Sunday, August 31, 2008

An Outback Oasis

With the stress of being homeless, breaking up fights between six year olds, and trying to complete simple errands with a completely different language and cultural barrier, a red juicy steak was just what I needed. For the last two weeks a meal for us was school lunch, which is not the most appetizing meal. I always thought American school lunch was scary but it is probably safe to say that the lunches at my school are scarier. The safest dish is the rice- so I generally stick to that.

Before I left for Korea, I was on a diet that Nancy and I referred to as "poverty." My new diet is "language barrier." The language barrier diet is more frustrating than the poverty diet, because I have money but I can't communicate to get food. Poverty diet was expected as I knew that I could not afford certain foods. As I walk the streets, images and scintillating wafts of food haunt me because I have money, yet I cannot say what I want. This is just more motivation to learn Korean.

Early Sunday afternoon, Chandra was able to move out of the love motel and into her apartment. This meant that I was able to escape my awkward living arrangements and sleep chez Chandra, but it also added new stress of shopping for random household items at Home Plus. Home Plus is the giant equivalent of Wal-Mart. It is about 5 stories tall (this is an estimate) with flat escalators that allow for your shopping cart to travel freely throughout the mega shopping center. After an exhausting and unsuccessful hunt for basic pillow cases, Chandra and I checked out. The cart was full, however the clerk did not give us bags. Normally this problem wouldn't have been so frustrating, but we still had to figure out how we were going to load five pillows, a shower curtain rod, and random odds and ends in the taxi. We realized that we needed to go up to the fifth floor and pack everything into boxes. With a giant box of pillows and a curtain rod, we wandered out to the streets to get a taxi. At this moment, not only were we the only white people, but we were the crazy white people making a scene. I was so scattered all over the place that as I ran for the taxi I nearly got hit by another taxi.

Off to search for food, the neon sign "Outback Steakhouse" called to us like sirens. The force pulled us up the stairs and we were seated in a booth with a lovely window view of the city. Our server spoke English which made the moment even more beautiful. I am not usually the person to dine at chain restaurants, but in this case it was absolutely appropriate to splurge and spend 30,000 won on a steak dinner at Outback Steakhouse. I left my oasis completely satisfied and was ready for bed with a full belly- quite possibly the greatest and my most missed feeling.


Stephen said...

niki your starting to look too skinny make sure you eat. I miss you and love reading these blogs

Stephen said...

hey its not stephen its Karissa