This morning, I grumbled and groaned as I tore myself from my bed after having indulged in an hour and a half of a sleep-in. I headed to the bathroom, turned on the shower and looked at myself in the mirror for a few seconds. As you do. ‘How miserable you look,’ I said to myself. I looked so down and lacking in energy. I never have been a morning person, and envy those who can just jump out of bed and leap into the day like bambi on drugs.

But this morning, while the water in my shower heated up, I thought to myself how I really should try and start my days off in more of a positive fashion. Why not start saying a positive mantra about how great my day will be!  ‘It’s going to be a good day,’ I muttered to myself, reflecting on the likelihood of me actually making this a habit every morning.

I hopped in the shower, washed my hair, and clunk! The water stopped.

Actually, no. That didn’t happen. My attempt at comedy. No, the water continued, and I just had a normal shower.

On my commute to work, I have finally found myself a little more engrossed in Madame Bovary which I found so awfully hard to get into originally. She has just received the letter in which her lover calls the whole thing off and has thrown herself into religion to cope with the pain. It only took half a book for me to realise what was happening.

When I arrived at work, I checked my class schedule and then saw my teacher rating for the previous week. I felt like all of my classes went pretty well last week. I gave out some really good comments to my students and only had one class in which I felt like an inexperienced clown balancing on a ball. It was a business English class which was focusing on presentation skills. I had barely twenty minutes to read and decode the lesson plan before I had to teach it, and unfortunately I am no expert when it comes to making presentations. I wasn’t even aware that there were six specific presentation styles – neither was the internet to be honest!

Anyhow, my score had dropped by three points! After thinking I had been doing so well the previous week, with a score that was soaring way above the average, my heart just sunk when I saw the new figures. I am so proud of my work and do my very best with the experience and knowledge that I have – albeit dealing with utterly cryptic lesson plans.

So, my mantra didn’t work and my day was tarnished. Thank heavens that the big pot of congee that I made myself when I came home was absofuckinglutely delicious.

Slightly Korean Congee

2 cups rice
1/2 cup eggplant, thinly sliced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 or 2 rehydrated cloud-ear mushrooms (雲耳)
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp korean gochujang chilli paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

Throw all ingredients into a rice cooker with plenty of water. Switch rice cooker on. Cook and stir so it doesn’t stick on the bottom. Then add more water, and more water, and cook and cook until it is a big, delicious bowl of mushy, soupy rice!

I might add a picture later on.




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