I love being in places where I don’t know the language, and fortunately, I live in a city where I easily find these places without traveling abroad. This evening I was at my favorite Korean restaurant, where the only English I heard was while taking the food order. Sitting outside under the strings of light bulbs, I could imagine myself on the other side of the pacific without even closing my eyes. Everything in this restaurant, from the Beef Bone soup with tendons and tripe to the Soon Tofu, tastes like a home-cooked meal never meant for Western palettes. Instead of thinking that it’s been a year since indoor dining was forbidden in Los Angeles, I imagine myself in a Seoul night market where I stopped by after work on a chilly night to warm myself up with some soup. The three ladies working in the restaurant steel glances at the television inside that is tuned to the local Korean channel. I remember paying attention to that television before Covid and not understanding a word of what was going on: I would simply smile when I’d see these ladies smile or laugh.
After devouring our dinner, my fantasy of being somewhere in Seoul continued inside the Korean supermarket next door. I very much enjoy looking at all the packages and trying to figure out what they are. Eventually, it’s time to get back in the car and end my fantasy as the car made its way down the familiar road back home.
I am only just now realizing that this is my 300th day of attempting this daily writing. Even though it has not been perfect as I have skipped a few here and there, I’m surprised I kept up with it this long.