At 10:00 tonight, I opened the door to let my students free. Surprise! There was Chung Lim Jang, hands clasped, standing in his marine attire including an army cap. It was quite the outfit: camouflage colors covered in badges like a skull and crossbones which, Chung later informed me, signifies his readiness to combat North Korea.
Former soldiers met earlier in Suwon, for a drink of camaraderie. I wasn't altogether surprised he 'appeared' because he knows I finish work at 10 PM Mon-Fri and I said he was welcome to check out my classroom, sometime.
I got quite the look from the secretary as I was leaving. "He's my friend!" I assured her! She winked. This "oohhhh, he's a boy and you're a girl thing" is getting really annoying.
We went for food because that's what we always do. I asked him to go with me to the place I was fed a "hot meal on the house" when I was broke. I usually get The Special, there, so Chung offered to translate the menu. I ordered "Kimchi Jjigae" for 3,500 won. It was a bubbling cauldron of kimchi with onions, beef, chili powder, tofu and rice noodles. It came with sticky rice.
Mmm, delicious! It tasted just like what Hwan made in Montreal! I find some Korean meals, like Bibimbap: rice blanketed in cooked egg, vegetables and red chili paste, is too much by the last bite. The chili paste and egg is heavy. But I almost licked the soup bowl, I loved my Kimchi Jigae so much. It sat well.
I told Chung to thank the waitress for feeding me, that day; that she's lovely. Then she told him she thinks I'm strong (what's with all the strong comments??), always smiling and friendly, and that she and the other waitress think I'm a doll. Awwww, Chung translated once we had left the restaurant, but I would have kissed her had we still been there!! hahaha.
Tomorrow is payday and I look forward to buying a CAMERA in Seoul on Saturday. One of Hwan's friends who I met in Canada has returned to Korea and he's going to escort me to the camera shop so I don't get wool pulled over my eyes (or whatever the expression is). We'll most likely walk and shop and reminisce about good old Montreal.
Banner design by Helena, portrait by Eva