Colourful panoramas, bad for your health

A teacher’s outing, hiking up a mountain no less. It was a breath-taking vista for sure, and not because the sun was going down. Usually a man of smiles and understanding, the vice-principal commenting on the photo I just took; “it’s not because of the rain”. He then pointed to his face mask. Yellow dust. Initially it took me as being rather cynical and inwardly funny, but he was right. The dust, made of silicon (and other goodies such as heavy metals), when breathed into your lungs, doesn’t breakdown. This wasn’t the only immediate peril facing me that night. So-ju, seafood on many levels of cooked and uncooked. Followed by the coach ride back, the teachers decided to make use of the karaoke that came part of the bus P.A system. I sang my two songs, and then plugged my ears with tissue paper. You gotta die of something.

Billy the kid and the bowl of fire

All of the teachers from my middle school had gone to a students home/ restaurant to have dinner, as a way of thanks from the parents.

Served straight from the pressure cooker, goats meat, with a side dish of goats skin. Poor kiddie. But it was delicious. The ‘dipping sauce’ for the goats meat was a mixture of Go chu jang and twen jang, or fermented bean sauce. Certainly every cook has their own preferences and I have to say that every dish that wasn’t peppered with red pepper, was salted to an inch of its preserved fibre.

Easily fixed with a drink though. They had a selection of beer or so-ju. I chose the so-ju; you just can’t go wrong with it. One glass later the soup course come around and is sat on a portable gas burner to heat. Given a ladles worth in a stainless steel bowl, I sampled it. I was surprised it didn’t melt the spoon as it melted and killed off most of the taste buds on my tongue. This was a bowl full of pepper spice, not as a seasoning, but as a major ingredient in the recipe. Maybe if you’re making nitroglycerine. If I drank the entire bowl, I was have had an asthma attack and have anaphylaxtic shock at the same time. This stuff was explosive.

Finally they they trotted out some bottles of home-made berry wine. I’ve got a bottle of this stuff at home, and this tastes nice. Don’t get me wrong, this stuff here also tasted nice, but had been fermenting for way too long. It was like some berry-brandy-wine rather than wine it was supposed to be.

It just occurred to me that everything that I ate was amped up, and out, to the maximum possible extent. Almost everyone at the table I was sitting was either red in the face or was feeling hot. One teacher even fanned himself; the food was that spicy.

Talk about a gastronomic olympics. My collegues were *well seasoned eaters*, but this meal certainly had them going.