Fieldtrip

It was a good day to be a wind turbine. So windy that the ocean, usually indifferent to the island, rushed ashore. Was so choppy that it flickered like static, the horizon line jagged like the torn edge of a piece of paper. I spent half of the bus ride to our school picnic thinking of ways to describe the sea as I had never seen it before. Near the wind farm, Chang sonsengnim tried to tell me that from everywhere on Jeju, you can sea that the sea is angry. He said it like a poem, others told me. Fuming, I thought would be a good word. Can you see it?

This is a society that has got some things right. While the kids picnic outside, the teachers get drunk in a restaurant. Was invited to continue on in Jeju city. Add sting ray liver to the list of unbelievable things I have eaten in Korea. The raw stingray slices you eat wrapped in kim with a slice of pork and a slice of kimchi. Three things. This element of three was stressed to me many times. You take a draught of rice wine, then pop it in your mouth and at first you think it is fine, like so many things you have tried, until a burst of ammonia travels up your nose and you cannot escape the sensation of chewing on industrial cleaner. They try to tell you that your body is an acid and the sting ray is alkali, so that it neutralizes you. But you seem to remember from chemistry that acids and bases make soap. The cooked stingray is worse by powers of ten. You almost gag and they encourage you to drink more soju.

Chang sonsengnim indicates the last of the round pieces of meat, the piece that the art teacher has just taken. “This: sting ray … penis.” All I could say was “really?” and from their laughter knew that I had understood. They say it increases virility. All I could think was “luckily I didn’t have any.” So, dear friends, I cannot add string ray penis to the list of unbelievable things that I have eaten in Korea.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s