Monday, October 18, 2010

Kimchi Washer

Another Korea Sparkling invention, this time from the home appliance division of LG Electronics:

Yeouido, Seoul: Friday, October 15 - 2010:

Just in time for the annual kimchi-making season (gimjang), LG Electronics announced Friday the latest revolution in Korean home appliances: the Kimchi Washing Machine. An addition to the popular All-In-One Washer/Dryer series (WD family), the new Washer/Dryer/Kimchi series (WDK family) will be an instant hit among young Koreans who are too busy to make their own kimchi the traditional way. "We have clearly demonstrated by today's announcement that Korea is the Universal Worldwide International Hub of Convenient Cabbage Cooking Combined with Clothes Cleaning Technology," said company spokesman Mr. Chi-jjan Kim.

Instead of working for hours washing and soaking the cabbages, the new WDK machines automate the kimchi making process at the push of a button. Simply fill the washing machine with fresh cabbages, add salt instead of laundry soap, and add shrimp paste in the fabric softener resevoir. Then select "KIMCHI-MODE" on the dial and press START. After six hours, the machine alerts the operator to add red pepper paste, oysters, spring onion, garlic and ginger. Two hours later, the cycle is complete.

Customers will not be worried about cleanliness, either, with the innovative PKCC (Pre-Kimchi Cleaning Cycle). One bottle of soju and 1 kg of powdered red pepper are added to the washer's tub, where it is mixed with steam to kill all bacteria and germs, in addition to SARS, Mad Cow Disease, and AIDS. This results in A World's Best Sterile Environment for your kimchi. "I used to bend over the tub of cabbages for hours and hours", says Mrs. Park, mother of 3 children in Daechi-dong. "This is the best time-saving appliance I've seen in years, even better than the electric watermelon seed remover I bought this summer, and much better than my battery-powered chopsticks". Mrs Jang, housewife and mother of 2 in Seocho-dong, said "Not only is this kimchi easy to make and delicious, but there is extra bonus on laundry day, too! For two weeks afterward, my husband is surrounded by a wonderful aroma of garlic and red pepper everywhere he goes. He is the envy of every colleague - it just makes me so proud."

In an unexpected sober moment, spokesman Kim added these comments to the otherwise festive event: "This technology was very difficult to develop, and came at a steep price within the cephalopod community. In the beginning, our engineers worked unsuccessfully for 4 years on a combination washing / nakji-bokkum (spicy fried octopus) machine. During this time, countless octopusses sacrificed their lives, in order to better the condition of Korean housewives." Mr. Kim paused to dry the tears from his cheeks, and then continued: "Finally, one day last year, senior engineer Mr. Boo-la Bae was cleaning octopus pieces from the floor. Suddenly, just like so many errant octopus legs had hit his head before, he was struck with an idea: let's try automated kimchi instead! The result is the exciting new technology we present today."

The new Kimchi Washers have been released first in front-loading models, available in stores beginning next week. This feature will be added to top-loading models in early 2011. And to further ease household burden, the optional T4A (Ttong-To-Ttong Transfer Accessory) is available. Using LGE's patented Kimchi-Krane technology, it will automatically move the finished kimchi from the washing machine to your kimchi refrigerator. Look for these products at your local appliance mart today.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Friendship Force

I had a great chance to meet a group from the "Friendship Force" clubs of Alabama and Hawaii, travelling to Korea over the next couple of weeks. I escorted them from the airport to their overnight hotel, and then got them safely onboard the KTX train to Gwangju this morning. Things went almost as smoothly as I had planned, although we had to improvise on a few ocassions. They will have a wonderful trip, I am sure.

All gathered at the airport, waiting for some flights from Hawaii to arrive.

At the train platform, waiting for the train.

Finally, it arrived. Full speed ahead!