You want to barbecue where???

I feel like, after living here almost a year and a half, very few things surprise me. It’s rare that I get that feeling of novelty which I felt constantly when we first moved here of, “Ohmigosh, this is so different!”   I had said feeling a couple of weeks ago, though, when my school was celebrating the success of open classes by having a barbecue…at the school…in the parking lot. Yes, that’s right. In the school parking lot. I had to laugh when my co-teacher told me that’s where we were having it. But, I have to admit, it didn’t feel all that strange once all the teachers were there having some grilled pork belly (think thick slices of bacon) and drinking liquor and soda together. It made for a really fun time. That’s another thing, in Korea it’s customary to drink alcohol with your co-workers, even during school hours, when there is some sort of celebration.

Parking lot venue

So there we were. Some teachers brought picnic mats and gas grills from home and we had a party! One of the teachers proudly shared samples of fresh kimchi that his wife made. The same teacher even fed me and a few other teachers a pork belly wrap. Ugh…I ate so much! They kept saying, “Eat more! Eat more!”.

Pork belly, soju, kimchi, and beer.

Pork belly on the grill.

Grilling up extra

It was a lot of fun. I continue to learn from and am challenged by my experiences in Korean culture. Who says you can’t have a party in a parking lot? I guess now I know better…

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