Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Pep Talk for Korena

So Kor is in Korea. And she just moved into her apartment. Her program isn't providing a lot of support and she isn't readjusting too well. I call it a sophomore slump. Given her descriptions I imagine her sitting in a run down apartment without furniture. Something is dripping down the walls and staining them. The apartment is dark and empty.

She asked me and my friends for a pep talk. This is what I gave her:

Pep talk: cooking is healthy and will give you good chi or something.  Seriously, boil some water and put some veggies in the water--it takes like two minutes.  And then you've created something.  Something delicious and it shows your independence and fuck those people that said, "you can't do it Kor or my name isn't Nick."  They were wrong.  Those assholes probably walk their kitten on a leash.

And you can do it.  You can cook and be an adult and you can kick the motherfucking shit out of life's challenges.  Korea?  No.  It's Korena and you are tearing up the place with the best cooking that apartment has ever seen.  So what if the fire alarms go off, the cops come and confiscate your hot plate because it caused several housefires in a country you've never heard of, and then you are reduced to microwaving cup noodles in a neighbor's kitchen?  So what.  Those neighbors smell like cat piss and kimchi that's gone bad.

And they can't cook like you can.  Remember--chocolate covered batter balls.  Way better than a tv dinner topped with leftover boiled chicken that the cat piss kimchi neighbors gave you out of pity after you actually burned cup noodles in their microwave.  That and you keep interrupting their sexy time to shove a styrofoam cup full of freeze dried chemicals in a barely functioning microwave for like 3 minutes and make small talk in broken Korean with them.

So what if your college is a bunch of crazy fucktards that don't understand investing in Ikea furniture for less than 12 months of life in a foreign land is possibly a bad investment?  Those assholes don't know about Korean craigslist.  And you are a motherfucking pro at Korean craigslist--nicknamed Koraigslist.  On Koraigslist there are weird pieces of furniture, most of them repurposed anime sex toys from Japan with poorly translated English directions.  But you know a good deal when you see it and when a fully functional microwave that smells like burnt cup noodles appears on Koraigslist you jump on the opportunity.  Tired and nutritionally deprived, you email with the seller and set up a meeting place.

When both of you arrive at the underground club with the techno and flashing lights neither of you are quite sure why that seemed like a good place to make a transaction for a gently used microwave.  But there you are, and there are a bunch of horny young koreans who keep trying to dance with you but you keep saying no, I'm waiting for a microwave.  They don't care, their favorite Kpop song is on and they see someone across the dance floor that isn't twice their height.  Goddamn American nutrition you think to yourself as you nearly punt a Korean clear across the dance floor.

But then you see it, a microwave, held high above the dance floor while the seller tries to navigate to the bar.  And you realize that the seller is actually the cat piss kimchi neighbor.  And she's still wearing her pink robe and hair curlers.  Does she ever take those goddamn things out?  Whatever, fuck it.  It's a microwave and you won't ever have to say hi to that crazy bitch again.

Except you will because out of sheer coincidence she turns out to be the receptionist at your school and she makes paper work a major headache for the rest of the year.  Why the hell does the paper work need to be filled out four fucking times?  Because SoKo is a democracy; they can afford paper unlike the North and they flaunt it.

Three months later, you are sitting in the apartment alone, eating cold leftover noodles over the sink and you realize that you have come so very far.  Before, you just boiled the noodles and dumped the powder in.  Now you have chopped up veggies and an egg in the mix.  Oh and a little sesame oil.  Mmmm...motherfucking sesame oil!

So what if you still have a blow-up mattress and all your clothes are in a pile in the corner?  You are living the life and you are going to kick ass because Korea is just a stepping stone to greater things.  Now if only you could remember which pile of clothes was the dirty one--you suspect that you chose the wrong pile today because your butt itches something fierce and homeless people keep offering you change.

Anyways, you should cook.  It's good for you.