Chopsticks, Korean style [EXPERIMENT] – Day 3

It’s been two weeks since the Day 2 update on trying Korean chopsticks, but I’m calling this Day 3 because the experiment has been on hold.

See, I tried to find some Korean chopsticks, but that’s harder than I anticipated. The local Asian markets seem to only carry wooden chopsticks. Eventually, a Korean friend of mine was kind enough to let me borrow a pair.

For those trying to follow along, I’d definitely suggest asking your Korean friends if they can lend you some. And if you’re following along and you’ve never tried the Korean style, stainless steel chopsticks, you need to give it a try.

You’re working with three differences:

  1. Shorter chopsticks.
  2. Heavier chopsticks.
  3. Flatter chopsticks.

For some, that might not mess you up too much. But I felt lost. The weight was different, but the flatness is what got me. I’m a beginner again.

If you enlarged the chopsticks to the size of a 2×4 board, the two-inch sides would be the sides that meet at the tips, not the four-inch sides, if that helps give you a visual of what’s going on. Problem is, you’re not working with a 2×4. It’s closer to one millimeter by two millimeters at the tips, and one by four at the other ends.

[Update: No duh, why don’t I just link to a picture. Mine are like the ones fifth from the top.]

Yeah, so I’m like, This is not going to happen.

But I’m having at it anyway. I grabbed a bite at Taco Bell after church and then ended up eating burgers at a friend’s house this evening. So I haven’t had a chance to actually eat anything with them yet. That’s for tomorrow, Day 4.

For now, I’m struggling enough with air and pieces of crumpled paper and erasers. The nice thing, though, is that the chopsticks are small enough to carry with me. I can practice wherever I go.

We’ll see if I’m ready for a demonstration by next Sunday, when I’ll see my friendly neighborhood chopstick donor again. He’s been great about talking me through some of the culture in Korea.

Oh, and I’ll leave you with this fun fact he told me today…

Someone heard that the disposable, wooden chopsticks many people use, including Koreans on the go, are mass produced in China. The problem with that is the wood gets chemically treated during the production process, and those chemicals can’t be good to stick in your mouth and all. Or so they thought.

To test this, they dropped a pair of these wooden chopsticks into a fishbowl. Supposedly within a few hours, the fish were floating on top. Not cool. I’m guessing we’re less sensitive than fish to some of these chemicals. But still, I’m looking forward to nailing the Korean style.