Challenge Accepted Day 12

Oh what a difference a day makes! By the end of last night, I was in tears and ready to leave South Korea! Things went from bad to worse after I posted yesterday’s blog, but I am happy to say that today has been fantastic. 

Let me give you a rundown on the happenings of last night, right after I posted my blog; I went outside to locate my daughters and tell them it was time to come in (love that they can play on the streets with their friends in our little neighbourhood) I found them, only three of them were outside playing and told them it was time to come in, they went to collect their scooters and were to follow me back to the house shortly, except the 7yo’s scooter was nowhere to be found. She’s OCD combined with lack of common sense at times, so I asked her if she remembered where she left it, she and Ally (eldest daughter) both tell me she left it on the other side of the pole where Ally left hers, I tell them they had better find it. They do, in the garbage! Seriously? So I put a note on the village neighbourhood FB page summing up how unimpressed I am. It read like this:

“To whomever threw my daughter’s scooter in the garbage, thank you. That was a really nice welcome to the neighborhood! She is a good kid. She got reprimanded for leaving it leaning up against a pole but the fact that you thought you would teach her a lesson by throwing it into the trash was really, really thoughtful and kind and considerate of you! Well done! You just won the neighbor of the year award! Oh and what a good way to teach a 7 yr old a lesson, not.”

So, perhaps I was a little passive aggressive, but I was really angry and thought this was the best I could do since I seriously wanted to punch whoever did that. I know, little things, but I was at the end of my wits yesterday, it was not a good day for that to happen! On top of that, the workmen left my bathroom sink clogged, the bathroom floor tiles covered in crap, the towels I laid out for them filled with crap, crap all over my floor leading to and from the bathroom, the sink plug stuck because the grout had glued it down and various other little annoying things. I made them coffee! 😩 there were other little things too including the fact that my painting looks like crap! By the time I sat down to watch He Named Me Malala, i was feeling very sorry for myself! What a great movie to watch when you’re in that state! Um, excuse me, I’ve been shot in the head by the Taliban just for being a girl and you want to complain about your problems? No, I don’t, I just needed perspective and you gave it to me, thank you!

Today: I wake up realizing just how lucky I am to wake up and be me! I get the kids off to school and I do both my workouts! Yes! Both! Yay me! The run however, doesn’t work out quite as successful, by the time I run half a mile my legs are done! (It was abs and lower focus today). I’m ok with that. And I’ve definitely made up for it throughout the day, so I’m not going to feel bad. 

At 10 am we head out on our adventure, 3 girls (ok ladies) & a boy! What a fun day! Thank you to my new friend and neighbour for taking both myself and another new neighbour! And what a great introductuction it was! I am Australian, I have lived all over the world, I have travelled to over 100 countries, yet here I am, stating it blatantly, I am not quite au fait with the Korean culture and I am very thankful for any help I can get! And these ladies gave me my first real introduction to it. I was mesmerized walking down the street of the market, all those fresh fruit and vegetables I have been longing to see were here. All the fresh seafood I have heard about is here, my son was so taken with the octopus in a bucket that we literally stopped and stared at them for what seemed like an eternity. My new friend Leigh-Ann then shared with him the intelligence of the octopus and it was wonderful to take a step back and see him learn from someone else! In fact, my entire day was spent both wondering at the new Korean cultural experience and seeing other mothers with my little boy and them sharing with him their knowledge! Listening to his conversation with my other new found friend Sara, who was so obliging and sat in the back so willingly after me saying I was too old to sit there and then so willingly kept up conversation with my son about anything and everything throughout our entire day – the kid constantly talks!! It was truly wonderful on so many levels!

To top it all off we headed for Korean BBQ, something I thought I was familiar with, but hell no! It was wonderful and an entirely new world. I am so glad I went with two ladies who were familiar so I can take my family there – then others later- and we can all become familiar with it. Here are a few photos to try to share with you the experience:

Oh how wonderful it was having people there who knew a little of what to do, oh how disastrous it could have been having no one who knew anything! Thank goodness I was with the former not the latter! Needless to say, this is a meal of trust; you trust the beef is beef (once you taste it you know), you trust the sauce is going to be palatable, you trust the beef wrapped in lettuce will taste good,  you trust the bean sprouts will be in a nice sauce, you trust the green onions will be ok and you throw them all together and you trust your mouth is going to be big enough to fit that entire lettuce stuffed with beef and everything else inside of it! And somehow it is! Not only is there all of that trust, but somehow when it is all thrust together, it’s wonderful! Ok, so my lunch was fantastic but there’s more….. As we were walking get through the market earlier, one friend mentioned how incredible Korean sweet potatoes were; seriously? I hate sweet potatoes! She bought them, hot out of the oven, I was curious. The were six or seven in a bag, I wasn’t that curious. Eventually I asked a tad more about them, she offered me one.

   Oh My  God! Those are the most incredible roasted thing I have ever tasted! Wow! My parents have always loved sweet potatoes, they used to go on and on about cow-cow! I don’t ever remember being a fan, but tonight I do remember something; banana frittas! Korean sweet potato, cooked like it is in the market is exactly like the taste my mum used to make when she made banana frittas! I tried to explain this to my kids, but there is no comparison. I wish my Mum and Dad were here to share this taste with me because it is so amazingly similar to when my Mum would make banana frittas! I’m not sure how much I can inference this taste and if any American has ever tasted it, other than here, but it took me until I got home and tried another one, that I really understood it. 

Wow! Wow! Wow! 

This isn’t even half of my day, yet I know I’m infringing on your time. There is a tad more to say of importance, but I shan’t keep you for too much longer, I promise! 

So, I had this amazing lunch, then came home to our village ‘maintenance’ guy trying to clean up the mess these silly people had made, then went  to pick up my children, then to go and meet another lady with whom  I had volunteered to look after her cats (online), only to find that she seems like this awesome person that my kids and I all immediately liked immensely and I was like, “Well you said you would pay in wine and now I want wine and your company because you’re pretty damn cool & I think we could actually be friends!” Then to find myself out on our little deck writing my blog, to be greeted by my neighbour from yesterday, who wanted to bring her children over and play and with whom I also took an immediate liking to and no, I don’t regret it it, anyway, she came over, hung out, had a sangria, ok, maybe two (or a tad more) and we discussed yesterday’s happenings, and it was all a misunderstanding! Yay, I’m not going crazy! It seriously was a misunderstanding! I love just being open and honest with people. It always makes things better! Seriously! 

Anyway, my day has ended on a positive note. I’m happy. I wish you all such happiness. May we all look at Malala and realize just how good we’ve got it! 

PS: I’m still yet to do tonight’s regimen, it will happen.. Have an amazing night!