It was raining so I stayed in my pajamas today.

It is amazing to me that Koreans are not fatter people. I am certainly becoming a fatter person. Today began with a fairly reasonable lunch: fish and seaweed soup, some grilled pork, kimchi, rice. An hour later, while I was brewing my second cup of coffee, mom sat down and peeled at least three apples for us to eat and dad brought out a bag of Hershey’s milk chocolate nuggets. And then walnuts. Three hours later, I was informed that mother and oldest daughter went out for kalbi, so we would order pizza and fried chicken. When mom got home she made another meal and came to my room to say “Let’s eat dinner.” I demurred by saying “Pizza.” The next time I left my room, my host sisters sat amongst the carcass of a box of dream pies and I noted a bag of pancake mix amidst the wrappers. Like thirty minutes later, they made the pancakes, which tasted sort of like funnel cake batter, and which we ate with chopsticks in front of the television. Mom adding cheese to the last few as an “experiment.” The sisters tried to get me to take sides in an argument over whether so-called “Korean pizza” (which is not at all like pizza) is better with squid or with kimchi. The older daughter’s argument ran thus: only in recent times has Korea had ground red pepper, so the kimchi Korean pizza does not have the same history as the squid Korean pizza, which is therefore superior. Mom left for the grocery store. I tried to explain the GPA and credit system of American universities, which occupied us until mom returned with two more boxes of dream pies and a package of cherry tomatoes. They immediately tore into the tomatoes and the dream pies. The younger sister came into my room with the new electronic dictionary and said “Sara. I think my sister gluttony. How about that?”

The mother and youngest daughter are very thin, the oldest daughter is chubby for a Korean, I suppose, but isn’t really. The son doesn’t eat so he looks like he’s 12, and dad’s the only one with a noticeable gut, but it’s a pretty run-of-the-mill, middle-aged man gut.

I am constantly pinching the skin between my belly button and waistline to keep tabs on this section. I must get back to the gym. My plan for the new semester is to use the free weight room at the community gym (that is, the weight room that does not cost money). There’s a little less space for my squats, but there are benches and there are free-weights, and that’s all I need.

And to eat less rice.

And to find some kind of cardio work that doesn’t make life seem no longer worth living. Over break the minimal hiking we did revealed that I am only in shape when presented with an anaerobic task.


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