So we have been here now, officially for 4 weeks! Time flies when you're having fun....& not understanding a word anyone is saying to you!! I need a phonetic Korean to English dictionary so I can figure out what "cheunmayo" means. The Koreans say that a LOT to Ezzio. I can only assume it's something positive since they hug him & kiss his cheeks after they say it. Or they're saying "watch the stupid American let me touch her kid even though I'm a complete stranger & could have some terrible disease I'd like to spread". It could go either way.
Since we have been here we've managed to get lost in a 7 story building of fabric, anger the Koreans on the train as they keep repeating the same words over & over to us yet we still don't understand what they're trying to communicate since we don't speak Korean!, Daric had his hand held for a good 30 mins on the train while he was in uniform by an elder Korean gentleman as he spoke nothing but Korean to Daric but yelled 'KOREA' in English & the only expression Daric picked up was 'for the better' (the man gave Ezz money as he got off the train, quite the experience), the kids all have been mobbed by the Koreans, taking pictures & hugging them, the kids have managed to smile & nod apparently at the appropriate times while Koreans are talking to them on the train so they assume the kids speak Korean, Ezzi's baby babble apparently means something in Korean, he's managed to carry on conversations, we've gotten "lost" & have found underground malls & farmer's markets, we've bought a mink blanket (that was money well spent!), we've gotten a car & have managed to get lost driving & find a Korean dairy farm or something like it (there were only like 10 cows in the pen so they might have been for eating not milking), I've gotten sick from the "beef & leaf" (I will explain beef & leaf later), we've eaten Brazilian BBQ (which might have been better than actual bbq in Brazil!), found out we've had neighbors this entire time (who I'm sure haven't appreciated the kids rowdiness since we thought there was no one around us & we've let them run wild in the apartment), met a few other American families living in our apartment complex & semi bridged the gap between the kids & the Korean kids living here.
These past 4 weeks have been quite the experience! I need to take some beginner Korean language classes so I can figure out this 'cheunmayo' word! So far that's my only frustration with the country, the language barrier. I appreciate the few Koreans who speak English trying to communicate with me & I try my hardest to connect the Korean words they're saying to their English counterpart but sometimes they speak so fast & I can't catch what they're saying. I've also noticed they don't pronounce every single sound in the word so 'cheunmayo' might actually be like 'cheungmapyo' or something, I don't know! I'm grateful 1 of the families we met are Korean, well the wife is Korean & the husband is a hybrid, half Korean, half white (I think) so they both speak Korean. It was so nice to have Loyd Brown (I know super traditional Korean name) with us at Baskin Robbins ordering for us all in Korean instead of our usual 'point & hope they see what we're pointing at' way of ordering. While our kids were playing at the playground in our complex the Korean kids came out & were practicing their English speaking to the kids but then they'd start getting excited & Korean would take over & then Loyd would whip out his Korean & the Korean kids would all stand there confused wondering if they really did hear Korean. It was actually hilarious to watch because the Korean kids would all stop dead in their tracks & look around with confused expressions & when they didn't hear Korean again they'd resume playing. I think Loyd was getting a kick out of it too. I noticed he'd throw out some Korean at random times & then chuckle as the kids did their 'deer in headlights' stare. I like Loyd. His wife, Sunny, has a pretty funny sense of humor too. They're good people as Daric would say. *Side note: yes, all the American families we have met are also soldiers in the Army so on more than 1 level we are not alone!
If you haven't already heard the news I am pregnant. I'm only about 10 weeks along so I've still got a long ways to go! Of course we're hoping for a girl, well let me rephrase that, I'm hoping for a girl, Daric has adopted the Korean view & is hoping for another boy. I think he likes the attention the kids get as much as they do! No matter what, boy or girl, we're going to love this baby as much as the other 3 & this will absolutely be the last child! I won't lie, I'll be a little heartbroken if I hear 'it's a boy' when we can find out what this little 1 is but I love the 3 little monsters so much, I won't be heartbroken for long. I've been feeling surprisingly good so far. Morning sickness has rarely reared it's ugly head & for those of you who know the pregnant version of me you know that's a miracle! I'm hoping that's a good sign!
So since I've been feeling so well & not everything has been making me nauseous we've eaten out a few times at 'beef & leafs'. It's a Korean BBQ restaurant where the table has a deep metal bowl in the middle & a dryer hose looking thing hanging from the ceiling over the bowl. They bring out hot coals & dump them in the bowl then cover it with a metal grate so you can throw your meats & misc veggies on it & bbq right at your table. The dryer hose looking thing is the exhaust fan & sucks up the smoke as you grill. The soldiers have dubbed them 'beef & leaf' since you get a giant plate of beef & they bring out a basket of "leaves" instead of plates. You make like a lettuce wrap with the meat & kimchi. We've eaten at a few before but they've always been around places Americans would be, the 1 we ate at that made me sick was deep in Korean territory. They spoke not 1 single word of English, the menu was all in Korean, we sat on the floor at the table & removed our shoes before we stepped onto the platform where the tables were. It was fabulous! Now I'm not sure if I got sick because this was an 'authentico' beef & leaf or because I'm pregnant...I'll have to try another & see if the results are the same.
It is 10:30 am, Tuesday, September 27 as I write this entry. Ezzi's napping, the big kids are at school & I'm munching on chips & salsa since I seem to constantly have to be snacking all day to avoid the nausea. The joys of pregnancy! The weather in Korea is starting to turn, cold in the morning but still warm to hot in the afternoon. I'm looking forward to the change in season. I'm a little bummed I won't be able to really participate in our 1st winter, there's a ski resort not far from us & it's great for skiing, snowboarding & sledding. Daric said I could go sledding with Ezz & Riley while he & Akira go snowboarding. What a guy. I know we'll have fun though.
I think that brings everyone up to speed on our adventures! I will try to update once a week since it seems we have at least 1 adventure during the week whether we want it or not! Good morning (afternoon or night depending on what time zone you're in!) Lots of love & hugs to you all from the Bishop clan! 안녕하세요
|The view from our living room|