Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Food - Oh, Glorious, Gloooooorious Food

I heart WNCE <3

Korean-Chinese cuisine
The Wednesday Night Culinary Experience Group (it sounds sophisticated but it's really not - more like an excuse to eat, drink, and spend time with new friends) started out in early October and comprised itself of three members: Katie, Jason, and I. Jason and I had heard of a 'Trivia Night' at Traveller's Pub, a local foreigner bar, which took place on Wednesdays. I was sceptical because it started at 9pm - too late for my lazy bum on a weeknight, but I decided to give it a shot. Groups between 2 and 5 people were accepted for the game, so we called up Katie and asked her to join us. It wouldn't hurt to have an American friend on our team, right? Besides, it would be more fun than just the two of us (not that we don't enjoy eachother's company or anything, but you get the point). So we paid our 5,000W buy-in, ordered some beers and delicious fried food, and attempted to answer some questions. It can't be worse than Jeopardy, right?

Well as it turns out, it WAS more difficult than Jeopardy, and we suck at Trivia. So we ended up being last place. BUT we won the 'entrance' prize (which I'm still convinced, to this day, that they handed to us out of pity, kind of like teachers who 'randomly' 'pick' the cute, quiet kid to win the prize... *wink, wink*) of 30,000W. It paid our beer, so it wasn't too bad of a night after all.

The following Wednesday, after a particularly rough day at school, Katie called us up to see if we wanted to join her for dinner, which we were glad to do, since on most nights we are too lazy to cook or wash dishes. This time we went to Gecko's, another foreigner pub closer to home, and enjoyed some more Western style comfort food over a few beers.

(As an aside... I've never been a beer drinker. But for some reason I can tolerate Korean draft beers. They are lighter and more refreshing than beers back home. Although nothing else compares to vodka cocktails, beer seems like a cheaper option most of the time.)

After our meal we made plans for the following week: 'This was fun, shall we do it again?' and so began our Wednesday night tradition. Together we discussed ways in which we could 'expand' - a Facebook group would take care of that, and a fun name for our group, hence the WNCE title. And we were off.

Since then we've met a ton of new people through the group, and alternate each week between early and late dinners to accommodate our Hagwon friends every other Wednesday. Each time there's about 6 to 8 of us present, Jason, Katie, and I being the 'constant'. So far we've tried Korean traditional, Korean BBQ, Chinese, Italian, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, and American. It's been great.

The benefits of our Wednesday outings far surpass the simple enjoyment of sampling different dishes. They help us break up the work week, share teaching experiences and ressources, make plans for weekend outings, practice our Korean restaurant ordering phrases and dining etiquette, and most of all, make new friends!

Up to now we've been using these types of phrases in Korean restaurants:

Il, ee, sam, sah, oh, yuk = 1,2,3,4,5,6 (When requesting a table for a certain amount of people)
Yeogiyo! = Come here please! (When you're ready to order or if you need service)
Hanna, dugae, segae = 1, 2, or 3 please! (When stating the number of dishes to order)
Mul juseyo. = Please bring water.
Olmayeyo = How much is it?
Kahmsahamnida, Annyeongi-keseyo = Thank you, good bye (When leaving)

Picture menus are easy since we can simply point at what we want. But Hangeul only is a bit more challenging and we have yet to explore this option more thoroughly. However, we can now easily recognize a number of our favorite dishes on restaurant menus thanks to our ever improving Hangeul reading skills. Yeah!

MMmmmMMMmm... All this talk about food is making me hungry. Can't wait for tonight's edition of WNCE: Traveller's Pub Trivia Night!
Who said Wednesdays had to be boring?

1 comment:

  1. Wow Jen!! sounds like you and Jason are having a blast...I love that we get to visit Korea through your experience. Wish you both the best...and most of all to win your next trivia hahaha!! Annie Lapointe