This weekend I went to the five-day market. It’s housed in a massive open-air structure and the whole thing is a wonderful mess; there are hundreds of stalls with hundreds of random items from belts to dried squid to barrels of kimchi to knock-off brand baseball hats to live hedgehogs.
Two of the other Yale teachers and I went there with a mission to fill the lonely silences in our apartment with some creature features. Here they are, Charlotte and Robyn, in living color and all their Canadian glory:
The five-day market is notorious for its cheap assortment of household pets who have been very badly treated.
There were miserable puppies living in cardboard boxes, and a very sad dog sitting in a cage that was too small for him. There were also chickens and ducks for sale.
What we were looking for, and eventually found, were these adorable miniature painted turtles who not only could fulfill my desire for a pet, but also turtles for a long time were my favorite animal (until I discovered narwhals) so this is like a childhood dream come true. You CAN be young again!
The first thing I read when I got home from the market was something along the lines of “most people think that all you need for a turtle is a tank, some pellets, and a little plastic bridge. These people are idiots and their turtle will die in two weeks.” This week I’m going to have to buy a UV Light and a “basking area” so they can sun themselves during the day. There is a teacher contest to see who can keep their turtles alive the longest. I’m kind of cheating since I bought two (and maybe there might be some more turtles on the way? I actually have no idea about my turtles’ gender).
So far Jinhee and Han don’t like me very much, and I don’t blame them. I’m this giant creature who placed them in a tank and didn’t read about how to take care of them. It’s as if well-meaning aliens were to abduct you, and they were very friendly but they kept on trying to feed you sheet metal and were confused why you were dying. I am determined, however, if not to give Jinhee and Han a deeply fulfilling life, then at least to let them party for a while. Maybe I’ll put a few drops of soju into their tank.
On an unrelated note, this Sunday I met an aerospace engineer who had traveled all the way to CLEVELAND to see the Korean outfielder Sin-Soo Choo who plays for the Indians.
The food this weekend was truly wonderful. On Sunday I ate Mungbean pancakes with spicy soy sauce. They were delicious. We also had some homemade fried pork cutlets at a place I like to call the “KKK Kitchen” because its real name is the Komkkatchi Kitchen or something like that. There’s enough Ks in the name of the restaurant not to be racist, but not enough Ks to impress Nolan Ryan.
Also among the adventures this weekend was an open-mic night. I brought a short story to read and it was went very well for the first 5-7 minutes and then people understandably got bored. I wasn’t sure what to do though; I didn’t think I could really stop. Oh well. Next time, I’m seriously considering just getting drunk, jotting some notes down on my hand, and just spouting about whatever the hell I want for 5 minutes or so. Trust me, this idea is a lot better than it sounds.
Next post: Koreans and Emma Watson, New Sunglasses, and More Nonsense
But first, two hilarious conversations which occured today:
(me and Robyn sit on the curb)
Korean Children: Girlfriend?
Me: No. She is girl, she is friend. But she is not girlfriend.
Korean Child: No. Girlfriend.
Robyn: (pointing to Korean boy) but Ginny, is Ken your girlfriend?
Robyn: But you like him as a friend, right?
Ginny: No, I hate him.
Background-apparently one of my (best) students, Steven, works at my favorite restaurant (it’s a 24-hour joint, always open but more delicious and less racist). His parents own the restaurant and he’s there all the time and yet somehow I never made the connection. How this happened may say a lot about my selective memory.
Aaron: Hey, Steven. Are we studying for our test on Thursday?
Steven: No. I’m eating.
Ba dum bum.