Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bits and Bobs

I cannot even really begin to describe the hellishness of the last few weeks, in that I've gotten so little sleep that I've become delirious. Stark, raving mad. It's a constant struggle to remain upright, and an even bigger struggle to remember what day of the week it is. (Today's Saturday, I checked four times.)

Sleep, for me, is the single most important item while I am working. If I get enough sleep, I am generally okay. I may be cranky that I don't have a life, I may hate everyone, but I won't go ballistic. If I don't get enough sleep for a couple days and then make up for that lack of sleep, I'll be a little bleary-eyed, but not too bad. The past several weeks have been consistent. Consistently sleepless. I'm beat.

It's Christmas at Western Dom. Kind of. They just put up these decorations this week (I'm pretty sure it was this week ... but my brain isn't functioning all that well, so it may have been last week), which seems ridiculously early to me. Then again, Koreans think nothing of having Christmas decorations up all year round (Angel-in-us Coffee, I'm looking at you and your glittery gold ornaments).
My first taste of 족발 (usually spelled "jokbal" but pronounced more like johk-bahl), which are pigs' feet (or ham hocks, I suppose), cooked with spices and sliced thin. I was always wary of this dish, because DUDE. PIGS. FEET. Sounds gross.

Not surprisingly, I love jokbal. It's really good- it's just pork, eaten with varying accompaniments (seen in the photo). It can be dipped in one of the sauces, wrapped in lettuce with garlic or other vegetables, eaten plain, whatever floats your boat.

We had jokbal with 막걸리 (usually spelled "makgeolli" but pronounced mahk-gull-ee), which is pretty traditional. That white bottle is the makgeolli, which is sweet and only very slightly alcoholic. It's generally referred to as "rice wine," which I think is a little deceptive, because it's much weaker than wine. I think it's pretty much like soda (7Up or Sprite) with a little bit of booze mixed in.

No, I don't have much free time. We had jokbal and makgeolli for dinner one night, because the place we wanted to go to was full. There is a strange (to me) Korean tradition of eating green onion pancakes (파전, pajeon) with makgeolli on days when it rains. It was raining, so for dinner, three of us trekked over to a jeon (Korean savory pancake) restaurant. The place was totally full and not looking like it was going to clear out anytime soon, so we went to the jokbal place a few doors down.

I haven't eaten a meal at home in forever, so one of the few good things that have come about from my endless work hours is that I've become closer to my co-workers. A couple of them in particular. I've also realized that a few people that I work with are completely asinine and should be avoided. Good things to know, in any case.

I have written this blog post in about ten minutes, waiting for a review to start (that will probably last for at least two hours). I think they're about ready, so I'm off!

Also off to China tomorrow ... the upside is that I get to sleep in the plane...


Rachael November 20, 2011 at 3:04 PM  

Oh man, good luck on getting some kind of shut eye real soon!

jeanny November 25, 2011 at 11:43 PM  

Thanks, Rachael! No luck yet, but I'm thinking that on Monday, I get to sleep for fifteen hours. zzzzzzz....