Spicy Food, Gaudy Jewelry, and Bold Colors: Why I've Officially Become My Mother

Part of today's lunch. The center dish is called 노가리. It's a kind of whole dried fish seasoned with a spicy sauce. I love it. The fish still has all the bones inside so it's full of calcium. Sadly, the main dish isn't in the picture. The main dish today was 매운 추어탕, a stew made from ground-up whole fish (by "whole" I mean "whole"--bones and all) and hot pepper paste. This particular restaurant cooks it with tons of garlic. We are talking about huge whole cloves of garlic boiled inside the spicy broth. Heaven! If my mother were here, she'd be sure to douse everything with Tabasco. I'm thinking of putting a bottle of it in my purse and carring it with me.

This is me. Ten years ago, my wardrobe was a uniform black, black, and black, with a few wild shades of gray. Now, my wardroble looks like the aftermath of an explosion at a crayola factory. You name the color, I've got it somewhere in that mass of clothes. In fact, I'm probably wearing it right now. My mother, who thought blood red was a neutral color, would have been proud.

This is my new ring. Please ask me how much it cost. :-) Decorum dictates that I shouldn't disclose the cost of my frivolous purchases, but if you ask--hey--I won't lie to you. If my mother were still alive, I'd buy her a matching one. I used to be horrified by the SIZE of the jewelry my mother used to hoist on her body. Now, I think she was well within the boundaries of tastefulness. My ring is so big, I could use it as a chair if I happen to go camping and lack a chair.

As I left the restaurant, I saw these women making kimchi. This is a common sight in Korea. Just looking at all those stacks of radishes makes my mouth water.
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  1. Please don't keep me in suspense - how much did the ring cost?! It is terribly gaudy, but I can't help liking it anyway.

  2. hehehe, It cost 390,000W. This purchase is proof that I am really becoming Koreanized. When I first came here, I used to wonder why in the world Koreans paid a fortune to buy ridiculous looking stuff :-) Now I'm one of them and I'm enjoying it. My apartment is too small anyway, so I have to buy small things, I guess.

  3. Stephanie GrassiaMarch 07, 2009 11:38 AM

    I love this post. It gives me fond memories of your Mom.

    I really love the ring--it is you! But even more I love your quip that you could use it as a camping chair! Ha!!!!

    Also, white a great picture of you.

  4. Your Koreanization is nearly complete. That is an ajumma-worthy purchase. If you wear it with plastic bathroom-sandals, you'll know you've crossed the line.