Thursday, July 12, 2012

Attack of the rabid gnats

I have been here almost a week and have a bite marks from rabid gnats to prove it.  One for every night.  Tre on the other hand has none, which proves even gnats think I'm sweeter than he is.  I'm not sure if they decided to visit us after we left Zane's bedroom window (and screen) open all night.  The poor kid was covered.  I only woke up with one on my forehead, like a giant cyclopes.  The kids are on a mission now.  500 won per dead gnat.  There must be proof in the form of a smeared, dead, wingless gnat in order for payment to be rendered.  

Speaking of missions.  We appear to be living in the flight pattern of all US military aircraft.  Some may remember when Tre and I first finished at OSU.  We lived out at Appalachia Bay in a mobile home.  Tre's dad had a plane and would fly out over the house.  We would run out of the house with Quade (he was only a baby) in our arms, stand in the yard and wave to Papa.  The Campbell's are people of consistency.  Doesn't matter if its a C-130, Blackhawk, or a Schnook, all of us run to the window to look out.  A bit louder than Tom's Cessna for sure.  But, I must admit.  Though I'm not worried about North Korea and their rhetoric, it is nice to have the US of A flying right over head on a daily basis.

The last few days have certainly been busy. { And, for those reading my Facebook posts, you may know I'm having a day of 'serenity', as Tre called it.  Still in my pj's at 3 pm drinking coffee. } Sunday, the day of rest, we decided to walk into town to find food as the bread, tuna, milk and orange juice were all gone.  Tre had found Emart while running.  It was quite a run for Tre, but walking there at an easy pace shouldn't be hard, right?  We set out and were hungry by the time we got into town.  We were surprised to find an Outback Steakhouse, so we thought we'd check it out.  Looking at the menu, we totally understood why Kevin told us to get our steak fix in the States.  Geez!  $25 for the cheap steak.  We ordered 2 appetizers.  One was a sampler plate, the other bbq wings.  All were good.  We ordered water, but the waiter brought us a glass of Sprite and a glass of Coke with two straws each.  I guess he took pity on our sweaty, red, American faces.  35 dollars later and with full bellies, we headed out again for Emart.  We'd already gone probably 3 miles from home and the last quarter was naturally uphill.  As Emart appeared (please insert a clip from Vacation here) we saw the bars on the windows...closed for the day.

Of course it is!!

Ok, plan B!  We headed back to the main part of town.  We found a fruit stand.  We bought cherry tomatoes and bananas for 7,000 won.  Zane wanted apples, but for 17,000 won, we could by a whole apple tree, so we had to veto the apples.  I also learned the vendors like to pick the items up for you and bag them. The meat market was next.  We decided to get 2 chickens.  The guy took them out of the freezer and hacked them up right there while we stood on the sidewalk.  The guy was quite taken with Zane and talked a lot to him.  Though the only words we recognized were "oriental chicken".  

We next went to a place we'd seen some older ladies selling fresh vegetables.  Zane was convinced the lady told him, in Korean, that she'd seen him walk by earlier in the day.  She probably did as he was dressed in all neon green..a Zane beacon of sorts.  We bought a bowl full of potatoes and some yellow onions.  An older Korean lady walking by asked us how were were doing with our Korean.  While Tre and I talked with her, the lady we were buying veggies from was carrying on a 'conversation' with Zane.  She snuck put some green peppers in our bag for free.  We tried to pay her extra, but she wouldn't hear of it.  

We were smelly and exhausted when we reached our dong-sweet-dong.  But, it was so nice to finally have some food in the fridge!

Monday, Tre was on a mission to conquer the subway and bus system so that we could easily find Emart or anything else for that matter.  The boys and I were on a mission to find a market a bit closer.  Though it would be a bit more expensive, not having to take the bus would be worth it for a simple need of milk or eggs.  I also wanted to find the school.

The boys and I took off on the main road headed North.  Zane had found the school already on a walk with Tre.  It sits on a hill and by the time we got there, I was drenched with sweat.  The security guard stopped us and only knew two words:  admissions and business.  We were saved by a member of the business office who was leaving, Mr. Cook, and another man.  We talked for a little while and then the boys and I headed off again.

We found a home store and added a measuring cup, a whisk, another cutting board, and a squeegee for the shower to or bags.

On our walk home, we found...literally just across the street...a small market.  We bought several things in there.  Spam, milk, orange juice, noodles, eggs, flour and bread (Quade picked up a larger loaf and the lady grabbed it from him and threw it back on the bottom shelf.   She handed him a smaller loaf.  She explained, from what we could tell, that the larger loaf was old.)  We even found microwave popcorn!

We headed to a street vendor for some authentic Korean food.  I'm not sure what they are called, but they are steamed noodle pockets filled with green peppers, rice noodles, and pork.  Looked like ravioli.  Some others we bought also had some red peppers in them.  We got some steamed buns, too, filled with a date filling.  Again, Zane's eyeballs seem to be a hit!  The lady asked, in broken English, how old he was, and handed him a bun all to himself in a little baggie.

Ah, that lunch was yummy!  Fried Spam with our Korean ravioli. (Quade informed me they are called dumplings.)

Tre came home and had found a market off one of the main streets called Kim's Club.  He bought grapes, bell peppers and green onions.

Quade's chicken and dumpling soup was the best soup I'd ever eaten ever!  Everything was totally fresh and there was none left.  We all had full bellies.

It's amazing how finding a market and getting some food in the fridge does wonders for one's anxiety level!

Tomorrow we're off on an adventure with a teacher who's been here a while.  She's going to meet us for lunch and some sight seeing!  We can't wait!

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