We optimistically thought we would get away on Labor Day weekend, even up until Friday night when I went to pick up Sly from the Airport after returning from a short trip back to the states. We were somehow convinced a little trip was a possibility. I suppose it was. We could have jumped in the car and driven somewhere, or, done what we seem to be doing a lot of lately and booked a last minute flight.
Living overseas makes us feel like if we don’t do *something* every single weekend or holiday then we are wasting our time. What we really needed was a vacation from vacation.
This Labor Day, as if on cue, the weather was chilly and skies were gray and overcast. We closed our windows for the first time in a long time and pulled on sweat pants. Sly finally had time to repair our ancient tv with a part he purchased months ago and I streamed the first football game of the season — the Texas – Notre Dame game (ND manhandled Texas) — on the worst, most delayed stream ever. I texted my sister and old childhood friend throughout the game as we normally do during every Longhorn football game. The first game of the college football season always marks the changing of seasons for me and even though I was thousands of miles away, watching a crappy delayed stream at 9am in the morning, it still felt the tiniest bit like being home.
Sly made pizzas from scratch — dough and sauce. We made a goat cheese and veggie pizza and a veggie and anchovy pizza. Homemade pizza is definitely the way to go in Korea.
During the game Sly asked me which team my dad — an ND alum — would have rooted for. My sister and I think he would have cheered on the Longhorns, despite their very poor showing. Sigh. Hook ’em.
Max has always loved watching us cook, and especially loves peering into the oven. Many times we will catch him sitting solo by the oven door watching the food cook. Somehow Max understands that the things he likes to eat — pizza, wings, cookies — come out of that hot rectangular box. (Note: we don’t feed Max pizza, wings, and cookies, but he has stolen a bite a few times when we weren’t looking.)
Sometimes when Sly is checking on the oven Max will jump on Sly’s back to catch a better glimpse. When oven timer goes off he rushes to the oven and meows to let us know the food is ready.
Max also has a strong attachment to Sly these days. Not that he wasn’t attached before, but it’s especially evident now. I think it has to do with Sly being away a lot of the time. When Sly is home, Max is glued to him.
Sly bakes the wings instead of frying them. They aren’t as crispy as pub style hot wings but somehow Sly always manages to get them nice and crunchy. Notice our tiny oven. It juuuuuust barely accomodates our ceramic baking tray. It also only has one rack. I’m just glad we have an oven — many Korean kitchens do not.
We usually save our meat eating for the weekends. While I’m more of the day to day planner/cook, Sly is the weekend chef. On the weekends he asks me what I feel like eating and 9/10 out of 10 I want to eat a hamburger. Since it was the beginning of football season, I requested hot wings. Wings and football — takes me back to being in college and eating Pluckers chicken while watching the game. Football season always makes me so nostalgic for Austin, or maybe college life in general?
We had a hard time finding blue cheese dressing, or rather, blue cheese dressing without a ton of unpronounceable crap in it, so Sly ended up making the dressing from scratch. Simple but so much better tasting. We have been eating the left over dressing on salads all week.
In addition to gorging on food all weekend we watched a few dumb movies and cuddled with our kitties. It was nice to have everyone home, together, doing the same normal things we would have done regardless of location.
Fall is my favorite time of year and I hear it’s beautiful in Korea. As much as I’m looking forward to it I can’t deny that I’m a little sad I’ll be missing out on all the fall festivals, football, and American holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. I know we’ll probably celebrate in our own way out here but I know it won’t be quite the same. I’m okay with that though. Different is good. Different is why we moved overseas. Different means new experiences, new adventures, and maybe even new traditions. Ten years from now — wherever we are — I’ll probably still be eating hot wings but instead I’ll be reminiscing about fall in Korea.