Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hawaii Bound

Last week in Korea without the Stumbling Family, there was not much exciting to report. In keeping with the food theme of the blog, here is one of my favorite dishes I went to eat for lunch with my friends one day.

Gamjatang Posted by Picasa

What is funny about this dish, is the name translates to "potato stew". Yet, normally there are only two or three small potato slices in all this stuff. All these vegetables and pork (neck or back according to my korean food website) boil down to make a delicious stew. When the stew is almost finished, they make a fried rice in the same dish - delicious.

With some help from SY, last week I bought some aids for my Korean language studies:

Language Study Aids Posted by Picasa

The book set is really cool, and I love the flash cards. Problem is, if I whip these out to review, I look really silly, since these are designed for a 4 or 5 year old. Anyway, it has already helped me learn some words, so I'm happy with the purchase.

Combining the two above topics, food and language, let me explain something far better than flash cards for language studies. Last week my newlywed friends WJ and HJ invited me to a small party at their new home for dinner. They served one of WJ's favorite foods, which is a Vietnamese dish where various vegetables and meats are placed on a piece of "rice paper", which you then roll up and eat. There were trays on the table with all these vegetables and meats, and I would force myself to name each item in Korean as I picked it up and put on my rice paper. For me, that is the BEST way to learn your vocabulary words - eat them as you study them!

One unusual activity last week as "paper breaking", as my Korean friend CH calls it (paper shredding for my American friends). Through a complicated and peculiar chain of events, I ended up needing to shred a substantial quantity of old documents. I felt this was going to be an easy task, since we have a very nice paper shredder:

The Paper "Breaking" Machine Survived Posted by Picasa

However, once I got started with the task, I found out it was more difficult than I expected. This unit apparently is not intended to sustained shredding. After about 10 or 15 minutes, it overheats and shuts down. Then it would take about 30 to 45 minutes to cool back down. It was a big headache. Also, the unit came with some oil, which had been lost. I finally got my friend WJ to find me some sewing machine oil in Seoul, and used it to keep the blades lubricated. In the end, a task I thought would take just 1 day ended up taking the entire week! I was still shredding on Sunday afternoon, just hours before my plane departed for Hawaii. My final output:

400 Liters of "Broken" Papers - WOW Posted by Picasa

So, I finally made it to the airport, and headed to Hawaii. This was my first time to arrive into the USA in Honolulu, but that went pretty well with no problems. I'm all moved into the condominium here in Hawaii for the next 3 weeks. If I can find anything interesting to write about here in Hawaii, I'll blog it. Aloha.

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