a taste of sushi and … kimchi

Man, I miss food.  I mean food from all over.  Friends and I went out to Dono Sushi a bit ago.  I had a bowl of spicy udon noodles, and we shared some sushi.

Kimbap!”  K found kimbap on the menu!  “What kind of kimbap?” I asked.  He laughed.  “Just kimbap,” he said.  We had some of that, some salmon sushi, and … (and here is where I got excited) … kimchi!!!

I asked the server if they had any.  It’s not on the menu, but yes.  Now I know why.  It’s rare that I have kimchi this terrible.  It wasn’t good.  I have no idea what was wrong with it.  It was just … bad.

There was a vibrating buzzing noise in the restaurant.  The service was friendly but slow.  The noodles were very good.  The sushi was very good.  But …

Anyone out there know where to get good kimchi in Southern Alberta?

surprise identity

So I’m at a late supper with a couple of friends from college, K & A, and somewhere along in the conversation the idea of mixed ethnic origins comes up, as it sometimes does.

I asked K what if he and his wife have chosen a name for their new child arriving in Sept / Oct this year.  (S)he will have two names – an English first name and a Korean middle name.  “You can have two last names, too, if you want,” A says.  “Passports from each country will have that nation’s family name.” Well how do you know this?  I never knew that.

Later, we were talking about jobs, living in other countries (A wants to study in Germany after college here).  A family ancestor was the USA.  I suggested getting his Green Card, like me.  It was then that he confessed that he already has dual citizenship.  “What?  Where?  Seriously?”

So it was sometime around then that he confessed.  As it turns out, the only other white guy (i.e. “Caucasian Canadian”) in the group spills the beans about not actually being a white guy.  Yup, he’s half white Canadian and half Taiwanese.  He speaks Mandarin and grew up in Taiwan and Canada.  Taiwanese Mom & Canadian Dad.

I was 90% surprised.  Why?  I knew since I met him that he’d had an accent.  Not a regional dialect, not a 2nd-generation ethnic accent, but a first-hand mixed-origin accent, like 5~10%.  I could never pin it on any region outside the general area of Asia, never down to one country.

He’d kept it a secret all this time because, I gather, he likes to surprise people and also, I think, finds it a cause of disruption of normal interaction.  He only tells those he has known for a while.  He told K & C (Koreans) but never me!  So I said during supper that I’m actually the only white guy in the group – a minority.  A reminded me that I am mistaken – that I’m half Korean, too.

Right.  Almost forgot, being around all these white people.  Haha!

I feel honoured that I’m counted among this trusted friends.

(By the way – I’m not Caucasian.  I’m white.  Caucasians come from the Caucasus region in Eastern Europe / Western Asia.  Look it up.  And yes, I eat crackers.)

Kia damage at mall

I was at Centre Village Mall last Friday doing a CANstruction installation when mall security came around asking who owns a brown Kia.  Uh oh.  Now what?  Someone hit my car in the parking lot.  I went out and found a guy standing there waiting for me and my car’s front end sitting on the ground.  He backed into the stall next to mine, hit my car, decided to move forward, and pulled off the front end.  We talked with mall security and a witness from Save-On Foods then drove to what he thought was the accident reporting place.  Just as everyone had said, it’d moved to downtown to the main police station.  We went there, spent an hour reporting.  Police took pictures.  So now I’m waiting for his insurance company, Cooperators, to contact me to arrange repairs.

balance at Tim Horton’s

So I’m at Tim’s having a bowl of chili and a decaf, thinking about what just happened.

I asked the woman at the till to get me a balance on some cards.  “You don’t remember what you have?  Really?” she asked in a childish voice.  WTH?  Why ask me this?  “All of them?  Well how many cards do you have?”  WTH again.  “I’ve only got three,” I say to her.  She scans the first one and asks, “Do you see the balance?  Can you remember that?”  <Ahem>  When she was done, I asked her, “You think I have a short memory, eh?  I’ve got dozens of cards for everything.  No, I have no idea what the balance is.”  I was going to ask her if she could remember my order, but I was too polite.  I now think I should have.

There is a balance between formal politeness and familiar friendliness.  She broke that balance.

feeling iffy and mouldy

Feeling a bit iffy this past week.  With the cold snap, getting down to -32°C (-26°F), condensation collected on two walls in my room.  With my bed pushed up against the walls and the storage area under (in) the bed full of stuff, no heat got back there, and this condensation collected, froze, collected more, and eventually grew mould on the bottom 6 inches of the walls.  I was headachy and hacking away for the good part of a week.  I happened to notice a little pool of water at the head of my bed.  Oh crap, where’s this coming from?  I pulled the bed back and found a black mouldy surprise.  It’s pretty much cleaned up now, but I’m still a bit achy.

EDDT and Earthships

I have yet to attend Environmental Systems class.  I’ve had two days of classes at the college in the EDDT course so far, with Process Design II, the designing of pressure vessels and their connections; Applied Research, the second class in a series including statistics that builds toward a final presentation to peers and instructors; Architectural Design III, actually the fourth in a series of residential and commercial architecture training; and Civil Design and Drafting, a continuation of topographic, mapping, drainage, landscaping, and all things considered in developing land for habitation, industry, or business.  It’s the weekend now, and I’m looking forward to next week to see what the environmental class has to offer.

I woke up this morning to an Earthship blog from New Zealand as a result of somewhat randomly clicking links online.  YouTube – Healthy Homes – Te Timatanga Earthship New Zealand  Also, Earthship NZ  I also saw an Earthship created here in Southern Alberta.  Alberta’s First Earthship  If I am to go in any direction that I choose, this would be it – sustainable building.

One of my instructors hit on something I lack – confidence.  He wrote on the board a list of characteristics a cook and a chef might have.  I spouted off the first characteristic – creativity vs. following.  It seems odd that I would be the first to offer an entry to his list, which in fact takes leadership, because I seriously lack the confidence needed in planning, creating, building, etc.  (I offered another, which he moved to the top of the list – communication.  I do have that, being an English teacher.)

So this is a personal skill I must work on during this last term in school – confidence in leadership.

driver’s license expiry

I renewed my license today.  It expires in a week (my birthday).  I just happened to notice the expiry date while doing some other paperwork.  Good thing – otherwise, I’d have never noticed.  There were about 20 people in line.  A woman said, after small talk about the lineup, “I thought I’d chosen a day that there wouldn’t be a crowd.”  I replied, “Maybe you did!”

This is the kind of thing I’d normally have an English lesson on, if I were still teaching English.

The true meaning of the end comment was:

  1. You came here before when there wasn’t a crowd, and now you’re back.
  2. There really aren’t many people here today.  This isn’t such a big crowd.
  3. I had no idea what to say, so I said something that makes no sense.  My bad!
  4. There may be not as many people today as on other days; this could be a slow day, comparatively.