It's a HardWorld, HardWorlders. And things get more HardWorld when Korea is lacking their blessed Napa Cabbage so they can make their kimchi. Yes, it was kind of a Hard year for kimchi eaters everywhere....in Korea at least. Some failed crops meant the cabbage was more expensive than usual, and, in my high school, that meant less of the cabbage kimchi and more of the radish kimchi, which I am not much of a fan of. Kimchi, of course, is any kind of fermented vegetable. Not just cabbage. But you wouldn't know this from the school lunches which daily only featured radish kimchi as their kimchi side dish. No cucumber? No, my personal favorite, mustard leaf kimchi? It was a sad state of affairs in our lunch cafeterias, to say the least.
UNTIL one day - a snow day at that - as I was walking down the hallway after I had just finished my lesson. I smelled something. It smelled delicious. "Aromatic" even. Where is this heavenly aroma coming from? Well, god damn! As I passed the "cooking" room I peaked in to see my principal and about 20 married women making CABBAGE mother fuckin' KIMCHI! Damn, this is some Gimjang going on.
Gimjang is this time of the year when people make kimchi. Families get together for it, and apparently they do it at the school as well. Lucky for me, I had my camera that day, and I found a student to take pictures of my ass making kimchi. So, here they are! And hopefully I will be seeing tons more cabbage kimchi in the lunch line for at least a couple of weeks. A pat on the back would be nice. A handshake the next time I meet you would be great too. These are hands that touched a head of fermented cabbage and place spicy gochujang paste infused with other vegetable pieces or whatever onto each leaf of that head of cabbage. I did it. And you didn't. I'm sorry...for you.