Korean Side Dishes (반찬)

Kimchi boy & I have discussed many times. We will live in Korea after we get married in future. I really love Korean food but I cannot imagine eating it for the rest of my life. 

By my first month in Korea (last winter), I was desperately looking for western food, chinese food... just anything but Korean. haha. Personally, I feel that Korean food all taste the same.. maybe just a different cooking style - stew, soup, BBQ, stir fry - but it is almost always red and spicy. The only thing that I look forward to in a Korean meal is the side dishes, also known as banchan (반찬).

Different Kinds of Korean Pancakes (Buchimgae)

What do you like to eat when it rains?

When I was in the Philippines, my Mom would make delicious champorado (chocolate rice porridge) orlugaw (congee or boiled rice porridge) to warm us up on a rainy day.

Here in South Korea, the most famous comfort food during the rainy season is 부침개 (buchimgae) or 전 (jeon), also known as Korean pancake or Korean pizza. Koreans eat it with 막걸리 (makgeolli) or rice wine.

The Sticks: Bringing Korean Food to the Country

The Sticks!
Wow! I can't believe it's been almost a year since I've posted here! Life happens fast. Ha! It's been an incredible year for many reasons, but I am just going to pick up where we left off. I had asked my family over a year ago if Ryan could come to Virginia with us, which meant MANY things. The high-level summary of that statement meant that Ryan would be meeting and spending a week with my extended family, going to Grandma's house and sharing in all my childhood memories, and leaving NYC to spend a WEEK in the country! So much can be said about the conversations that ensued and the unspoken thoughts and memories that were created, but I'm just going to share the highlights I'm still processing much of the other stuff anyway. It truly was a TON of FUN! To give a bit more context, Ryan (Mr. Urbanite in the flesh) has never spent so much vacation time in an area such as this. After what became a 10-hour drive into the night (supposed to be 8) from NYC complete with a gorgeous lightning show, we knew we had made it when Ryan slammed on the breaks to stop for the cutest FAMILY of deer (yes, mom and 2 children) taking their sweet time to cross the ridiculous, nausea-inducing, winding roads.

Love to Hate Korea: Costco

It’s no secret that Costco in Korea is the epitome of a modern hellhole designed to rip your soul out, divvy it up with a rusty and blunt axe, chew it, then spit it right back at you, so you you put it back inside, then turn around and do it all over again. This place steals so much attention and causes so much heartbreak and frustration, but let’s not forget that all it is is a bloody supermarket!

But why is the place just destined to constantly infuritate me? I blame people. Because, let’s face it, all the ills of the world are brought about by our fellow humans, and Costco in Korea is a perfect example of this.

Costco Runs

There are a few theories floating around as to why leaves change their colour in the autumn. Americans would call it changing color in the fall. But I don't like that as much, because Fall sounds a little like fool, and one could easily make a fool of oneself in the ensuing confusion.

Hypothetical conversation
American: "Hey man, do you like, like the Fall?"
Englishman: "May I so enquire as to which 'fall' you are referring? The fall which has fallen, or the fool that has just fallen?"
Australian: "You blokes talk real funny."

Cheese Neurons and Tea-fee

Since coming to Korea, I've noticed that I enjoy kimchi much less than I used to. When I was young, my sister and I used to go nuts for kimchi and basically run a victory lap around the house at the mere mention of its existence. We even used to make amateur kimchi using the wrong cabbage (western 'round' cabbage), which was technically more of a poorly-sliced chilli sauerkraut. Our youthful imaginations learned to compensate, and to us it was nearly as good as the real thing.
But because I eat the stuff everyday now, the neuron cluster responsible for kimchi enjoyment in my brain has been overstimulated and desensitized.

MBC Marathon

Marathons always sound like a good idea when they're scheduled to happen a few months later. A typical plan would consist of slowly getting back into shape over the generous amount of weeks beforehand, before blitzing the track and setting a few local records at the same time.
But reality always has more realistic ways of doing things. A week before the MBC marathon was scheduled to happen, I finally decided it might be a good idea to go for a practice jog. 

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