Before I left for Korea I had my mom make all of my favorite meals because I knew I would miss American food. Prior to coming to Korea I never had authentic Asian cuisine so I had no idea what I was getting myself into. In my college town there is a Japanese restaurant that serves a few Korean dishes, one of which is bibimbap. One day I decided to try it, but didn’t find it that appetizing. I didn’t think it was bad, but just very bland. This experience made me a little nervous about trying real Korean food.
Food wise, the first two days of being in Korea was okay. I enjoyed the meals I was served or ordered even though I usually didn’t know what they were. On the third day this completely changed and I had absolutely no desire to eat anything. All I wanted was American food and I didn’t even care what it was. I decided to skip breakfast and had pringles and bread for lunch. The pringles were nothing like American pringles either so that definitely bummed me out. That same day my fellow co-teachers and I moved to the Cheonan campus. After settling into our rooms we all went to E-Mart to explore the area and get anything we forget at home. While we were there I made my way to the food section to try and find an American snack. I ended up buying bananas and a bucket of fried chicken. It sounds pathetic, but I was desperate for “normal” food. After we were done at E-Mart our coordinator took us to dinner at a nice restaurant. I ended up ordering a rice cake and dumpling soup (pictured below: left). This was one of the best meals I’ve had in Korea so far and I ate every last bite of it. I was no longer hungry for the chicken so I saved it for the following day. A couple of days later a few students took me and my co-teachers out to a real Korean bbq (pictured below: right). So far this has been my favorite meal that I’ve had!
It has almost been a full 2 weeks since I arrived in Korea and I can definitely say I am more open to trying new foods. I found out that not knowing what I’m eating helps, especially when it comes to seafood. I can honestly say I really enjoy the food here and am excited to see what else Korea has to offer!