Tuesday, January 07, 2020

lunch with the prof

Just had lunch with Professor Park, whom I had met on the trail during my recent big walk (see here and scroll down to the happy biker giving a thumbs-up sign). We met at a local Mr. Pizza restaurant; I told Prof. Park that I'm now on the keto diet, so I asked whether there was a salad bar. He said yes. When I got there, I saw the salad bar was 80% carby items: mostly pasta, croutons, potato salad, sweetened jello, and all sorts of sugary dressings that I'd normally love to slather on my salads, but which I must avoid for as long as I'm on this diet.* I ended up creating a monstrosity of a salad that was composed of lettuce leaves, sliced black olives, little sausage balls (probably also used on the pizzeria's sausage pizza), diced spam, and jalapeño peppers... all topped with a meager splash of balsamic dressing, the only dressing there that looked remotely keto.

This was a getting-to-know-you type of conversation; I'm not sure whether the good professor came away impressed or just bored. We had a couple moments of awkward silence between us, but for the most part, we talked shop regarding our common area of interest, i.e., Korea's extensive and well-thought-out network of bike paths. Professor Park thinks walking is boring, so he prefers the whoosh of biking. I countered that walking lets you see all the details that you negligently blow by when you're biking. He told me a bit about his family; he has three daughters, one of whom currently lives with him, and who was a French major at a prestigious women's university; one of whom lives in New Zealand; and one of whom lives and works for Lufthansa in Germany, where she gets by using English, not German. Professor Park and I managed to spend almost an hour in pleasant conversation; at the end, we exchanged phone numbers (we had been in contact by email) and Kakao Talk IDs, so there's a chance we'll meet up again. But we made no specific plans to do so.

I had wondered whether this might turn into a networking opportunity: at some point, once I've paid off my debt and run through my current contract, I'll probably get back into university teaching, and Professor Park teaches at the Seoul branch of a large Korean university. But today's sit-down didn't have a networking vibe to it. At one point, the professor half-jokingly mused aloud about setting me up on a date with a former work colleague of his. I told him "no, thanks." As for actual, useful networking... who knows? At the very least, I got a free lunch, even if it had been a bit lame.

*I've decided I'll stick to keto until I've zeroed out my debt, so that'll be for several months—possibly until the summer.


Daniel said...

Yours truly would asked for a photo of the former work colleague before saying no. How's keto working out? Remember you mentioning Dr. Jason Fung a while back

John Mac said...

Yeah, I wouldn't have been so quick to reject a "networking" opportunity with a female. You never know what might happen...

Kevin Kim said...


I'm Fung-ing to the extent that I'm fasting three days of the week: no solid food for 24 hours, and just drinking beef broth for lunch, MWF schedule. The other four days of the week (Tu, Th, Sa, Su), I'm keto-ing and doing the intermittent-fasting thing, i.e., I'm eating only lunch, and maybe a snack for dinner as long as I'm still within the eight-hour window for eating (e.g., lunch at 12:30 p.m., snack at 7 p.m.). So far, I haven't gotten overly hungry, although there are annoying periods when I find myself craving this or that—more of a psychological problem than a physical one. I think I'll survive this, mainly because keto allows you to eat foods that have been sweetened with erythritol, which turns out to be an okay sweetener for me.