Years ago, I was teaching English in a suburb outside Seoul in South Korea. I’ll be honest with you – I didn’t like it much. I’m a trained early years teacher and that’s where my heart is teaching-wise. Still, I did the best I could do and threw myself into it. So, imagine my frustration when after hours upon hours of speaking tests, which began with rote learned grammar based questions, I got was wide eyed blank stares in response to open ended riddles like, ‘Where are you from?’
On the cusp of losing my mind, I turned to my boss for help. Why wasn’t I seeing any progress? Why couldn’t these kids respond like any 13 year old who was learning French or Spanish in a school in the US? My boss, Shannon, was a kind, patient woman who could see that I was in distress. “Natasha, let’s go downstairs to the Hof (local eateries in Korea primarily serving beer and chicken) and eat fried chicken and beer. Hmm? You’ll feel much better. Come on, it’s ok. We’ll have fun!”. Well, I couldn’t say no to beer and I definitely couldn’t say no to Korean fried chicken so I went along.
I have to admit: Shannon was right. Fried chicken and beer did make everything better. After a couple bites and a drink, I was no longer on verge of a breakdown. I was smiling and even a little hopeful about tomorrow. Now I’m not saying we should all drown our sorrows in poultry and lager whenever we are feeling down. However, I do encourage you to meditate on the healing properties of fried chicken, pickled daikon and cold beer consumed with friends. Especially this fried chicken which hits all the right spots: salty, sweet, spicy, crunchy, juicy. Just looking at it makes me feel a whole lot better.