3.22.2020

Suddenly Everything Has Changed 韩国

Putting all the vegetables away
That you bought at the grocery store today
And it goes fast
You think of the past
-The Postal Service



"New hotel" is what Dumpling calls our little South Korean (SK) apartment. Obviously, she reasons, this place is not home. This home does not have her stuffed Piglet. This home does not have her stroller or her scooter. This home does not have her collection of toys.

Over the last month, I realize how much Beijing is home to me too. I miss the effusive morning light that radiates through our Beijing living room. SK apartment never sees direct sunlight. I miss my stockpiled ingredients like dried chickpeas, coconut milk, and array of spices like garam masala, cumin, and cardamon. Now home cooking is primarily flavored with soy sauce and sesame oil. I miss simple communication with normal people. You know, just being able to say, "excuse me” or "sorry."

All that stuff takes time. Finding a well-lit apartment in Beijing was partly coincidence for us. birdMAN's employer arranged our SK apartment, so we didn't have much of a choice. Accumulating an arsenal of ingredients takes familiarity with local/foreign grocery stores or online shopping. In Beijing, I know which local convenience store carries tomato paste and I'm a wiz at ordering pretty much anything online. Here in SK, I'm limited to whatever the local grocery store has (which does not include cheddar cheese). And language? Learning to speak and read Chinese took years! Although I've made inroads for learning Hangul, the Korean alphabet, I have slim hopes of any sort of mastery anytime soon.

"New hotel", however, does have some things that are nicer than BJ apartment. The SK mini kitchen actually has a decent sized sink. Dumpling is super stoked about the "big" TV. We both got upgrades.

Chinese Word of the Blog: 韩国 (hánguó)
English Translation: South Korea
Chinese sentence: 我们住在韩国。
English Translation: We live in South Korea.

I'll be able to read this someday #goals
I'm long way from home!
So much sauce
Grocery haul... I'm thinking of cooking Korean for dinner
Soy sauce flavored stuff for dinner. Good thing we love soy sauce.
Big TV... Thanks Korea
Domino's pizza when we don't feel like soy sauce