Although “The Search” is extremely important to me, I’m still really hesitant about everything, and am constantly questioning if I’m ready or not. After all of the years spent blocking, taking everything in so quickly has become a bit overwhelming, especially when my thoughts keep wandering to everything that is at stake.
Thankfully, I have a friend who has helped tremendously with this and has taken the initiative to learn about South Korea. Said friend has already plunged in and is enjoying the feel, whereas I’m still at the edge of the water dipping my toes in every once in a while.
Hours after I decided that I wanted to begin searching, this individual went to the library and brought back cookbooks and language CDs/books. It was definitely something that I wouldn’t have been able to do (yet), so I’m truly thankful to have that kind of support.
Within the next 24 hours, I had my first encounter with Korean cooking and food.
The Dduk Bok Gi (떡복이) was definitely a good first experience with Korean food, although I was a bit hesitant after learning about the fish cakes, as I’m not a seafood person. Surprisingly, I could barely taste the fish (or pretending it was a vegetable really helped disconnect the fish association), so I really enjoyed the Dduk Bok Gi (especially its spiciness).
While eating it my mind wandered to thoughts about if I had grown up in Korea– would I have eaten it to warm up after a cold day, or for comfort after a stressful day? What would my favorite foods be? How different would be my tastes be? Would I have a different relationship with food? (So many questions, so many thoughts…)
Since then I’ve been able to experience two more Korean foods: kimchi (김치) and bulgogi (불고기).
It has really been neat to be able to explore Korean foods, especially with someone who’s pretty knowledgeable on cooking and already familiar with Asian ingredients.