Monday, October 19, 2009

More Korean Food

Thursday night a few of my friends and I went out for some yummy Korean food. Galbi is a Korean meat dish made from beef short ribs. The ribs are marinated in a sauce made from fruit juice (generally Asian pear juice), rice wine, soy sauce, garlic, sesame seed oil and sugar. Most recipes contain these basic ingredients, although many variations exist, including variations from clear marinades to spicier marinades. This is really good bbq.

Instead of coleslaw and potato salad we have sides like kimchi and a whole bunch of other foods. i haven't learned the names of them yet but most of them pointing and giving a big thumbs up lets the waitress know you want more.
Of course ti would not be complete without ordering some random Korean alcohol in a pretty bottle. I think it tasted like a combo of wine and scotch. Not very good but made me all warm inside.

I've gotten pretty good at using chopsticks. I will say that in my experience Koreans think ti's funny that we try to eat everything with chop sticks. They use spoons for a lot of food like rice. They also use spoons to swirl noodles like one would use with spaghetti.

the way to eat Galbi is to take a piece of lettuce or sesame leaf and put a little bit of sauce ( no idea what is in it but tasty and hot), then add some rice, onions and of course the hot bbq meat that you've cooked right in the center of your table. One of the things that i promised myself before i came to Korean is that I would do my best to try everything. So one thing that Koreans are really good at is not being wasteful. They are awesome recyclers and also believe in not letting any part of the animal go to waste. So i tried a little version of surf and turf. That is a piece of Galbi and a shrimp full on with head, eyes, legs and everything. I even ate the shell. it was a bit crunchy but not bad in taste at all.

After we stuffed ourselves solid we kind of rolled out of there leaving this pile of dishes in our wake. The one bad thing about eating sitting on the floor is that it would be so easy to just slump over and go to sleep. Instead it is a battle of wits between both of your sleeping limbs and your full belly.It can be quite the challenge but oh so worth it. this meal is about $11.00 per person and you get and endless supply of side dishes. We also got a big ol bowl of hot spicy soup to start the meal. yumyumyum.

I've gotta say i'm a big fan of Korean food. The one challenge i find is the constant mixture of temperatures. The meat is so hot and the sides are usually cold so that's an interesting thing to get used to. It's good though i'm a big fan.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Comfort Food

Last night three of the other foreign teachers and I decided to take an adventure to find the nearest comfort food. You got it a little Micky D's.

I have never seen four people more excited to get their hands on "real" American food before. Don't get me wrong i really love Korean food but frankly i'm pmsing really hardcore and needed some golden arches.
It made me think of four children on their way to get their first happy meal. Look at us.

After this we headed to Baskin Robbins for some ice cream. It was a complete American comfort food night. Yum Yum.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

First week in Korea

My first week in Korea has been an interesting one for sure. I've already learned a lot some helpful and some just funny. One thing that i have been thoroughly impressed by is the way that Koreans welcome foreigners. I know that in the states I've gotten frustrated with non native English speakers (especially during my time at Starbucks) and now i see things completely differently. The shop owners and store workers are so understanding of my language gap it's very settling for someone who cannot understand a word of what is going on around me. I've learned that Korean tv has no commercials during the program but then like 5 minutes of them at the end. I've learned that ciggs here are far too cheap only like 2 bucks a pack. Eating with chopsticks is pretty easy to do when you don't have another option. Korean food is awesome, well i'll say most of it is. If it looks like melted cookies and cream ice cream it tastes like melted cookies and cream ice cream even if it's served on cabbage.. for real blech! Aloe juice is freaking awesome. Korean men should have joined fraternities in college and gotten their binge drinking out of the way. Also when you order a pitcher of beer in Korea expect something this big:
I will say that i love that the main brand of beer in Korea is my namesake.
I got my classroom set up and actually start teaching tomorrow. I'm so excited i can't wait.
This is the downtown where i live it's about 3 or 4 blocks from my school.

This weekend i ventured into Seoul, on my own i might add. I found that navigating a subway/bus system is no different in Korean that in English. if you don't know where you are going you find a map and follow the pictures. In Seoul i met up with my new girl Elizabeth who is a teacher from Britain. She is really nice and sweet and completely different from anyone i've ever dated before I'm very excited to see how this turn out. She's certainly the first person i've ever dated that i have absolutely no reservations about her meeting my friends and family. So that's exciting.
This is her.

Saturday she took me to see Gyeongbokgung which means Palace greatly blessed by heaven and was built in 1395 and served as the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty.
this is the entrance to the palace
the thrown

Cheesy touristy photo op!

And of course one of the places i HAD to go to in Korea is one of my favorite places ever.

Nothing like a Korean Starbucks. I love the girl in the background bogarting the picture too.
More and more updates to come about my adventures in Korea. I'm having a blast so far and i can't wait to explore more.