March 26, 2017

Korean BBQ

The food culture in America, especially in larger cities like Philadelphia is so great. It is comprised of a blend of cuisines from all around the world. I used to be the person who stuck to what I knew. Wherever we went, I would order a chicken dish... like, I was THAT plain. Even though I am a Jamaican and we eat pretty peculiar dishes like pigstail, tripe and beef liver and kidney I would eat those things, but stay clear from everything else that was unfamiliar. Calamari?- no way! sushi?- definitely not! I think it was after I began dating Beau that I became a little more adventurous. So much so that I now crave sushi, and I am willing to try things like escargot when we go on super fancy dinner dates. 

I have tried many regional cuisines since we started dating, but one cuisine I have yet to try was Korean- specifically Korean barbecue.  After viewing a few Youtube videos with Korean foodfare (eg. clothesencounters), I decided I really wanted to try it. Hubs found us a deal to Miga in the Fairmount Park section of Philadelphia. We went on a Sunday evening and I was pretty excited to go. The menu was a little daunting because they did not have normal meats like beef or pork, they were listed as bulgogi and galbi -- and what actually is that?! We decided on the Korean bbq for two and had our ingredients mis en place in no time. 

We started out a little dainty, placing one or two meats and a few vegetables at a time. The waiter then came over and seized our utensils-- tongs and a pair of meat cutting scissors-- and threw a couple more things on the fire, chopped up the large pieces of beef into smaller ones and started brushing the sauces on. ------------I guess we weren't doing it right!! 😂--------------------- After that , we got a little more comfortable with how everything worked and made sure that guy did not have to come back again. We ate and were strangely satisfied, even though it didn't seem like a lot of food at the time.

Overall, it was a good experience. I can finally say that I tried Korean barbecue! But will I ever go back there again? Probably not to this specific locatio-- for two reasons only: (1) the portions of the sides seemed so meager. I'm talking like, ONE piece of bell pepper and a very sad 5 stalks of broccoli; and (2) I felt like it was missing something. Maybe the company of others friends/family, or maybe additional sides (like you see in googled images of Korean bbq). Whatever it was, I do believe our experience could have been a little better. I will probably eat these words in a couple years if  someone mentions going out for Korean barbecue and I end up going, but for now, it's up there with Hibachi, where the first time experience is fun and exciting, but it's not something you would want to do on a monthly basis. Maybe once a year or every six months so the experience and excitement is fresh again.

Have you ever dined at a Korean BBQ?

February 26, 2017

What We've Been Through

To the people who say "Thank God I don't look like what I've been through", who are you?? How was that even possible?? Every bit of what I've gone through is stamped ALL over my face. Every nook. every crevice... the depths of my eyes reveal it all. 

... But everyone is too caught up in their own worlds to see it. 

February 12, 2017

Life Is Not Always A Straight Path

"Life is not always a straight path..."

These wise words were spoken by the man--  the brilliant scientist--  who gave me my start in the science field almost 6 years ago. I paid him a visit during my lunch break to have an open conversation about my frustrations in trying to start my career and to seek advice from someone who has been in the field for over 50 years. I told him how I finished school the year after my summer internship there. How I applied to over 860 jobs during that time period, and only ended up with a job as a bank teller. How I don't even know what I want to pursue anymore because everything that I've gone after thus far has been one big disappointment; and how I was grateful to be back in the hospital where I started, but it was still not where I wanted to be. He listened quietly and after I had said all that was on my heart, he spoke softly and said "Life is not always a straight path, but you will get to your destination at the right time."

Those words have stuck with me since, and has sort of become my mantra. I now see life- especially in regards to goals and dreams- as a really long journey. One will lots of rest stops, flat tires, and detours. We are not just born and then zip-lined through all the major milestones  and goals to our death. No! We have to fall and scrape our knees before we learn to walk, and we have to have our hearts broken by silly boys in high school, before we meet the loving husband of our forever. We have to go through the disappointments and rejections to grow thick skin. And we have to start from the bottom to be able to survive at the top.

Tomorrow, I begin a new position in Clinical Research. This comes only 10 months after I left the bank and started working as a data coordinator. I am incredibly grateful to be one step closer to my career goals. Which, to be honest, I don't even know what that looks like anymore, but I know that this is a step in the right direction, and just one of the many curves that life has thrown me into.

As I enter into this new chapter of life, I can't help but look at where I have come from. As a bank teller, I learned to speak up, get over my severe social anxiety, handle various personalities, and become well versed in finance- something I was never interested in before. As data coordinator, I was able to take my communication skills up several notches. Working with a multidisciplinary team of doctors, lab technicians, secretaries, and sales reps would have worn this introvert out if I did not have the experience of working at an extremely busy branch and dealing with strong-willed, loud mouth customers. Not only was I able to interact with different personalities in that new role, but I was able to communicate information effectively and properly manage the work-flow of a lab that was becoming increasingly busy.

I'm not sure why advancing from the bank took 2.5 yrs and advancing from data coordinator only took 10 months, but I am more than certain that the lessons learned are absolutely necessary for where life will take me.

Here's to another stepping stone. Another meaningful curve to life's path.
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