even though I just taught them for a few hours. They are very loud. As all kids are. I find it so funny how in Korea the students have to actually bring their finished plates in front of their teacher to see if they are done or not. If a Korean teacher thinks that they have not had their "healthy" fill, they must finish it. Pretty comparable to American lunch rooms....yeah...pass the cookies and greasy pizza....lol. What a Frickin' trip it is over here. Let me tell you.
Best part is that lunch is free for Teachers. Definitely beats those Slopp Sloppy Joes back home...lol