Tuesday, June 25, 2013

friendship food

There is an endless list of difficult things about moving to a different country alone. On the flipside of that, there are endless possibilities. One of the hardest things for me was leaving a huge community of loved ones I’ve been so blessed to have. But I knew I would have some great new people come into my life. And I most certainly have. My coworkers are some of the kindest people I’ve ever known. Feeling incredibly blessed to see them everyday and to learn from them. And feeling the most fortunate to have found the circle of friends I have here. It took some time. And we are the oddest bunch to have ever put together. But we’re together, and I’m not mad about it.

WARNING: the rest of this post is going to be weird. I’m just telling you straight up. Allow me to explain why this weirdness is occurring. As you all know, I have a deep love of all these sugary. Your homegirl likes to bake. And I’ve been deprived of that in my 12x12 square ft apartment, which only has room for an easy bake oven in Celsius degrees. (Exponentially difficult. Really. Give me back Fahrenheit.) So instead I just talk about how I USED to bake a lot. Well, I’m not sure how this all played out, but “the girls” requested that I compare them to pastries. Yeah. Sometimes we run out of things to talk about. We’re together a lot…
Well, I thought it was a great idea! But I’ve expanded from pastries because that limited me to basically just food items. I don’t like to be boxed in. So this is what I’ve come up. (and you should all  know, I spent entirely too much time on this.)

Cheryl is a chocolate chip cookie. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside; because let’s be real, she’s always got her act together, but I’ve seen her cry a few times. And she’s just the right amount of sweetness. Not too much to make you sick to your stomach, but enough to make you come back for more. Who doesn’t love a chocolate chip cookie? And who doesn’t love Cheryl? The two go hand in hand. And she’s from the South. Which is wildly comforting when you’re 8,000 miles away from it. Comfortable like a chocolate chip cookie.

Katie is an elegant and perfectly flavored crème brulee. It’s creamy and sweet and I just get excited when somebody says crème brulee. And at first it seems a little daunting to prepare, but once you get going, you realize that such a great product isn’t all the hard to come by. (The torch scares me, but just be gentle.) And that’s how Katie makes me feel. Those big words she uses sometimes cause me to spend more time in my dictionary than actually listening to her, but once you get to know her and speak her language, you realize your life is a lot better with her in it. Katie and crème brulee. Two things I want in my life forever.

Tab is a funfetti cupcake with rainbow sprinkles. Because it isn’t a party without funfetti and it sure ain’t a party without Tab. She’s bright and shiny and energetic and is constantly keeping the rest of us laughing. Tab makes your day a little more exciting. You’re always in for an adventure when Tab is around.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Y'all. So much has been going down since my last post. Buddha had a birthday. I had a birthday. We took a trip to Namhae Island. Cheryl and I went to the the Seoul Zoo. Which may not sound too exciting, but everything's more exciting when you can't ask for directions or read signs and you're in one of the biggest zoos in the world.

My Mississippi roots really start to show whenever we go do touristy things. The crowds. Oh emm gee. The crowds. You would think after a significant amount of time being here I'd get used to adjummas pushing me back and forth like a ping pong ball. But. I haven't. I really haven't. So many people on such a small area of land. Just cram 'em in. We went to the Lotus Lantern Festival back in May. It was cool. The lanterns were super neat. I heard a lot of stories about Buddha in a language I don't understand. A good time for all. But I was sitting on the ground for 3 hours and this woman behind me kept balancing her camera on my head to take pictures. The old man beside me had his knee resting on top of my knee. That's not really common. They don't usually touch me, they just stare. But that's how close we were. Our knees had no where else to go but on top of each other. And I didn't mind. Until....until the music started and this man starting slapping his hands on his knees. And with every slap all of the fat in my right thigh jiggled. Like a bowl of jello. and this continued for too long. By the end of the parade Joyce was not a happy camper. Joyce wanted space and a lot of it. But now I can say I've been to the Lotus Lantern Festival and I don't ever have to go again if I don't want to. Great. 

Now let me tell you about my birthday. My birthday was an adventure. Well first let me say this. I'm glad I'm here. Korea is great. Is my job a dreamland of rainbows and sunshine? Hell no. But I'm so thankful for this time. I've said it before and I'll say it again, some days I have NO CLUE why I'm here. and some days I know EXACTLY why I'm here. I say that to say this. Even as painfully charming and gratifying this experience is turning out to be, sometimes being 8,000 miles away from everyone I've ever loved and everything I've ever known is just plain difficult. And on days like your birthday you think more heavily about the people and the circumstances that have shaped you into the person you are right now. And my darling Seoul Sisters understand this. Cheryl, Katie, and Tab are the three best things about this year. Well, beside the fact that I get to see tiny Korean all the time..but I digress. The girls only wanted my birthday to be perfect. And perfect is exactly what it was. If there is one thing in the world I love I think we all know its cupcakes. Sweet intentional Cheryl had planned for us to go to all of these cupcake shops around the city and just indulge ourselves in a smorgasbord of cupcakes all day. We’re all dressed up and ready to hit the town. Now the trouble starts. First, the girls aren’t exactly sure were any of the bakeries are…okay, not big deal. We’ll Google some directions and be one our way. It’s never that simple. We hop in a cab and after a lot of miscommunication because all of us speak Korean with ridiculous American accents we’re our way. So we thought..5 minutes down the road the cab driver realizes he’s out of gas and tells us to get out. He was nice enough to drop us off at a subway station. So we decided to train it instead of cab it. The particular station we were at was under construction. Of course it was. So we walk back up and make the trek to the next closest station. We’re just walking in our dresses and heels in the scorching heat and nobody is happy. And we’re pretending to be happy because it’s my birthday, but we’re just frustrated. Y’all. Finding this place was awful. Lol. Yeah, I just lol’d in a blog, because every time I think about this I laugh out loud. I just did it. Still laughing…We get out of the subway and we have directions to the cupcake shop because Tab as repeatedly called the sweet little lady to ask where its located. Oh, language barriers. We can’t find it. We walk up and down the same street so many times. The lady eventually finds us because she can see a group of four white girls walking up and down the street just looking lost as can be. And talk about frustrated, poor Cheryl was about to have an aneurysm. But, the important thing is that we made it. And I don’t know if it’s because it had been 6 months since I’d had a cupcake, but that thing was ballin. Delicious. One of the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. Worth every bit of the struggle to get to the place. Thankfully the rest of night went fairly smoothly. As smoothly was life can go for four foreign girls in Korea. (for four foreign…say that five times fast.) We had dinner at this little Italian place called Jenny’s Café. Because everything is a café here. And the girls had a scavenger hunt planned for me and I thought most of the things were atrocious and appalling so I refused to participate. It’s my party. I do what I want. Well, party or no party, pretty much doing what I want. It was a great night. We ate a lot of good food, we saw a lot of great friends. I wouldn't have changed a thing...except for those few hours we wandered aimlessly. 

Love and miss you all. More soon :)