Nothing beats Korean food and hospitality

Some time during the 2016 EPIK orientation in Busan last week, an instructor said something that stuck in my head:

You’re only a bad teacher if you don’t take the time to reflect.

The past few weeks have been insane. I cannot believe that I’m back in Daegu, South Korea. More than that, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to return to the land of amazing food and fantastic people!

First, allow me to blow you away with a few pictures of Korean food:

Bibimbab
 
Sean and I have been craving 돌솥 비빔밥 (Dol sot bibimbab, or stone pot bibimbab) for a very long time. So naturally, once our feet hit the ground in Busan we found the nearest restaurant and ordered this scrumptious rice and veggie dish. We’ve been away for so long, we weren’t prepared for all the wonderful side dishes that accompanied our meal. At one point Sean asked me, “Are you going to be surprised every time she brings out another dish?”
 

 
Speaking of surprises, the Sky Island Guest House in Jungu was one of the greatest accommodation experiences I’ve ever had. Clean, fun, with a funky communal area (not to mention ALL THE BOOKS), I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to see the cool side of Busan:

 

 
Doenjang jjigae
 
If you’d told me a few years ago that my favourite Korean meal would be spicy soyabean paste stew (된장찌개), I wouldn’t have believed you. Sean and I are both crazy about this dish and it was the second meal we had upon arriving in Korea – at a quaint little restaurant inside the subway station.

Not only was it the most delicious food we’ve had in a long time, the proprietor also complimented me on my Korean. I call that winning!

 

 
Once the orientation was complete, Sean and I made our way to Daegu, where we are now TEFL teachers at two elementary schools each. When I met my co-teacher, I realised how small the world really is. I am teaching at the two schools where two of my friends taught before, and she knows them!

So Sean and I went to explore our neighbourhood on Sunday, when a man invited us into his restaurant. Not knowing what food he sold, we were swept into the shop, sat on the warm floor mats and ate the most amazing stew. We still don’t know the name of the dish but through many hand gestures and repeated words we came to understand that it’s his special and unique recipe.

It didn’t end there, though. After the main meal our host brought us coffee, tea and apples. He even put the TV on an English channel to make us feel more welcome.

Feast your eyes:

 

 

All in all the past week has been awesome, with lots of delicious food and wonderful people easing us back into Korean society.

Until next time.

화이팅! (Hwaiting!)

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