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I Went There

Today, I finally went to the Tetris cafe, and it was as awesome as I had hoped.

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This weekend was Korean Lunar New Year and I had the day off of work.

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I used part of my day to do some writing, and in the process fell in love with an awesome cafe.


I love lists...

I started this post a long, long time ago, when I'd first arrived in Korea. It was about the vast amount of lists I had for films that I wanted to watch, books I wanted to read, places in Korea that I wanted to see, and things I wanted to do, but recently a whole new species of lists has been developed with my imminent trip to England. I love lists, they really do make me feel like I'm getting things done, even if it is partly indulging the side of me that likes to procrastinate.

Having been in Korea for a year, I've been deprived of several things that used to be pretty important to me, here are the lists I've made for my visit home.

Food

You don’t want to see my ‘Casablanca is closed!?’ face. *Sandwich Love*


Sushi and Roll PNU

 

By Fiona Van Tyne

 

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Exceptional sushi in Busan is easy to come by. I cannot count the number of rolls and pieces of raw fish that I have enjoyed here. For me, living somewhere completely landlocked, sushi was something that was terribly expensive and only good half the time. I have been lucky in Busan to find a place that does rolls for a decent price that are truly heavenly.

 


Winter in Korea

Vacation is over, Korea is feeling cold, and I think I have a case of the Winter Doldrums. But I’m not too worried because it is a proven fact that cupcakes are an age-old cure for the Winter Doldrums.  DSC01145

And cupcakes with old friends is an even better remedy (the Banana Velvet cupcake worked wonders for me).

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Korea’s favorite snack

Street foods are a favorite among locals, expats and tourists in South Korea.  The most popular and often beloved of these foods is Ddeokbokki.

Ddeokbokki (do-bo-ki) is everything one looks for in the perfect street food, or any food for that matter: It’s commonly found, inexpensive, fulfilling and most importantly – delicious!


Preparing for a Korean Goodbye: Don’t leave my friends out of this.

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Time is running out, so please stop saying, “Yeah, we will have to do that some weekend.” I have exactly 6 weekends left in Korea and each is pretty much full from 8pm on Friday until late Sunday afternoon. I am lucky in that many of my friends in Korea are also leaving close to my departure date. Most of us are in a rush to eat lots of kimchi, find Psy socks to bring home and most importantly soak up each others awesomeness before some depart for homes scattered all over the globe and others remain in Korea. And oh yeah, I still have to find the confidence to make a jjimjilbang date. Umm, a little help please?


Health Kick

Health Kick

Rice, every day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner is starting to catch up with me. At first, the food I avoided because it was too spicy or just plain weird is now what I crave, so the weight I lost when I first got to Korea has found its way back to me, and it's invited its friends to join in.

Souvenir Shopping

I didn’t buy much in the way of things while I was in Cambodia, but the ‘souvenirs’ that took up the most space in my backpack were food.  I’ve mentioned it before, but I love going into supermarkets and stores in other countries, even convenience stores.  Markets are amazing, but there’s something about getting a peek into the daily lives and shopping habits of other people who I love.In Koh Kong I got some strange ice cream from a supermarket that I still don’t know the flavor of, in Siem Reap while getting snacks for a twelve-hour bus ride I found fantastic (and loud) Kettle Chips.

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Koh Samet: I wish you were here, or maybe not.

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I have no intention of making you jealous, but I have to inform you that I am writing this blog post from a beach chair 4 feet from the water on the small island of Koh Samet in Thailand. It is late afternoon and the beach area in front of my resort (My bungalow is $20 a night!) is starting to clear out for the day. I personally think dusk is the best part of a beach day. The sky’s color is spectacular, the sun isn’t as intense as it was a few hours prior and I can finally tell by looking at my skin that yes, I in fact did manage to tan and not burn after hours of frolicking in the surf.


27 Things to Do Before I Turn 27

Today is my half birthday.  I remembered it was coming up a few days ago.  I’m not sure if it was all the talk of New Year’s Resolutions, this blog awesome blog I came across the other day, or my love of a good list that helped make this decision.  It was probably a combo of all three.


Kimchi Oatmeal: the mealtime modifications of a multicultural family

I’ve always been rather open-minded when it comes to food, and my eating habits have changed accordingly since moving to Korea. Marrying a Korean woman has added an extra dose of evolutionary pressure to my eating habits these past few years; likewise, my wife and stepkids have incorporated a lot of foreign foods into their gastronomical universe since I entered their lives. I was recently reflecting on what has changed for them and what has stayed the same as we strive to put a mutually agreeable meal on the table.

Breakfast


If You’re Ever in Busan on Christmas Day…

American food, real American food, can be pretty tough to find in Korea. Eating the way we did in the States is usually quite cost-prohibitive and sometimes requires running all over town to source ingredients that are sitting on an aisle in even the smallest Food Lion in the tiniest town back home.  Not that this is a bad thing–I’m always a little wary of people who move to a foreign country and then resume life exactly as they did in America; I feel like it kind of negates the experience of living abroad.  Plus, we are all well-versed in the impact of the average American diet on the average American waistline.  However, sometimes you want to taste home.


The Spain Culture Function! 스페인문화원 송년행사

 


Braved The Cold and Celebrated Christmas


For Christmas I braved the freezing temperatures and ventured into the Jongno area for some Middle-Eastern food and cupcakes. I met a like minded friend who wanted to enjoy this holiday season and we had a jolly good time.

We picked up cupcakes from Goodovening near Euljiro-1 station.

A Week in Photos #9

 


Mexican & Art in Masan!

Dave and I traveled to Masan this past Saturday, as a way to get away for the day and explore the city we had passed through on our way home one day. The city is well renowned for its textile industry and the site of the production tools of Hite Brewery (one of the most popular beers in Korea). My teacher described it to me as a blue-collar city. The word "Masan" means horse mountain.

On this coldest day in December...



From what my friend tells me this is the coldest day in December that Korea has seen in 27 years. That not only made my eyebrows raise but at the same time give me chills. Temperatures in the teens usually doesn't come around till January. But it looks like things will "warm" up next week, a bit.

To beat the cold my friend and I enjoyed watching a movie and TV in the comfort of my warm home. For dinner we had homemade bulgolgi and japchae, with lettuce for wraps. It was a warming meal and also quite wholesome.

Lentil Soup Dinner

Throw some of this stuff together, and chop up some vegetables....

It’s your party, but please learn to hike first.

With about 70% of the Korean peninsula covered with mountains, the hiking culture dominates the the Land of Kimchi. I went for a short hike up Mt. Dobongsan near my home a few weeks ago. I have a ways to go if I want to start calling myself a “hiker”, but here are my thoughts thus far…

Hiking in Korea is reminiscent of attending an epic college party.

It is imperative that you…

pre-game. (Who wants some morning makgeolli?)


Pancake Thanksgiving


My Favorite Restaurant: 서울깍두기 in 남포동

Seolleongtang, my favorite!
Seoul Kkakdugi (서울깍두기) in Nampo-dong (남포동) is my favorite restaurant in Busan.  There are a few locations around town, but I always go to the one near my house.  Just a 5 minute bus ride and I'm there.  They serve a small menu of soups including Galbitang and my favorite - Seolleongtang.

Coffee Break

 


Kombucha in Busan

I looked for Kombucha in Busan for a couple months, but I had no luck finding anybody who was brewing it.  I finally ordered a starter from the USA and it's growing nicely.  If anyone needs a starter mushroom, just send me a message with your email or phone number.  I live in Gwangan and work near Seomyeon.  I'm excited to finally be making Kombucha and I want others to enjoy it too!


Sucking It Up

A few weeks ago was October’s Birthday Party for our Kindergarten classes, and this coming Friday will be November’s Birthday Party.  This means lots of pictures, fried chicken and kimbap for lunch, Birthday cake, and a ceiling full of balloons.


A Week in Photos #8

 


Dear Korea #077 - A Lesson in Moderation

Dear Korea #077

Yay for a new comic! Also, yay for Pepero Day (even though it was technically yesterday)!

For those of you that don’t know what 빼빼로 (pepero) is, it’s basically a cookie stick dipped in chocolate. Many of you might be more famiiar with the Japanese version of the same snack, which is known as Pocky.


Snacks

When I go to new countries, I love wandering around their convenience stores or supermarkets.  I love seeing what people eat and what kind of snacks they enjoy.  I especially love the snacks that are ‘weird’, or at least new and different to what I’m used to.


Free Food Madness

One of the things my husband and I enjoy every time we shop for groceries in Korea is the free food.


Disappointed over Durian

This year’s Philippine vacation, the first thing that my husband looked for was durian. He had never tried the fruit and he was very curious about it.


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