Kimchi is the stuff of nightmares. A bold statement indeed, but I hate the stuff. Until now I’ve tried to keep it on the down low for fear that the adjummas and adjusshis will bully me relentlessly and force feed me Kimchi to make me “more Korean”.
For anyone who is fortunate enough not to know what it is Kimchi is the national dish of Korea. Same as potatoes to us Irish but they love it on a whole other scale. It’s a fermented vegetable dish and its disgusting. It’s served hot or cold and comes in all kinds of variations, soups, stews, on its own, in chicken, the list goes on and on.
It’s dreadful and to make my case worse it seems to follow me around. It’s everywhere. School, the bus, kimbap Nara, galbi restaurant, in clothes stores, there’s no escaping. One of my students got sick on the desk the other day and I’m fairly sure I saw Kimchi in there. Everyone here eats it. It doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are, you eat Kimchi. In fact I don’t know one Korean who doesn’t like Kimchi. They like it so much that instead of saying cheese when taking photos, they say Kimchi. Surely it’s a sign. AAAAAHHHHHHH the very thought of it right now makes me want to get sick.
I hate it for three reasons;
1. It’s smelly. The stuff is sooooooooooooooooo smelly that Koreans need special fridges dedicated to Kimchi. Good news for the genius who’s rolling in the dough, bad news for those of us who hate Kimchi. Koreans now have more space to put more Kimchi………………….excellent.
2. It tastes like a really bad fart. Imagine the worst, smelliest fart you’ve ever smelled and now imagine eating it. That’s what Kimchi tastes like.
3. The crunchy sound of it being eaten is too much. Every time I hear someone eating Kimchi, that crunchy, everlasting sound makes me want to jump across the table and choke them.
There’s even a Kimchi museum and my first year here I went with my friend. Honestly, it was the most awful hour I ever spent in a museum. I mean how many different kinds of Kimchi can you possibly need??????? But they have like 300,000,000,000 and that’s a lot of kimchi. It differs from region and ingredients and so on and so forth. Honestly any dish that requires a stint in the ground after you make it is surely not healthy. The best part of the whole experience was when a woman swapped me a chocolate bar for a picture of me. I took pictures there but mostly of my friend and I looking at things. ( Perhaps I’ll start up a Shauna looks at……….blog)
But Koreans LOVE it. My friend went to hospital with a fever last week. The doctor told her to “go home and eat more meat and Kimchi” How to lose weight? Eat more Kimchi (surely a contradiction) How to get clear skin? Eat more Kimchi. Hungry? Eat Kimchi (duh) Want better grades? Eat more Kimchi. It’s the solution to life’s problems. Imagine what Irish people could do if they had Kimchi AND tea. The possibilities would be endless.
Don’t take me wrong there are foreigners out there who can tell the difference in the kimchi and love it the same as Koreans. But I have a feeling I’m not alone in this silent hate for Kimchi…………………….