I miss my dryer. But I did test out the heated floors this morning. A fair trade?

I Like Lists

Ahh, so many thangs to share...

1. My Korean life has just gotten THAT MUCH BETTER. I finally got a cell phone and it's good. Came with a camera (duh), it plays music (sweet), it has a full subway map (indispensable), and it plays TV. Yeah, TV. You just plug this itsy bitsy antenna in the back and presto, broadcast TV. I feel truly Korean. Oh, and the plan? $13 a month. Suck that, Cingular.

2. I finally got the stitches outta my lip on Friday. I'm still rocking a chipped tooth, though. Two more weeks. And I have to say, of all the injuries I've sustained in my lifetime (and there have been many), this was quite possibly the bloodiest, ugliest and LEAST painful. Although, when I think about what happened I do get a little sick to my stomach. I haven't taken the stairs since.

3. Oh, my job. Do you really want to know about my job? I just realized I've been blogging for a month and have completely failed to mention WORK. Hmmm... The days are long, the kids are squirrely and I get to sleep in everyday. I think that about sums it up.

4. It has taken a month, but I finally found something I love. Yes, love. Kimchi Bokumbop. It's fried rice mixed with kimchi, topped with a fried egg, and served with seaweed paper for wrapping. It's truly delicious, although I have to refrain from eating it everyday. Hello, it's fried.

5. And another thang. I was completely unprepared for the amount of food Koreans eat. With every meal I am inevitably served banchan, or Korean side dishes. Normally I would LOVE to see free food brought to my table, but banchan is different -- no french bread or mozzarella sticks or tortilla chips or anything else I would normally associate with the words "side dish" and therefore put in my mouth. Banchan is stuff like kimchi (obviously), seasoned tofu, fish cakes, vermicelli noodles with vegetables, bean sprouts and pickled garlic cloves. And it's quite a spread. Yesterday I went to lunch by myself and was utterly horrified at the amount of food left completely untouched at my table, because really, all I wanted was the bokumbop. Sad.

6. The other day a small Korean girl told me I had big boobs. Kids are so observant.

7. Young, fashionable Korean couples love to coordinate their clothing -- matching shirts, hats, you name it. So cute, yet slightly bizarre and more than a little emasculating, no?

8. Korean TV skips the commercials during programming and airs them all when the show is over. Genius.

9. My friend Amanda and I can't decide which came first, the anime-style cartoon characters or the anime-style bowl cut. Ahh, the timeless chicken and egg conundrum...

10. I saw an add on the subway today. It pictured some badass abs of steel and fried chicken, side by side. I can only speculate as to what the ad was selling, but in my head it went something like this: "You see these abs of steel? Everyone wants them, and contrary to what you've been told, fried chicken will ABSOLUTELY help you attain them. So chow down."

My that was long. I apologize...

The Wonder Girls

Korean pop at it's finest. My little girls LOVE these chicks. They are indeed WONDERful. Enjoy!


Pulling for the sympathy vote

Have I told you that Korea appears to be FULL of stone staircases?  A couple of weeks ago I joked about falling down them.  No longer a joke.  Today I tripped on my pant cuff and took a full face dive down half a flight of stairs.  Nice.  My nose is fractured and I chipped a tooth, but everything else is A-okay.  Check out the pics...

UPDATE: I went to the dentist today and it cost me 8,600 won. Yeah, about $8.50. That's all I gotta say...



The Korean diet is in full swing.  And by diet I mean "a total lack of anything fabulous and substantial to eat in the past two weeks, so it's no wonder my pants are loose."  So far, so bad, as Korean food has not been my favorite.  Until tonight.  Sunny and I were walking home from school tonight when I was so totally starving, ravenous and altogether HUNGRY that I broke down and opted for some greasy street food.  And it was my favorite Korean moment.  Even better that subway sunglasses.

You see, Korean children go to school all day.  I mean ALL DAY.  My street is filled with somewhere around 100 schools and kids come pouring out between the hours of 8 and 11 PM.  They're hungry, they're tired and they just want a quick, delicious meal they can eat while riding the bus home.  Enter the street vendor, peddling spicy food, fried food, food on a stick, AND food that comes "double-cupped", as it were.  See, I ordered these fried chicken nugget and tater tot things that came in a 16 oz cup.  The geniosity is that it's really a small cup in a larger cup.  The small cup is filled with food and the larger cup is filled with yer drink.  Stick a straw in it, put the smaller cup in the larger cup and you have the ultimate meal on the go.  All for 1,000 won or about $1.  Food can make me so happy...



Tuesday night I had the distinct pleasure of stumbling across some hot Korean porn.  Yeah, on TV, uncensored and uncut.  Nothing like American porn, though.  The Korean's don't mess around -- no bad dialogue, no cheesy music, and all the body parts appeared to be "original".  Good stuff.

Feeling loved..

Today was Teacher's Day in Korea and I pulled a pretty good stash after only a week.  Pens and markers and shortbread cookies and hazelnut chocolates and roses and one sweet Starbucks mug -- more than I could have ever asked for.  Although, methinks they're trying to buy me off...


The nicest bus driver EVER

So Sunny and I spent the day in Seoul today.  We walked, we shopped, we chatted and we took some pictures.  Okay, I took some pictures, but come on, my mom's depending on me... 
Anyway, we were gone for hours, and after making him walk the entire length of Cheonggyecheon Stream just so I could take a picture of a waterfall I saw on wikipedia, we were both pretty tired.  

We hopped the subway home and commenced some serious 
people watching.  After spitting us out at Beomgye Station, Sunny 
was ready to shop some more.  Me?  I was ready to GO HOME.  
As I turned around, Sunny said "there's yer bus," so I took off.  

Know where this story's going?  Yeah, I caught the wrong bus.  I noticed about 90 seconds into the ride when we took a right turn AWAY from my neighborhood.  However, instead of getting off, I decided to see where it went. I must have had the most puzzled look on my face, because the driver asked me, in English, where my stop was.  I had no way of telling him because my street has no name!  Arrgghhhh.  

Anyway, I rode the bus for another few minutes, that is until he flipped a U and everyone got off.  And the bus driver started laughing!  He knew I had caught the wrong bus!  I asked if he was going back to Beomgye Station, where I could catch the 6 to take me home.  He nodded and continued laughing.  We had a nice chat on the way home and he dropped me a few stops before Beomgye so I could catch the 6 on time. Oh, and he honked good-bye!  Too nice.

Things I love about Korea

It seems that every day I find weird, quirky and off-the-wall things to giggle at here in Korea.  Like the corn dogs.  I mean, corn dogs are inherently disgusting, no?  Mystery meat wrapped in corn breading and deep-fried to perfection.  Slather in it some spicy mustard and you've got yerself a truly American treat.  How could this possibly be improved upon, you ask.  By frying that sucker up with some crinkle cut fries, of course.  Yeah, it's one big glob of carb-laden deliciousness. Try eating that off a stick.

Oh, and the sunglasses.  For those of who don't know me (all 5 of you), I have a serious sunglass obsession.  I prolly left at least 8 pair at home.  (In the spirit of living simply, of course.)  But here in Korea my obsession can flourish because in every subway stop there's an amazing spread of Kanye West inspired shades in every color.  It's pure eighties Ray-Ban heaven and I'm in love.  I mean, check these out.  They even match my earrings...

Oh yes, there's more.  I love the overwhelming (and I do mean overwhelming) number of t-shirts with jumbled English phrases.  Phrases is really an inappropriate word, though.  It's more like someone opened a dictionary, flipped the pages and randomly pointed to a word. Imagine doing this 5 or 6 times and stringing those words together in hopes of making something coherent.  It might go something like this: Shout NYNY live make sing.  Not even remotely close to a sentence, but humorous nonetheless.

Among the other things I love are the spotlessly clean subways, my new found respect for Korean women who wear heels EVERYWHERE all day and still manage to walk upright, men who offer to carry their woman's purse (so manly!), the shiny, fashionable Korean suits (and ties for that matter), fruit on a stick, eating ice cream everyday, and the fact that Korean kids can rock an entire eighties look from head to toe with absolutely no irony.  Oh, and grown men with bowl haircuts.  What's not to love?

Happy Mother's Day!

A shout out to two amazing women in my life...  First my mom for being open, honest, accepting and most of all supportive. You are one of the strongest women I know and I don't know where I'd be if you weren't along for the ride!  I love you!!  Oh, and you always laugh at all my jokes. 

And of course, I can't forget my stepmom.  You paid your dues (fo sho) when I was a snotty, obnoxious and strong-willed teenager and then you opened your doors to me AGAIN as an adult.  I prolly wouldn't be here (in krazy Korea) if not for your generosity and support!  

Happy Mother's Day.


10 Semi-interesting "Facts"

It has been a long weekend, full of exploring, reckless picture-taking, and some questionable food.  Here's the quick and dirty:

1. Fried chicken and beer ain't just for the Dirrty South -- the Koreans like it too! Along with intestines, dried squid, and spice.  I've had heartburn ever since I set foot in this country.
2. Yeah and they like their soju, too.  Korean vodka, sold in bottles and consumed EVERYWHERE.  Goes down pretty smooth, though.
3. Talking sh$t about yer cabbie in English is perfectly acceptable.  I don't think I'll jump on this train...
4. It's insanely easy to catch a cab here -- all you have to do is step to the curb.  Many cabs stopped for me in Seoul yesterday, but I just wanted to gawk at all the tall buildings.  Remember I'm from Idaho.
5. I think Seoul is the quietest big city.  You can take two steps off the main street and be in a neighborhood that is shockingly devoid of hustle and bustle.
6. I heart mass public transportation!
7. I think my "liaison" played a joke on me.  When asked about interesting places to visit in Seoul, he sent me to the ghetto.
8. Americans would kill themselves before they devoted an entire day to children.  Yesterday was Children's Day, a holiday apparently, and kids and parents were EVERYWHERE.  I believe American Children's Day is Christmas.  Not the same.
9. Before I got here, someone told me Koreans weren't all that into fashion.  This is a lie.  They are uber-trendy.
10. Korean women remind me of my grandma in heels --they think they're appropriate everywhere.

Way too many pics to post here, check 'em out on Flickr


All up in Korea

My disclaimer: I realize I may or may not have turned into that blogger I hate. Sorry.
Holy crap, I made it! So this could be a ridiculously long post because I'm practically bursting with useless Korean info, but I hate to read long, wordy blogs. I like pictures with short explanations.
My last meal in America -- bad Wendy's. Don't judge. I didn't eat too much as I was retardedly excited. As a matter of fact, I haven't really been hungry since I got here. Weird.

Anyway, I got to fly through Tokyo, which was way easier than expected -- they pretty much just herd everyone in the right directions, so there's really very little room to f!*k it up. And apparently Tokyo is the tropics, so humid. That was totally unexpected. I'll upload more pics later, blogger is being stubborn.