“who would’ve thought i’d miss korean food this much”, says nate, as we sit before two steaming trays of ddukbokki and kimchi jjigae clutching our splintered chopsticks in anticipation. yes. we’ve missed the watery, wilted, mangled cabbage fighting for air alongside miniature chunks of unidentifiable meat and massive squares of turnip served relentlessly at church for the past three years, and decided it was time. the food wasn’t the best, it was a shabby venue, but we established a new tradition: sunday dinner at the hmart food court.

we made it to downtown philadelphia last weekend and checked out the green fest near south st, which turned out to be somewhat mediocre except for the free organic yogurt and lemonade samples. one perk was the bands playing: bearded hipsters singing folk, and rastas spitting rhymes…amidst the distinct waft of some pretty funky fumes. south street may have been a grungy place to roam, but we discovered Lorenzo’s. narrow storefront, limited menu, delicious pizza new york style. a gooey, milky, garlicky mess eaten standing up in a mirrored area at the back of the store.

Lorenzos 2, sept 2010

as we’re walking down south st. we ran into a friend i haven’t seen in three years. we exchanged numbers and ended up going over to their place for lunch yesterday. it took a lot of restraint not to express just how exhilarating it was to hang out with friends! they’re from japan, with the most adorable chubby bebe who can’t speak english and ate non-stop. it was refreshing to have real conversations with people who shed judgment, are not aiming for wealth or prestige, with warm hearts and unabashed hospitality. i think not having friends is harder for extroverted nate. we both understand that friendships with depth take time to develop, but our week still mainly consists of just the two of us.

we’ve also been exploring the realm of farmers markets. the produce sold at farmers markets are convincingly more delicious. i can smell the tomatoes and peppers when i’m cutting them, and they taste so much fresher. maybe next spring we’ll plant our own garden, and collect our urine for the most natural of fertilizers. our neighbor downstairs also wants to begin brewing beer in the basement so we’ve been instructed to save empty beer bottles.

nate started classes and loves them! he reiterated verbatim the lecture from his first counseling class last week, and his experience so far has confirmed that we are meant to be here. he’s in full nerd mode, muttering greek vocab under his breath and talking about the characters in the case studies he reads like they’re his friends.




  1. Christal,
    when I read your posts, it seems like you and Nate are.. on a longer than usual vacation.. everything sounds like an adventure! but, we miss you here. :[

    ps. some claimed that my grandma had the best crops…
    collected urine for her garden. 😛


  2. this totally made my day!! spent the last 2 hrs in a room full of japanese men. i had no idea what they were saying for the full 2hrs! now i have to write a note on the meeting to the man himself!! 🙂

    you guys are having a blast!! sigh….why can’t all our lives be like yours!

    love you!!


  3. did you get my letter yet???
    you guys sound like youre having so much fun doing nothing.. 😀 i am glad you made friends. it makes me feel so happy.




  5. I loved the video as well. Made me laugh sooo much. I was chuckling by myself in the library. kkkkkkk ^_^

    But seriously I love that you are posting pictures as well, although pictures of Nate eating makes me hungry. He makes it took so good!

    I’m glad you guys are getting to know Philly! Praying for you both!


  6. can’t wait to come visit… on Wed we leave for Ipoh for Ah Seong’s wedding.. Strange day to get married.. 6th Oct.. wish they choose 8th Oct.. then I can say the 80 tables (800 people – no kidding) have been invited to my birthday bash.. We won’t be staying overnight.. just go in monrning.. do the tea-ceremony thing,, hang around until dinner time,, get a few bites and leave for KL by 9.30PM.. Yung and I have to go back to work the next day.. Take care, luvumissu,P


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