Here You Go-My Contest Entry-Crave-able Kimchi

So, I decided to share with you all my contest entry for the new monthly Writing Cooperative contest.  We were to write a story from a different perspective than our own on any subject, not to exceed 600 words. I hope you enjoy it and can tell me if I accomplished my goal.

Crave-able Kimchi

The moment I landed in Dongducheon, Korea just north of Seoul back in 1981, I knew I was in for an epic adventure of sights, sounds, and tastes. Stepping off the plane the strange smells of the country assaulted my nose. I had landed at what is lovingly known as “the turtle farm” which smelled like a combination of feces, earth, and dead fish. Even though this was not the tour of duty I planned on (I wanted Germany), I was going to make the most of it, but I soon discovered that the “Army’s best-kept secret” was the birthplace of my now most craved delicacy!

Even before I had left my beloved San Antonio where I was learning about becoming a lab technician, my friends had taught me some of the language so I would more easily get around once safely ensconced at Camp Red Cloud. Of course, the words they taught me were all the wrong ones. They did get one right though, and that was how to order a Coke. Once I learned those words I could substitute almost anything else to get started ordering food in the “ville.” (village off base)

Now, the loose translation for “Can I have a Coke please?” is “kolla jusayo butakamnida,” and “Hello” is “yeoboseyo.” It took me months to stop answering the phone that way when I came home! I’m sure I am remembering the slang I used to get around, so nobody quote me on the literal translations please.

I remember the first time I was introduced to kimchi, my Army buddies and I had been drinking at a bar close to the base and one of the cute little waitresses (also named Kim) offered me a bite after I asked her what she was eating. The second the pungent, tangy, spicy, cabbage touched my tongue I was in love! I wanted more and further, I wanted to understand how to make it. That’s when she told me it was fermented in the ground! I had never heard of such a thing and the very next day, I went to museum in Pusan to see how it was done. (I was stationed in Uijongbu)

After they showed me the earthen pots they would put the cabbage mixture in once it was ready to lower into the ground, they then explained the process of “pickling” the cabbage. They explained how the cabbage was soaked, salted, and made ready for the “porridge” that was later spread on each leaf. A combination of red pepper flakes, garlic, fish sauce, salted shrimp, ginger, and glutinous rice paste mixed with water was basically made into a paste and spread on each leaf before covering in the pot. Then it was buried in the cold ground for five weeks and a shelter was built around it to prevent drastic temperature changes. These days it is ripened in the refrigerator, which is all the better for me!

The smell of kimchi can be off-putting for some, yet it doesn’t bother me and I crave the peppery, sour treat. Some people compare it to sauerkraut, but kimchi is saltier where sauerkraut is tart. Plus, the red pepper flakes make it hot enough to get your sweat glands activated! Thinking back on it now makes me long for the time I spent eating, drinking, and hanging out with the special people of South Korea as well as my military friends, in a country where shared food is the very best kind.

My goal with this story was to show from the perspective of someone who adored kimchi-which I do not! I would appreciate it if you could find my story on Medium or Facebook and then clap for it, the person with the most claps at the end of each month wins. (only clap if you liked the story 🙂 )

(For whatever reason, Medium won’t let me link the story on here, so I just copy/pasted it. )

View at Medium.com

Why Be Organized?

Morning everyone and how are you on this chilly Monday morning? Oh my goodness, I just realized I have not blogged since last Tuesday (on this one anyway) and that is one reason I should be more organized!! If I was sticking to an editorial calendar, these things would not happen.

Last week was super busy with my writing though. I entered several pieces in various places, hoping to earn/win some money…wish me luck! I took a test for Compose.ly to try to find more paid work, I submitted a poem to Winning Writers for their Wergle Flomp Contest (I wrote about entering contests over on my website), and I entered the Barefoot Writer’s Essay Contest who’s theme this month spoke to what we are grateful for.

My new red hat before adornment

It wasn’t all work though, I also went to to the movies with my new lady’s group and saw Murder on the Orient Express. This time we went as the over 40/50 group, but next time we get together it will be as ladies of The Red Hat Society! Yes! I became its newest member last week! Dave and I went shopping for me a new red hat and I’m happy to say we found one! It was at a new store in the mall called Dana, it is a nice felt hat like one we found at a different store which cost $50, mine was under $20! Now all that’s left to do is decorate it up, add some purple flair and I’ll be good to go! I spent some time creating a board on Pinterest called “Red hat ideas” if anyone wants to see it. (visit my other boards while you’re there 🙂 )

I went and had my lab work for tomorrow’s appt. with my kidney dr.

Today I’m supposed to go have my pre-op for my surgery, but I’m going to call and make sure it’s not too early. My surgery is on the 30th and in the old days, one of the tests they’ll be running, a PT/PTT was only good for three days. In addition, I want to make sure they can’t go ahead and use the results from some of the lab work I already took. Why pay twice? (I probably won’t get away with that)

I also did a job for Crowd Content Saturday morning because I tried to do it Friday night, had computer issues and lost the whole thing! Now, I may be making small change, but I had already done a ton of research, so when it was still available Saturday morning, I jumped on it! I spent way too long on it, but it’s done yea!

Well, I’m off to see what else I can get done, it will be another busy week since we are hosting Thanksgiving. Writing, reading, crocheting (I started a new scarf), cleaning and cooking…just like everyone else I’m sure! Y’all have a wonderful day and I hope to see you later on the patio! 🙂