Hot little Potatoes!

Wednesday, 15 December 2004
Hi guys,
Sorry its been a while since my last email.
I’ve been busy at work, and came down with yet another rotten cold over the weekend – I must be breaking records!!
Anyway, other than that have a lovely little story to tell you. I was walking back from work last night, and it’s now freezing at night, so I popped into the little shop on the corner for some milk. The lady in there is just so adorable – she’s always smiling at me and trying to give little extras like a bunch of grapes here or a lollipop there. She was laughing and pointing at my nose, which when I looked in the mirror behind the counter was bright red from the cold and the fact that I’m sick! She gave me my change, and then pointed at her electric heater and mimed something. I stood over it to warm up, but she just laughed again, picked up these lumps of mud from the top of the heater, wrapped them in newspaper and handed them to me. They were so warm and toasty!!! They kept my hands beautifully warm the rest of the way home, and it wasn’t until I had taken off my coat and settled down that I looked at them closely and realised they were actually sweet potatoes!! She must have been slow-cooking them on top of her electric heater! I cracked one open, and there it is, perfectly cooked like a little baked potato, and I’ve got myself a lovely hot tea.
Isn’t that sweet?
What else is new…… well, the teachers in their own misguided fashion are all trying to help me get well by offering handy advice, one says drink mango juice, the next says, no, green tea is best, no, orange juice, no citron tea, no water blah blah blah. They all seem to believe that kimchi will not only make me well, but that partially rotten pickled cabbage will also cure cancer and remove arthritis or some such nonsense.
They also keep continually asking me ‘Have I been to the hospital yet?’ to which I reply over and over again, ‘I don’t know where it is’, ‘I don’t speak Korean’, and ‘No,because I’m not dying’. The seem to believe that the best cure for the common cold is five types of drugs and straight back to work – almost the exact opposite of the British method which is plenty of fluids and stay in bed to rest! (I prefer our version, but unfortunately I’ve been sick three times in two months, and only have 3 sick days for the whole year, so I can’t afford to waste them on a nasty cold!!!).
Have also discovered a handy new trick tho – was feeling all crappy and ill today, and when I came home I really felt like some hot food that wasn’t fried or boiled, (for those of you not in the loop. I only have a 2-ring hob, no oven) so I decided to try and order a pizza. I wrote down everything I could think of (address, phone number in korean etc) and thought I’d give it a go (FYI – the korean for pineapple is ‘pine-apul’!!). It turns out that they have some kind of caller ID so when whoever was here before me ordered a pizza, they had my phone number and address all stored. All I had to do was say ‘pine-apul hago pepperoni’ and she just said ok and hung up!!
So, instant pizza – I’m so happy to have discovered that ordering a pizza is no longer a scary ordeal!!!!
I even have enough left over for breakfast, which is great cos if there’s one thing I love more than pizza, it’s cold pizza for breakfast (don’t ask me why – its just so good!).
Anyway, better go make some hot lemon before they start banging down my door to force-feed me kimchi.
later dudes
love sweet-potato-Maya

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