Sunday, October 26, 2008

Red Ginseng

These are the Red Ginseng "pills" that I recently began taking. I was feeling completely drained of energy for about a week, and my Korean friends told me I needed to take some Red Ginseng.

There are many ways to get Red Ginseng here in Korea. You can get an extract, tea, candies, and I even say Red Ginseng alcohol. However, I don't like the taste of Red Ginseng, so I chose these "pills". Look like BB's from a child's toy gun. I'm supposed to eat 5 balls, three times a day. But I'm intentionally overdosing myself. Since I'm much larger than the average Korean, I'm eating them 4 times per day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ramen Redemption

I've been visiting this convenience store, GS-25, in our office building occasionally since we moved here in February. I really don't shop there very often, but they gave me a point card to use. Furthermore, this point card is only good at this one store, not other GS-25 stores. Here in Seoul I have a variety of point cards, but in almost every case I have no idea how to use/redeem my points. Well, that changed yesterday.

I wasn't very hungry, so I went to the GS-25 to buy a sandwich. Turns out my card had collected enough points since February to earn me some ramen (the Korean spelling in English looks funny to me - ramyeon - so I'll use the more common English spelling). I thought the clerk and store owner were trying to tell me I could get 4 cups of ramen, but no.... I earned 4 cases of ramen! There are 40 packs per case, making a total of 160 ramen packs! You'll see in the photo there are only 3 cases - turns out they only had 3 cases in stock yesterday. I'm supposed to come back Monday to get my fourth box.

I'll have to chance my blog name to The Noodling Engineer if I eat all that!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Corn in a Box

One of my friends who has left Korea told me where I could buy some more canned tomatoes, which I used recently to make a Burrito. There is a small shop inside Hyundai Department Store which sells a selection of foreign foods. I found these cans of tomatoes, which includes "chilis and spices". Should be great for Burrito, I think.

Then nearby I saw this BOX of corn! I've never seen corn in a box before, so I'm going to try it. Inside a Burrito maybe?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Have Hibachi...

As a kid, I remember The Stumbling Parents had a couple of small cast iron grills called "HIBACI's". This drawing I scavanged from the web is as close as I can find to those long ago grills (unless The Stumbing Brother still has them collecting dust somewhere in his basement):

You couldn't cook a lot of food fast, but they were very portable. Which is just what my neighbor G and I were looking for the other evening. We have a grand plan of grilling some meat outside on the roof-top garden outside my door. And such an Hibachi would be easy to store for apartment dwellers.

Well, with a little assistance from my Korean language teacher, I have located and ordered the Korean equivalent of an Hibachi. In Korean they call this a Hwa-roh. They arrived this afternoon:

They even came with a pair of gloves (which probably won't fit my big hands). The ones I've seen over the years in America were from cast iron. This Korean one is made from clay - at least it looks and feels like a clay pot. All I need now is charcoal and a cool breeze....

[I'll have to ask one of my English teacher friends why I want to say "an Hibachi" versus "a Hwa-roh"...]

Saturday, October 04, 2008


I met a foreigner a couple weeks at at the sandwich shop where I sometimes eat breakfast. Turns out he is on a team staying here in Seoul, contracting to a large Korean company. Their office is just around the corner from my apartment. We made an appointment to meet at Trevor's bar Beer O'Clock last night. Honestly in the afternoon I was feeling so tired I almost wished I didn't have an appointment. In hindsight, I'm glad I went.

Usually I can count on meeting someone new at Trevor's bar, but last night was especially interesting. First, the gentlemen from my neighborhood arrived. One fellow came from Arizona, and turns out he had worked with a company that I had worked with as a contractor back in the 80's, and he knew the fellow I worked with! Another man was from Boston, and the third man was from Poland. We had an interesting time, shared some good stories about living in Korea and international travel.

After they left, I met a guy who started a software company here in Seoul, writing educational game software for cell phones. Really interesting situation, and I hope he and his partners succeed. But he does have a backup job as an English teacher. Finally I met an American guy who was in the radio broadcast industry for many years until recently. He lived a couple years in the countryside of Korea, and was exposed to a different lifestyle than here in Seoul.

Then finally, just when I was about to leave, I got a surprise phone call from our old friend and former housekeeper SY. She was just leaving the baseball game, and wondered if by chance I was at Trevor's bar (which is just across the street from the baseball stadium). She's heard me mention this place, but has never been there. Well, she dropped by, had a beer, and met Trevor.

So, it was a fun evening, filled with many new and interesting faces and stories. I'm glad I went after all.