This week back in Korea has been enjoyable, but a little bit busy. I have been slaving away at the officetel doing some fun work, but it required strong concentration. I am happy for that to be finished. I have continued to consume great Korean food. Mrs. Stumbler noticed that my blog stories seem to revolve around food (besides bar visits). I will be keeping with the food theme this post. During this weekend trip to the store, SY bought me some things that I can cook myself. Admittedly, these are real simple things, but it's a start towards my future career as a great Korean chef! I was real happy when I noticed she was cooking my favorite sundubu chiggae Saturday, because it looked like the main sauce indgredient was pre-made in a poly bag from the store. I was thinking that there would be some hope that I could learn to make it myself, perhaps I could find this sauce in my city in the states. Alas, as we were eating the soup, she commented (and I noticed) that the taste was not quite right - apparently this pre-made sauce is only a STARTING point, and you have to add more spices during cooking. We added some to our bowls which improved it quite a bit.
I prepared dinner for myself last night, the centerpiece was my favorite mushroom. I now know it's name in Korea, but I have no idea what it is in English. So here is a photo:
I only ate the one you see sliced up. That gives me three more meals to go....
Friday afternoon CH and I went to a nearby Pizza Hut, and ordered a new style Pizza they offer. It is four flavors of pizza in one pizza - that is not a good decription, but I can't explain it any better. Just after we ordered, I glanced out the windows of this Pizza Hut (it is inside a shopping mall area). Walking by the store were two men, and one of them looked very familiar to me. At first I thought it was my korean friend CT (whom I wrote about in the K-Pop series), but I immediately dismissed the idea. I was thinking it was probably just someone with a similar face and body style, until he walked by our table and saw me. He immediately recognized me, confirming once again that I do not blend in well in a crowd of Koreans. We spoke briefly, and I learned he has been promoted once again to a better job at his company. But he can still help me get into the live K-Pop TV program when I want (something I try to ask infrequently, because I don't want to be any trouble). But there is possibly an upcoming show I want to see, so stay tuned for further reports. I am also behind one installment in the K-Pop series, which I will try to update in the next couple of days.
So after pizza, I wanted to show the fancy take-out (or doggy bag) box they prepare for you in many Korean places:
Just Try To Get This Style Doggy Bag in USA
On Sunday when I wanted to eat this for lunch, I almost couldn't bring my self to cut off that pretty ribbon. By the way, this is a good example of "western loan" words in Korean - on the bottom right of the pizza box it says "Pizza Hut Home Service". If you knew the Korean alphabet, you could pronounce this and understand what it says - in this case there are no Korean words used. I am not sure why this phrase is written like this. Of course, for a brand name like Pizza Hut, it makes sense not to translate it into Korean (and there may not be a Korean word for Pizza anyway). But I know there is a Korean word for home, and I strongly suspect there is a Korean word for service. Interesting....
Finally, I will end with my story of walking around Seoul last night at exactly the wrong time - during a torrential rain downpour! My umbrella was almost useless. But what was most amazing was the sight on the street as I was walking. I had to keep my eyes on the street, because the puddles were very deep in places. Because I was watching so closely, I suddenly noticed lots of movements here and there in the water which was rushing along the street (it was probably 1-2 inches deep most places - that's 3-5cm for my Korean friends). I focused on one of the movements in the water, and realized that it was a MOUSE! The poor guy was struggling to keep from drowning. I looked around and saw maybe a dozen of them swimming around. And as I was looking, I saw one woman accidentally spear on these guys on the high heel of her shoe !!!! The other recently living creature I saw was a big rat that must have been swimming with the mice, but had been unfortunate to meet a car or truck - he was smashed flat as a pancake. Quite a strange sight - completely new experience for me.
All for now, I hope to take more pictures and make more posts this week.