From the BK to the SK
Yes, you read that right.
In my extra calss, as part of Two Truths and a Lie, one student wrote down:
I have eaten snake meat/
I have eaten dog meat.
I have eaten cow meat.

The lie was that the student had eaten snake meat. I knew they ate dog in parts of Asia. I mean, there were times in China when I just shut my eyes and held my nose and just ate what was put in front of me.  I know - this is coming from the girl who drank snake's blood.
"So you've eaten dog?"
He looked at me and said, "Yes, teacher." I turned to my other students. "You eat dog, too?"
They all shook their heads enthusiastically. "Teacher, it is delicious. Very delicious," one of my girl students said to me.
According to what my students told me, there are dogs that are raised to be pets and there are dogs that are raised for eating. For. eating.
"It is very delicious, teacher. It tastes like pork or beef. I did not know first time. Then my grandparents tell me: You eat dog."
We decided that for the next class, a good discussion would be to have a debate about eating dog. The only problem was that out of six students, only one student willingly wanted to be on the team that was against eating dog. (He's tried it, but didn't like it.)
"Teacher, do they eat dog in America?" I laughed.  I picture my Mowgli, her precious face and long limbs that make her look part human, part fawn. I couldn't look at her the same again if I ever willingly and knowingly tried dog meat. I feel like she'd sense it right away, she'd know that I betrayed her, and the sadness would settle deep in her big, hazel eyes.
 "No. In America, if you eat dog, maybe you'd get arrested," I said, and they laughed. They asked me what kinds of things we do eat in America, like what we take for breakfast and lunch and dinner. Their eyes grew wide with hunger and they "mmm" at every food I mentioned: from waffles to pizza to bagels to pasta, chicken to steak and even cereal - they were hanging on their edge of their seats, licking their lips and dying to know what New York pizza tastes like. They were dying to know where they should go if they want to eat some good American food.
Obviously, without any hesitation, I said you couldn't get better food anywhere in the U.S. than at home.
"Teacher, no rice? In America?"
I laughed. The fact that rice was missing from my American menu took them by surprise. It's like all they know.
"In Korea, you take rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner, yes?"
They all smile, let out a laugh. They know I am about to be the bearer of bad news.
"Not in America. I eat rice....well, never (their faces express some shock). If I do have rice, I never have plain rice. Like my brother, he loves Chinese food and white rice, but he'd never eat it plain. Americans don't really like plain."
They look confused. "Plain, what is plain?"
I told them about how plain has no taste, lacks flavor, and, well, just doesn't do it. Plain means no soy sauce, and it clicked. "Ohhhhh! You take nothing on the rice."
It's funny how earth shattering (in my opinion) of a diet change moving to the U.S. would be for them, not taking rice with every meal. For me the earth shattering change isn't so much the staple of a diet (thought I do miss my italian food) but the food's origin, i.e. when I ate pig intestine. There isn't anything at home - like a set, staple American food - that we eat in abundant amounts with every meal like the way Koreans and Asian eat rice. I just wonder what would go through their mind, going to an American diner for breakfast or restaurant for dinner. Would their minds be racing the same way mine does every time I walk into the "school restaurant", silently praying that there isn't an entire octopus in my soup or rice cakes that I'm convinced are moth balls that fell from the ceiling and into my bowl? (Rice cakes, p.s., tend to feel like eating glue. I am pretty sure one has been lodged in my throat for four days now.)
It's very interesting to me that what is so normal to my students is something I find to be so crazy and vice versa. I don't intend of eating dog anytime soon, even though my students did their best to persuade me to try it.

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