Sunday, January 29, 2012

An attempt at not failing to keep a blog in Korea!

Yep. Truth be told, I’m sucking it up at keeping a blog going. I’m here, working on my 4th month mile marker and I haven’t written since my first month. FAIL to me! So forgive me as I try and backtrack my memory a few months and catch up. Hopefully I can retain the highlighted memories and experiences….even more hopeful is the idea that I will keep up with it from this point forward!
So where to start, where to start?! I’ll focus on the order of my pictures.. so lets begin the walk through memory lane by introducing my favorite place to eat…Handsome Fish! Like all amazing things in life (e.g. sunset, perfect moments, the beauty of a fresh snowfall) a picture just can’t do the meal justice! We usually get some beef tips which is served with an unlimited supply of an eggs and chives mixture cooked on one side and melted mozzarella on the other. To top it off, you get a bowl of sweet onions which is located in a lovely mild brothy mixture to dip everything in. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! Yeah, I may hype it up a bit much, but anyone I’ve brought there has left agreeing with me that it’s great. Also, please keep in mind, that this is all cooked at your table, which is always a unique experience (at least for back home). Claire, Jeremy, Rebecca and I have made semi-annual trips here.
   In addition to my meal time adventures, there’s another thing that has grown a prominent role in my groups activities….video games. It all began one fateful day when a random couple of foreigners I’d met once or twice decided to invite me along for a wii-bang adventure. Perhaps they thought it’d be nice. Maybe they though it’d be fun to mess with the new girl and see if she could handle their odd sarcasm which was spiked with their sometimes slightly evil sense of humor (love you guys!). Either way, the root of where it all began seems irrelevant if you can enjoy the fruits of what has grown from it. ((cheesy metaphor eh? ha ha)). So Wii-bang and Xbox adventures is next on the list I suppose….
Brad at the Wii-bang
Xbox night at my place
Xbox at Nick's
I’d dare to say these three pictures a a good representation of a lot of evenings. My place has been known to house a fair number of hangouts, though the television quality is sorely lacking! However, Nick has a lovely large screen and multiple couches, so we have been known to cram ourselves together at his place as well. I’ve had some amazing laughs with these people!!! Street Fighter, Mortal Combat, FIFA, Streets of Rage….not what I thought I’d move half way around the world to do, but hey, it’s cheap, its fun, and (at the moment) it’s a bit chilly, so I have no complaints here :)
Let’s drop the next journey into the world of randomness. More specifically, lets focus on all the moments you thought you were going to get one thing, but received the (frequently unwanted) surprise of something else. This doesn’t happen SO much these days. I’ve kind of developed a routine of sorts where I know what I like and don’t like, but there are always those occasions when you develop a brain fart and end up with, well, exhibit A: The Mystery Egg! ======>  Young, unsuspecting woman enters convenience store looking for eggs. More specifically, eggs she could hard boil for dinner. Woman buys eggs from said convenience store. Boils eggs. Prepares dinner. Little does she know a “special” egg has made its way into her life. Brown. Rubbery. Solid like. Though the brave soul has been attempting to expand her taste buds, this is one egg experience that could just not be concurred. ***For those suspicious of the fact that it had already been hard-boiled when purchased, I assure you, it is not the case. It has been confirmed that this was indeed a “special” egg by a Korean!
~~As well in this confusing story, how can this adventurer eat chicken feet yet not a brown egg?! the world may never know~~
To add to the unknown, we will apply exhibit B to the situation: Chocolatey goodness crispy treat that looks like the possible evidence of a bowel movement==========> That’s right people, this is not a picture of me with poop on my leg, this is an honest to God snack. Needless to say, having never seen this snack before, I became a smidge frightened when someone handed me one! I also assure you that it is quite tasty and delicious!
I think the final mini-adventure I will leave this blog with is the trip to the market. Claire and I set out for a Sunday romp to explore one of the many markets in Korea. We expected a lot of what we saw, though to actually see some of these things in real life is shocking. I look forward to exploring larger markets as well. Traditional Korean items are available and when we had gone to this market, my wallet had been quite dry since this was the week before we got our first paycheck!

This set of pictures includes the notorious chicken feet, Claire in one of the mainly streets of the market, and finally Octopus….a little different from when I had to dissect in bio class!
 Here we have the gormet silk bugs. I have yet to try one of these little morsels, though Claire and several other people have graced me with the knowledge that they aren’t very good. Shocking, I know. Someday though, who knows. Then there is the ever prominent dried fish…all shapes and sizes! On the bottom we have the two that I voted most disturbing…as for the pig head, it took me quite some time to truly convince myself that this was a REAL pig head. They look so plastic and so happy! There are a ton of these on the “pork street”. Finally, the all to well known dog meat. Yep, gross I know. I have mixed feelings on this…at one point I had made it a goal to try dog meat. Why deny a cultural experience simply because my own deems it wrong. Sorry to all of you that think I am so wrong an such a bad person, but please realize this is not your dog fluffy, buddy, or whatever other dog styled name it has…I agree it is sad, but on the same hand, I think cows and pigs are super cute as well. If I think about that aspect I find it difficult to eat meat. I’m sure my mom can verify this fact for you….I have a hard time eating meat! So again, I’m trying to experience a culture, even if it is trying something once and having a hard time with my own ethnocentric tendencies. Though to top off this internal debate, I recently heard that they strangle and beat the dog as they kill it…something about how the meat tastes. This is something I will need to research. I will not eat something that was so inhumanely killed…believe me, I could turn this into some animal rights argument that I have with myself so frequently, but that is not the point to this. So I’m going to stop at that bit of debate.
ANYWAYS….I hope this blog sums up a lot of aspects of the things I’ve experienced thus far. There is still lots to come, and I hope I keep chugging away to get it caught up and continued. Off the top of my head, I also have to write one about the visit to Suseong lake, Busan/water temple weekend, as well as my general experiences at work. So much to write about!
~~Don’t pursue happiness, create it!~~

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