[Perhaps you found the error, perhaps not. You may have wearied of reading the previous post before getting to it. Anyway, here is the follow-up.]
Sorry, we are planning to stay for only 6 short WEEKS, not 6 months. Never fear, the next time we come home after this it will likely be for at least a couple of years. My mental slip explains why I had so many questions about what we were planning to do with so much time in the states. Huh? So much time? What do you mean how did we get time off? It's winter vacation! Now I understand that sometimes when the people around me act like morons it is a direct result of my being a moron.
We had a wonderful dinner with the in-laws tonight. We grilled beef in the middle of the table while we sat around on the floor (the table is only about a foot tall) stuffing ourselves. There were also a big bunch of shrimp and mushrooms cooked in there, too. As usual, I ate more than I should have. Food like this is difficult to resist.
afterwards, my father-in-law offered me a special drink, from Russia with love: It was a bottle of vodka with something black floating in it. It was about six inches long and as big around as my thumb, and bits of it had flaked off and were floating around in the vodka. Horyon told me that it came from near the river, and it was very bitter. I was trying to think of what plants grow near rivers, a pretty tricky concept for a guy who knows nothing of plants. Then she said it was from bears. Bears? River?
Oh no. Please, God, no. Not river. Liver. From near a bear's liver. Frankly, I can't think of
anything near a bear's liver that I want to stir my vodka with.
I told Horyon that I really didn't consider this to be a treat, and wasn't all that interested in stamina, if you know what I mean. She insisted that this was very expensive stuff, and good for my health, so I gave in. Mr. Kang poured me about a quarter inch of it into a cup, then went to get some water. I sniffed it, then took a sip. That is when I discovered what bitter really is. It isn't about working your butt off and getting a C+ while the class kiss-up gets an A. It isn't about your best friend stealing your girlfriend. It's about this obnoxious bear-gut cocktail.
I couldn't conceal my reaction to this anymore than the reaction to a swift kick in the crotch. Foul, foul stuff. Eye of newt and all that. Nasty.
After the laughter subsided (what are family for?), Mr. Kang topped my glass with water. I sipped it, and could still taste the stuff, but after an undiluted dosage it was pretty tame. I even got Horyon to wet her tongue with it. I then decided that this was too important to pour down the sink, and that it would be too shameful to not drink it, so I chugged it.
I rinsed my mouth with watered down whiskey from my pre-dinner drink. I was glad I had barely touched it, because it tasted remarkably refreshing after the bear juice.
After we got home, I made Horyon look it up in the Korean-English dictionary. I had guessed right, it was a bear's gall bladder. Yes, I drank bear's gall bladder vodka, a much sought after drink in Korea, where people pay obscene amounts of money to eat and drink things that will make them perform well in the bedroom.
And that concludes today's vignette. I hope that you managed to read this after a meal, and not before.
I used to think that my brain was the most important part of my body,
until I realized what part of me thought that.
-unknown (to me, anyway, but I got it from Jon, who got it from some
anthro prof's door)