“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.
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.