Johanna, Kyoko, another girl and I decided to go out to eat Korean barbeque. Let me just apologize now for forgetting the other girl’s name. I will call her Emi just to make things easy. So, Johanna, Kyoko, Emi and I decided to go out to eat Korean barbeque. It was also supposed to be a test for me on using the train system. Fortunately, it didn’t really work out that way. Lucky for us, because who knows where I would have led us? It could have been another Costco all over again, and none of us needed that. So we went to a station in an area called Koreatown. We got off the train and walked out into the streets, which were more like little alleys. They were lit up by blue and red lights, and multi-colored lighted signs. It was so cool that I had to stop for a moment and just look. I wished I had brought my camera. We walked through the streets past the many food vendors and their wonderful aromas, making us even hungrier. We got to the restaurant and went in the door and straight downstairs to a small room with only 4 tables. We didn’t notice at first, but we were seated right next to a refrigerator with the various raw meats and fish visible through the glass doors.

This was one of those restaurants where you cook the food yourself, mostly meat. The grill was right there on the table, and they brought us a large tray of meat that Kyoko had ordered. I had a piece of fish that was really quite good. But I must have gotten the only good piece, because the next piece was so chewy that I finally got tired and had to spit it out into a napkin. I also tried a piece of red meat that looked like liver. Now, I had never had liver, and I hadn’t heard very good things about it, but I figured, “What the heck?” It was delicious! And then Kyoko said, “That’s not liver. That’s cow heart.” Not so delicious anymore. Then Emi said she wanted to order her favorite meat. At least that’s what Kyoko said Emi said. Emi doesn’t speak a lot of English. So anyway, the new tray came with a suspicious-looking curly sort of meat on it. Johanna and I guessed that it was sea urchin, because it had these hairy sort of spiny things on one side. Emi’s favorite. I didn’t try any, and thank goodness because we found out it was cow stomach. I did, however try the tongue that Johanna ordered. It was good, but halfway through I got this image in my head of a cow tongue, quickly followed by the thought, “Oh my gosh, I’m chewing on a cow’s tongue.” I had to stop and take a deep breath before finishing it.

Isn’t it funny how we are so influenced by what we think we know? Some would say that we fear the unknown more than we fear the known. But I wonder. Have you ever hesitated because you know the mess or difficult situation you’re about to walk into? Would it have been easier if you didn’t know what to expect? Even if you say you’re better off being prepared, like knowing you’re about to eat cow tongue, one of those pre-conceived notions or ideas can slip in right in the middle of things and throw you off. I guess the only way to get through these things is to square you’re shoulders, pray for God to give you strength, and swallow it whole.

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