On working and living in Korea

Of course, I am going to talk about food. What else is there besides a well-deserved rest and the company of a loved one? Without food, without a warm meal or a tasty drink to wash down said meal, a community has no hope to thrive. With that being said, food is, quite literally, the fuel not only to the body but family and friends as well.

And why am I yammering about food, you may ask? Well, let me quench your query: did you know in the U.S.A the consumption and sale of haggis, a traditional Scottish pudding prepared from sheep’s offal (the bits of the animal some smack their lips over but most don’t, like the animal’s heart, liver, and brains), mixed with spices and oatmeal, and then encased in a sheep’s stomach to be presented on a silver platter, still hot and steaming, ready to burst out its savory goodness when the knife slices in, is prohibited?

Can you guess why the folks at the U.S. Department of Agriculture deemed it unfit for human consumption? No, not because it’s hot and you might burn your fingers. Yes, you at the back with your hand in the air. Yes! Good guess, lad. Gold star on your forehead. Did everyone hear that? No? Okay, I’ll repeat the good student’s answer: Lung. Yes, you heard right. The consumption of lung, whether from sheep, cattle, raccoon, or toad, is prohibited in the U.S. Does it make sense?

But why did I bring this little factoid up for discussion? The answer is shorter than the spiel above, so if I can have a couple of seconds longer of your time that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Now, in the English language, there’s a saying attributed to the famous American writer Ernest Hemingway that goes a little something like this: Travel broadens your mind and widens your… well, the part that you sit on. The last bit is paraphrased, I’m sorry to say, but the idea is held. Going from place to place makes you see things you won’t find at home, but the going part takes time, and if you’re not walking, then, my friend, you are going to sit, and sitting is the widener of the posterior.

Working in Korea has taught me two very important things in life and I think I should impart this to you, reader. Number one is working with people from across the globe provides you with the opportunity to not only experience another’s perspective in life from all the corners of the earth, but, and this is number 2, working with strangers from strange parts of the planet also leaves you with the knowledge that haggis, because of sheep’s lung, is banned in a country for reasons most didn’t even knew existed or nor cared to know in the first place.

Author: Theo Volschenk

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