Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Cafeteria

As the English Village was built to help school-age kids immerse themselves in an English experience, it makes a lot of sense for the campus to have a cafeteria. 

Included in the students' tuition are three meals a day in the cafeteria. As another option, the food places on the faux Main Street are also open at meal times. 

The cafeteria has two levels. The ground floor is for students. When lunchtime hits, the line goes out the door and down the ramps leading up to the entrance. Teachers eat upstairs. As part of our salary, we are allotted funds to eat at the cafeteria once a workday. We still pay at the entrance, but are reimbursed. So, for 3,000 won, roughly $3, we get an all-you-can-eat meal. 

After paying, I pick up my compartment tray and head to the serving buffets. The line starts at the huge pot of rice, a staple of Korean food. After the rice is a huge pan of kimchi, a traditional Korean dish made from cabbage. I usually take a little of this, but not much, as it is very spicy, and I'm not big on spicy. The rest of the food varies from day to day. Some days, there's not much there that I want to eat.

One of the dishes I particularly enjoyed was the lotus root. I'm not sure what sauce they made it with, but it was very tasty. And, according to the Korean teachers, it is very healthy. One day last week, the cafeteria served hamburger patties and French fries, tater tots and fried potato slices. It was bliss after several days of strange cuisine.

Also served are two kinds of soups. One is usually made with a clear broth. Sometimes hot, sometimes cold. The other soup is usually a cream soup, and that's what I normally go for.

Yesterday, I looked in the display case to see what was being served. The main course was fish.  I'm not a fish person, so that was a bummer. I looked at the other offerings, but couldn't see anything that looked particularly tasty, so I decided to bail. I walked up Main Street to the pizza place and had a slice of combo pizza and a serving of spaghetti, with a glass of Coke. This meal only cost me 4,000 won. I was a little surprised how cheap it was, then remembered that teachers get special prices at the food places in the Village. Very handy.

I'll still eat at the cafeteria more often than not, but it's nice to know that I have other options, should I need them.


refugee from reason said...

"As the English Village was built to help school-age kids immerse themselves in an English experience, it makes a lot of sense for the campus to have a cafeteria." I didn't realize what you were doing. What seems like 100 years ago, I was on the opposite end: I dropped out of school when I was 18, went to Israel and worked on a kibbutz. There I attended an ulpan (school), where I was immersed in Hebrew. While I can still speak it today, I remain fluent in French which is more useful. Sounds like you're having just a great time -- I'm not a "fish person" either, but in different nations, I'll give the native preparation a try. Keep having fun on your adventure.

Anonymous said...

I love fish, If you want me to come over and sample it for you I will, oh sorry I forgot how far it is and I can't walk there. Keep sharing all the news I enjoy reading what you and your new bride are doing and how the children react and such. I love you bro keep us posted. Lees

Natasha said...

So glad to be able to have your perspective along with Chelsea's. It gives me a more complete picture of your lives there. Thanks for sharing and keep us posted.