I teach a group of women on Wednesday nights. One of the class members recently moved to a new apartment so last night we held our class there as sort of a housewarming party.
I entered the apartment to a chorus of welcomes and a strange whacking noise.
I peered around the refrigerator to find one of my students whacking away at a live octopus.
"Come here. Come look", she beckoned me. Another octopus sat in a Styrofoam cooler filled with water. She picked it up, straightened it's tentacles and studied my face as I watched the tentacles dance.
The table was set with fried chicken, bread, shrimp, salad, Korean "cookies" and octopus three ways. We could choose from boiled octopus head, boiled tentacles or raw, still squirming bits and bobs of octopus. Having had my fill of octopus many years ago, during my first trip to Korea, I focused this time on the chicken, shrimp and salad. Both were delicious.
However, everyone was extremely worried about me going hungry since I was not partaking in the octopus. After I explained my issue with the texture, one of my students said , "That's okay. Just pretend it's gum that is very good for your health. Chew it and just think 'good for my health, good for my health'" .
Most of Korea doesn't have central air so home owners and renters but these huge standing air units. Our hosts came in a bright purple and occupied the corner opposite the big screen TV.
Overall we had a good night and laughed a lot during our study (as usual).