Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Self Imposed Ban!

I noticed that my last 4 posts have been on heavy sociological issues, and I dont like that! My blog is supposed to be up beat and show to the world what Korea has to offer. Along with tidbits of stuff or things going on in my life! Call me selfish, but it is my blog!

So I am banning myself from posting any more "heavy" posts...I declare my posts will pertain to food, music, food, movies, food, or "tidbits" from my life, and of course food.

Unfortunately, Im in Africa for 2 more weeks, so I won't have much in the ways of food to post.

You know what always lightens my mood? Pictures of Korean kids in hanboks...I dont think there is anything cuter then Korean kids in Hanboks.

For some reason I just dont come out as "cute" as the kids do :(

I objected to putting it on, but as you can see from the photo...I lost.

In Response to Roboseyo

Robseyo just recently posted a blog titled "Why are Koreans Hypersensitive to Criticisms from non-Koreans" found:
http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2008/07/ask-korean-guest-blogger-roboseyo-why_26.html (couldnt get the hyperlink to work..sorry)

He has asked for opinions from "Kimcheerleaders" to his blog, so I decided I would post my response. First of all, while I know your probably being creative in the use of "Kimcheerleaders" I highly doubt you would call other races based on what they eat like "Friedchickenleaders" or "fajitaeerleaders" because Im pretty sure in the US (Im assuming your from the US) you'd be labeled as a racist and Im pretty sure using those phrases in south side Chicago or Cass Ave Detroit would get you shot if not seriously injured. Isnt it ironic how its not ok to use terms like these for other races but its overlooked for the asian races?

I am one of the Koreans that Roboseyo described as "living outside of Korea, and not even able to speak Korean" (paraphrased). However, I believe that I am very in-tuned to Korean society, culture, and history. I have experienced and seen more of Korea and its historical artifacts than many of my Korean friends. And, even though I have lived outside of Korea for the last 22 years of my life, I still have a huge instilled since of pride. Pride that "My" country has done what it has being that its such a small nation. I get goosebumps every Olympics when "My" country gets more medals at both the Winter and Summer Olympics per capita then almost any country. So I guess based on that I am a "Kimcheerleader" according to Robeseyo.

As a response to Roboseyo:
For someone who has lived in Korea for such a long time, it seems that the a fundamental basis of Korean Society has been missed. Im not saying this as a criticism but I think it would explain what he is "missing" in his analysis.

"Saving Face" is perhaps the most important concept to understand when discussing Korean sociological issues and it seems to be missing or way too lightly considered in Roboseyo's post. It is a common mistake for foreigners being that they were not raised in this concept. Many foreigners know of this concept, but do they truely understand the concept? I highly doubt it. I don't think "outsiders" (myself included) can understand how serious Koreans take this and live by this concept. In section 4.5, Roboseyo mentions that one of his commenters responds "Like having my family's dirty laundry aired out", and his response is a little non-chalant about that. I would have to say, to Koreans, criticizing their country is way more than dirty laundry when you are openly criticizing Korea. To put it into our severity, it would be like throwing feces on the American flag. It is impolite to openly criticize (whether constructive or destructive) openly in public.

If Korea has been able to do what it has in the last 50 years, (BTW. Korea is a top 10 major player in the world economy now), then why does it need to adjust? Why is it that western cultures think Progressive means westernizing? Think if the roles were reversed (which honestly I could see happening in the next 100 years, if you factor that China, Japan, and Korea are all "major" players in the world markets and still growing and soon to be added to that list India) how do you think you would react if other countries were telling the US and other western countries that they are "behind the times" and that Progression means "Easternizing" or conforming to the Asian cultures? It definitely would not be received well.

Just because you have stayed in a country for as long as you have, something to remember is your still a visitor. Roboseyo mentioned his best friends wife and being able to give "constructive criticism" because of his familiarity with his friend and his wife. I was wondering, how do you give "constructive criticism" to a society/nation? Are your comments really going to change something and be useful/productive? if not, they are not constructive. Secondly, even with how close you are with your best friend, there are still comments, criticisms or whatnot that you keep to yourself. I can guarantee you that if you told your best friend that his wife was a slut, it would probably dramatically change your relationship with your best friend. So remember while, in Korea (no matter how long), you are still a visitor and certain boundaries shouldnt be crossed. Apparently you have found where that boundary is and my advice would be to stay clear from it. Korean society isnt like American society, its less forgiving of people who like to "stir things ups".

Here are some questions Roboseyo has asked of Koreans:
If criticism of Korea by non-Koreans upsets or offends you, why does it?
Yes. Because does anyone like being critisized? In the US people are used to open criticism, in Asian societies they are not. And to think that Korea has to "develop" and get used to this is frankly unacceptable in my opinion.

How could those views be expressed without upsetting you? Under what conditions ARE outsiders allowed to criticize Korea?
Frankly to be honest, I really don't want to hear what people dont like about Korea. Same with the US, I don't want to hear what people dont like about the US. There are no conditions in which I would openly be grateful to hear criticisms about either country from foreigners. However, What I find that works is you can discuss the differences between the visiting country and what your used too. But just because your used too it doesnt mean its better. This is a discussion of differences, and you need to remember to be overly sensitive sometimes. Remember, what you may think is "bad" or criticism about Korea maybe something that they appreciate. For example, some outsiders view honorifics as "too much" but to a Korean its the way of life. Something to remember, "Opinions are like buttholes, everyone's got one". So for every criticism you have, there are others who will disagree.

I don't think its as difficult as Roboseyo thinks it is with Korean blood out in the world and non-korean blood in Korea. The difficulty is understanding the difference. In 95% of the world determines nationality by where you live and loyalty/allegiance. In Korea, nationality is determined by blood. I think this explains a lot about the culture itself and some of these issues brought up by Roboseyo.

Here are my last responses to the last set of questions Roboseyo poses:

Whence all the negativity on the K-blogosphere, from both sides?
Personally I try to stay out of it. Its not something I want to publicize because I think it detracts from the many great things Korea has to offer. Why focus on the negatives of various cultures. Its not like the Korean society is killing anyone or committing genocide. So why the "urgency" to degrade the society?

Why do YOU think expats complain about Korea?
Because expats complain about whatever country they live in anywhere in the world. I think maybe your more exposed to it in Korea only because your in Korea. Expats tend to be ungrateful and compare everything that is happening to them to what they are used to and to their native country. They dont realize they are visitors and will always be treated as such, even though they sometimes forget they are visitors. And frankly I agree with the philosophy that if you want to complain so much, then leave. If its that bad, leave. No one is forcing expats to stay in Korea. And most of them actually get paid better for being an expat. So that is probably why I have such a short fuse for expats who overly complain. I know I may sound like a hypocrit because Im an expat and I complain about the food here in Africa. But, the food is not provided by the locals it is provided by my company in a canteen that is operated by my company to be western standards. You will never find any words of degradation or criticism of the country or people I work with.

Why do you think critiques are often taken so poorly?
Does anyone take critiques gracefully? Again, you have to understand "Saving face" better to truely understand the how much this means to Koreans in this scenario which you are exploring.

Is it just that the internet makes everything seem more extreme than it really is?
Is there something I simply missed?
I think people post stuff on the internet a little bit too freely because they are behind a computer and not face to face. It would be real easy for me to critique you or anyone out there because of the internet barrier. I could post things that I would never say person to person..

Sorry for the long post, but I hope this helps Roboseyo.

Monday, July 28, 2008

American vs Korean Education System (Cpnclusion)

Thanks Cheri for giving me this link, it is very interesting:

While I was watching this video and listening to the comments, a lightbulb went on in my head.

I know this is a big debate, but I don't see the huge issue. The education system is not at fault here nor is it failing. The Korean education system runs off the same principles as the US system. Everyone who goes to college in the US also takes a long and tedious test called the SAT or ACT, and its a huge factor in what schools you get into.

The biggest difference between the US and Korea? The emphasis each society puts on education. Is it right to put so much stress and emphasis on education? I don't know, but I can't say its wrong either. What is wrong with wanting your kid to go to the best school, and get the best job, and set up a life that is the best he/she can get? The thing is, in Korea, everyone wants that and it becomes a simple supply and demand scenario. The thing is you hear about people complaining about it and people worrying about the kids...but the truth of the matter is, does anyone have a better alternative? If the current system didn't exist then how would society decide which students get into the most selective Universities. Which students are going to volunteer to "bow out" of the rat race first and go to a "second tier school"?

Has America lost its fighting spirit? I think as Americans we shouldn't pity the Koreans, instead I think we should be asking ourselves why has this not occurred in the US? I think sometimes the US doesnt expect enough of its students. Sure there are always the students who are self motivators or a few parents who "push" their kids. These are the ones that go to the Ivy League Schools or the MITs out there. However, it seems that the vast majority of the American Society is content with State Colleges and Community Colleges.

One thing is for sure, you have to admire the Korean determination, focus, and drive in this area. Maybe thats why its able to be the 9th economic growing power in the world? Im not saying the zealousness they have is necessarily healthy, but man! I sure wish I could get a glipse of what the US would be if the average American had the same zeal as the average Korean.

The difference isnt the education system or schools. The Korean schools themselves are actually doing better then the schools in the US. How do I come to this conclusion? The fact that the schools are providing exactly what its society wants of it. If its society puts so much pressure to educate their kids (whether its only book smart versus street smart), its accomplishing what its asked to do. And its doing a very good job at that. I don't think its any debate that Korean educated students are highly ranked on an international standard, which is amazing for the size of the country.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

American vs Korean Education System

Can you really say one education system is better than the other when comparing Korean education to American? Personally I don't think you can. In this disucssion I am only referencing elementary through highschool education systems.

I definitely think that the American education system is faultering and a "let down" to the children. Many schools are removing extra-curriculars such as music programs!!in favor of more administration and more counselors. The curriculums seem to be getting watered down and you hear of schools offering ebonics!! EBONICS!!! basically saying its ok to butcher the english language (as if we don't do that bad enough already??). Or the California math system where 2+2 can equal 5, as long as the child's feelings are not hurt by it. Im sorry but 2 + 2 equals 4, and I don't care if it hurts the feelings of a child to tell them they are wrong. It seems that the American education system has lost its "wind in its sails"...Luckily for me I think I passed through the system at its height of glory or maybe just as the height of glory was passing. I think in the 1990s the education system was probably at its best, with pushing students to get into colleges and providing the basic fundementals to be able to succeed. I think the emphasis on college could have been taken a little more serious by students, parents, and teachers alike. However I dont think America has ever faced a situation where too much focus has been put on education. Unfortunately now, I think American education system is quickly getting worse and failing at providing the necessary basics to students.

Then we have Korea in a stark contrast. Korean Society has realized the importance of education and have continued to really push education. This can be seen by the fact that their student far exceed American students in every aspect except having a life out of school. Unfortunatley I think they take it too far, to the point where they "burn out" their students too early. Meaning, the education system is so stressful on the students that by the time they get to college they are burned out and exhausted leaving not much in their "fuel tanks" for college. Ideally this should occur at the end of college so you maximize your learning over your entire duration of your education. Koreans put too much emphasis on education to the point where their students have nothing but school in their lives. At the same time, I think spending this much time in books also does not provide any "street sense" or "street smarts".

Im not saying one is better then the other. However, when it comes to education I think Id rather be overly compensated in this area then under-compensated. I would hope I could survive that stress in the Korean system to get the basics they provide. However, students shouldnt have to pick one or the other. There needs to be balance.

American Society vs Korean Society (American Society)

I just recently received some comments that I found interesting, so I figured I'd write about it. (thanks Giraffe, I honestly appreciate your insite on this matter)

It was brought to my attention that some of my posts make it sound like I want to be fully immersed in Korean Life. So I thought this would be a good topic to write about. I don't have the experience of living in Korea for an extended period of time, but I have visited Korea for 13 weeks in the last year. I guess that gives me a little bit of an insight into the matter, however I still appreciate that its still a limited insight.

Here is a quick list of what I like about both societies in comparison to each other:
American Society:
1. Not so "pushy"...have you ever been in a waiting line in Korea???It doesnt exist..lol
2. Traffic - LA has nothing on Seoul
3. University System - Education wise the US system is the best in the world, cost wise its the worst...lol
4. shopping - things are so cheap in the US, and the US has much wider selection
5. By far less crowded
6. Openess to outsiders - I say this with tongue in cheek and as a generalization. I think American Society is more tolerant of differences in people (kind of has to be being that its a melting pot of cultures), however I think Koreans are by far more friendly to strangers (ie, if your walking around with white parents they will stop to help you out..lol..however, if its just me they won't).

Korean Society:
1. Definitely the food.
2. Music. It is much more innocent and PG rated. I know some peopel would say naive, but is it really that bad? Is the alternative (ie. hip hop today with scantily clad models, or rapping about killing or pimps or sex) better? I feel the bubble gum pop of Korea pop-culture wins.
3. Television - Similar to music. American TV is often trashy (ie desperate housewives) while on Korean television a scandel is if a couple kiss...again, another area where being a little naive isnt a bad thing.
4. The way religious freedom is handled
5. Focus on strong family relationships.
6. Honorifics - nothing wrong with being respectful of elders, I think carrying it too far is better than not at all
7. Coffee/Tea shops - So awesome, theres like a coffee or tea shop every other store in Seoul!
8. The way Korean eat meals, usually sharing a common central dish...Much more personal
9. Public Transportation - Have you ever been on the Seoul Subway. Heck Ive even used the inter-city bus system in very remote areas of Korea. Of course you have to be able to read Hangul, but its still very efficient.

I will discuss education in a different post but I dont think either society has a better education system.

I recognize both societies have benefits over the other. Obviously no society is the perfect society. To be honest if you could get a hybrid of American and Korean Society, I think it would be as close to a perfect blend you could get. I think the Korean society is a bit too "aggressive" yet American society is too "passive". I think American pop-culture has become too progressive and Korean pop-culture is a bit "naive". American families and relationships are too weak (children unwilling to take care of their elderly parents) whereas the ties in Korean society are maybe too strong (children living with parents until they get married?). American lack of respect for elders versus the Korean honorific system. I think in all of these areas a blend would be ideal. I think each society takes some of the good things a bit far and the other society doesnt take far enough.

The problem is you can only live in 1 place at a time. I think people who live in America would love the change when living in Korea and vice-versa. I know I have several blogging friends in Korea who get tired of the pushyness and some other aspects of Korean society. However, I think when they come back to America, they will desperately miss several aspects of Korean society. I guess it goes to the phrase "The grass is always greener on the other side". Being that I have pretty much lived in Korea for the same amount of time in the US over the past year, I truly understand that. While Im in the US I really miss Korea, when I was in Korea I missed things in the US.

However, at this point in my life, I think I would prefer the Korean lifestyle over American. The reason being is I feel that Korean society is like an aggressive (maybe pushy) version of America back in the 1050s...Its tiring, but I dont think its a bad thing. I think the 1950's generation of America was probably one of the most iconic time periods of America.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

커피프린스 1호점 - "The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince" (Series Recap)

I have finally finished watching this entire series and I must say, it was excellent. When you look up the information on this series you see that it was not so popular at the beginning of the series, but as the series developed it gained popularity and at the end of the series was contineously ranked 1st or 2nd in viewers. After finishing the series, I can understand this shift in popularity.

This show is good throughout the entire drama, but it gets way better at the end. I know most people get tired of Korean Dramas all having similar plots of the forbidden relationships and sappy stories, but is that not the reason we watch Korean Dramas? Its like going to Disney World, you know its going to be a tourist trap, crowded, little kids all over the place, but you still go when you get the opportunity.

The reason I say this drama gets better and better is it does a great job of the frustrating the viewer at the beginning of the show because of the conflicts between characters and the characters mix matching with the wrong people. But as the show develops and the relationships between these characters develop, the viewers become more at ease with the developing relationship between Go Eun Chan and Choi Han Kyul.

Im not going to give the plot away but it does end in the typical Korean Drama fashion. But I think that is why I liked this drama so much. By the end of the series, I was ready and wanting the characters to match up like they did. The last two episodes were awesome and gave the typical warm and fuzzy feeling in your heart.

My overall rating for the series would be a solid 8. The only reason is the series does start of a little rocky in the beginning, but the last couple episodes really make the series. I would highly recommend this show to my friens. However, I think "My Name is Kim Sam Soon" and "Full House" are still higher on the "Must Watch List".

Friday, July 25, 2008

Big Changes in the Works!!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have just recently aqcuired the domain names:

I got the second domain for free with my web hosting. Would have been nice to have known before buying the www.inmyseoul.com domain. I also meant to purcahse ".net" and not ".biz", maybe I'll purchase ".net" extension later. We'll see if its worth it.

Anyways, I have purchased the two domain names, and I have also purchased web hosting for those domain names.

Since I am not software savvy whatsoever, I have also contacted a couple web designers to help me design an awesome blog webpage. It'll take aproximately a month to get this all set up so please bear with me and the mess. For right now I will continue my main posting on my blogspot account. My two domain names will re-direct people to my blogspot page, until I get the webdesign finished.

Blog Name Change

As you can see, Ive decided to change my blog name!
1. the old name was too long
2. the old name didnt show what my blog was about
3. I think the new name is clever because most of my posts have been about something Korean...at the same time, some of my blogs have been about my life in general...play on words...lol..im easily amused.

Best part, I just checked into it and I think I can buy the domain name: www.inmyseoul.com

Which Im going to go register right now :)

SWEET!!! I am now the proud owner of the domain: www.inmyseoul.com!!! :)


Thanks to Therese Mac Seain, I have found a couple of new blogs on Korean food. Including her own blog, but also I had to look up what her favorite food was because I didnt recognize it. When I did that I found another great Korean food site! Ive added them both to my bloglist on the left hand side. Im all excited to check these "new" (at least new to me) blogs. They look amazing!

Even though Therese is not Korean..we won't hold it against her...maybe we can make her an honorary Korean...being that she lives in Korea...she's probably more "Korean" then I am right now in Africa...lol

Anyways, Im so excited to find all of these blogs on Korea...it helps me remember my trips to Korea and hopefully I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What is your favorite Korean food?

Hey guys, I know theres only a few of you that read this, but I was wondering what your favorite Korean dishes are?

I just got an email from my "adopted" korean family. Ironic. I am adopted to the US then when I visit Korea I got "adopted" into a Korean family! Its really great...lol

Anyways, they reminded me of my favorite korean dish because they were telling me they went back to the restaurant. I could never write about it because I didnt know what it was called and I didnt have any photos. Well I still dont have photos but I know what its called.

Gamjatang!!! It is my favorite dish in Korea. It translates to potato soup. I know it doesnt sound real appetizing. Actually when my Korean family first explained it to me, they called it potato and pork bone soup...So I had this picture in my mind of a cream of potato soup with like a ham bone in it for flavoring...needless to say I wasnt exactly excited about it. Boy was I wrong! Its actually a spicy broth base with large pork bones (not sure exactly what the cut of pork is, but I suspect its the spine/ribs of the pig) and chunks of potato along with various other vegetables. There are large chunks of pork on the pork bone which you peel off and dip the meat into a watered down wasabi sauce and eat! Excellent. Then, when you are done with the meat and potatoes, you can get ramen added to the broth and when thats all done you can get rice and make bibimbop!! By far this is my favorite dish..

As many of you know a close second would be Andong Jjim-ddak! Its hard to beat this spicy chicken and noodles combination.

These two dishes are hands down my favorite. Unfortunately I have never heard of these types of restaurants anywhere in the US. But I will start trying to track one down!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Celadon: The Worst Korean Restaurant Ever!

While I enjoyed my time in Whistler, I had the disappointing experience of finding the worst Korean Restaurant ever!!!! The name of the restaurant was Celadon (as in the Korean potter)

The service was fine, but the food and the price were horrible.

I had:



Kimchee Cheon:

Spicy Samgyeopsol:

For some reason I am unable to upload any more pictures at the moment. But, I'll add them later.

The reason this was the worst Korean restaurant was for two reasons:
1. The food did not taste good.
2. You had to pay for everything...even rice!! yes even rice! and even kimchee!! even Banchan!! even Banchan!! and even the lettuce to put your samgyeopsol!! yes even lettuce!!! How ridiculous is that!!!???

The restaurant nickel and dime you to death! by the end of the night I had wasted $70for a meal that didnt even taste good! If you want a bad review from me, the easiest way is to charge me for all the little things....that is just wrong in a Korean restaurant. But yea this restaurant charged $3 for rice, $5 for a small portion of kimchee, $5 for lettuce for your samgyeopsol!! and another $9 for banchan!!!! It so made me mad!

As for taste, the kimchee cheon was pretty much flavorless and way to greasy. The kimchee had not been fermented at all so the cabbage had not absorbed the spices. The samgyeopsol just wasnt right. it was sliced way too thin and just didnt taste the same. Maybe its because of the different butchering practices between Korea and the west? The meat just didnt look like samgyeopsol.

Anyways, this is by far the worst Korean restaurant I have ever eaten at...unfortunately its located in Whistler Village and probably giving everyone who visits a poor representation of Korean food.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What a week!

This post will describe what Ive been doing for the last week!

Ive been busy for the last week at Camp of Champions. It is a summer freestyle snowboarding/skiing camp. It is probably one of the most advanced camps there are. Almost all of the coaches are Pros and I went for the skiing portion which was held primarily by the 4FRNT crew. If you dont know much about skiing, 4FRNT is a boutique freestyle skiing company. The camp was awesome and if you ever get the chance or want to try X-Games style skiing or snowboarding, this is the place to be! Here are some pictures:

Something you dont expect to see when your skiing:

Yes a blackbear.

Some nice scenery (the weather was awesome!):
The camp:

notice anything missing? Yea...snow...

We actually had to take 3 ski lifts and a bus to get to the top of Blackcomb Mountain. Where we skied on a glacier. This is not a picture of me. Actually its a picture of an "advanced" camper doing pro level jumps.

Picture of the park...beautiful scenery:

Here are the boxes to practice on...I even learned how to do these (Again..not me in the photo):

I was doing boxes..that is until I fell and did this to myself:

Sorry I dont have a better picture, but pretty much its a big bruise the entire bottom half of my forearm. After that I wussed out and started on jumps. I will post another post about my jumping experience.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Back in Business!

Well, I am at my parents house in Detroit now. I just flew in a couple of hours ago from St. Louis. While I was in St. Louis I decided to pick up another digital camera because Im leaving tomorrow morning for Vancouver and I cant go on that trip without a camera. Unfortunately I was unable to replace the Samsung NV24HD. I know in reviews it got trashed, but I was starting to really like that camera :(

Anyways I got a Canon PowerShot1100IS. Its compact and takes decent pictures.

Here is how you can have a heart attack in less then 20 minutes:

Bratwurst with chili cheese fries and a large coke!

Here are some zoom in pictures with the new camera:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Im so upset with myself right now!!!!!!!!!

I arrived in Detroit this morning from my red-eye flight from Las Vegas (layover) from Sacramento. I had to switch terminals because Im now on my way to St. Louis. So I went through security and emptied my bags of electronic items when I realized I left my brand new Samsung NV24 digital camera on the previous airplane!!! Im soooo ticked!!! Its a brand new camera that I bought in Korea in May! Its a great camera 5x optical zoom, 10 megapixal and takes HD video!

I went back to see if I could retrieve it but the plan had already left for Phoenix...so I submitted a lost item claim, but I doubt I'll ever see that camera again. The lady at the lost items counter was not helpful whatsoever. She kept rebuking me about leaving stuff in the pockets on an airplane. Well no duh...obviously I can see the results of that...no need to keep kicking a guy when he's down!

We'll see if someone will be a good Samaritan and turn it in...until then Im without a camera :(

I might try and pick one up in St. Louis while Im there. I'll definitely need a camera when I go to Vancouver/Whistler on Saturday.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hot Hot Hot!!

Yup, Im in California! This is my first trip ever.
It was 110F today!!
I arrived in California on Sunday, and now Im in the Sacramento airport.

Here is my awesome rental car...definite upgrade from my silverado.

Sight seeing:

In case you were wondering..that is the golden gate bridge...personally I was severely disappointed. Its a lot smaller then I expected. Anyways, that wasnt the highlight of my tour. I was actually on a quest to find a Korean restaurant. Supposedly there are a lot of Koreans in the Bay area.

I must be addicted to Korean food because I spent about 2.5 hours looking for a Korean restaurant in particular....I never found it. However, I did find another Korean restaurant. It was filled with foreigners from Europe, and I was like "oh oh"...however a couple Koreans did wander in later. Anyways, pictures of my dinner:
Nice selection of Banchan:

Then Kimchee Cheon:

Then one of my favorites Sundubo (spelling?) chigae:

It was about 9:30 PM by the time I got this food and I hadnt eaten since 10:30AM that day, so I was starving! I ate the sundobu so quickly that all I can taste in my mouth right now is a tingling sensation of a burned tongue :(

Anyways, it was fairly good. The sundobu was good, the kimchee cheon was too salty and a bit too greasy and over cooked. It also didnt have enough of the batter in it. But Im not one to complain when Im hungry. and yes, that is a Hite. I decided to have one for old times...even though its pretty watered down beer. actually the Hite was excellent combination with the salty and greasy cheon...lol

At least I was able to have a Korean fix while I was near San Francisco. The best part is the whole trip was paid for by someone else!

Anyways Im in the airport getting ready to head to Detroit. I dont arrive until 7AM tomorrow evening!! Then I just stay there until my flight to St. Louis at 3 PM!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cousin's New House

My cousin and his wife (Pat and Megan) just bought their first house! Its a great house, a lot nicer than most people's houses. Anyways, Ive been over there the last two days helping them paint. If my career in engineering fails, I could always take up painting.


Thats my awesome truck on the right side. I miss driving it when I'm gone for a long time.

Well, in return for work, they feed me. I could always go to the street corners and wear a sign that says "Will work for food!"

We had hamburgers and corn on the cob grilled on the grill. That's my cousin Pat putting the burgers on. Even though they are the frozen preformed patties, they are far superior to anything I've had in Africa...lol:

The "Grill Master" at work...I think he needs to watch what he's doing a little more? I call dibs on the non-burned one :)

The spread, which included pasta salad, chips with chipotle dip, and corn on the cob. Traditional American Fare:

Of course you can't forget dessert!! (smores!!):

They were awesome! the chocolate was huge and it was all soft and melting!:

Pat showing how to eat a smore!

Is there ever a time when taking pictures of food is inappropriate?

Happy belated 4th of July! Anyways, last night my parents, sister, and I joined my Grandpa at the Grosse Pointe Yacht club for dinner and fireworks. It is a very fancy club with a fancy restaurant. Usually the require sport coats, but since it was a holiday they relaxed on the dress code so it was a comfortable dinner.

Anyways, I was too scared to bring my camera to take pictures. I wish I had brought my camera because as usual it was excellent. Of course that is what you would expect for a meal that cost about $70. So instead of pictures I will have to describe what I had for dinner:
Oysters on the half shell appetizer
cream of crab soup made with sherry (the best soup Ive ever had)
16 oz. Prime Rib medium rare with au jus and horseradish/sour cream
baked potato and green beans
fruit martini for dessert.
and a Shirley Temple drink :)

It was excellent. Probably as "American" style as you can get. Oysters were extremely fresh and well cleaned. The cream of crab soup is the best soup I have ever had. Ive had it before at the Yacht Club, so I knew what I was getting when I ordered it :)
The Prime Rib was cooked to perfection! melted in your mouth and was a nice change from the leather we get in Africa. The fruit martini is fresh strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and rasberries, all intermixed with whip cream. Sorry no real alcohol in this dessert. And of course a Shirley Temple to top it all off.

For those of you who dont know what a Shirley Temple is, you have been missing out. I have drank these all of my life on special occasions. Although most people would probably laugh or make fun of me for ordering one, in my mind it takes a real man to be able to order and drink a Shirley Temple. Anyways it is a club soda with cherry grenadine. Usually accented with a cherry or two.

Afterwards we went to grandpa's boat and watched the fireworks display. If I ever find a decent video editor I'll post you the finale for those of you in Korea and missing out on the fireworks.

Anyways, here is a picture of grandpa's boat:

For Cheri

This is for fellow blogger Cheri!
I hope you feel better soon.
Anyways, I read your comments about food in the US and it sounded so good so here is what I had for lunch today:

That is a Jimmy John's #6! Vegetarian with provolone cheese, alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado spread, Real American Mayo!
Along with Jalapeno chips and a coke!
It was delicious. If there was anyway I could send you one I would :)

I dont remember seeing any Jimmy Johns in Seoul? But Im sure they have something close to it?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Good Home Cooking

Well, not exactly. But its the closest thing I have to home cooked korean. Its the Korean restaurant that my family has gone to for most of my life.
Anways here are some pictures:
Mandu appetizer:

My Family: Starting from left and going around clockwise:
My dad, mom, sister, grandpa, grandpa's girlfriend, my cousin:

ban chan:

My dinner (Nakji bokum):

My cousin enjoying his Bulgogi:

Best Kimchi in the World:

As my grandpa says, we were all "Clean Plate Winners!"

Thursday, July 3, 2008



Thats how I feel right now. Its my first full day back in the US of A. I arrived last night, after about 24 hours of traveling (which included a 8 hour layover in Paris). I know a lot of girls would have died over that, but being a guy, Ive been into Paris before. Ive seen the Tower, Cathedral, arch, louvre....been there done that...so I stayed in the airport playing video games on my laptop...lol

Anyways here is the first thing I went out and did last night:

Yes folks, that is the authentic Caramel Cappuccino with REAL whipped cream and caramel drizzle from Caribou Coffee. Every other coffee shop is just an imitation of this godly desert type coffee!

Here is another picture with the top off, showing the exquisite whipped cream with the caramel drizzle. Notice how heavy the cream looks and the caramel is real caramel (not that syrup crap). The best part is the pure whipped cream and caramel that is stuck on the lid. I always have to lick the lid before I start drinking!

Im going to the Korean Restaurant tonight. The one that literally raised me on Korean Food, so its the closest thing I have to home cooking for Korean food. I'll take some pictures and post it.

Im only home for 2.5 weeks and its going to be crazy:
I am in Detroit right now. I leave Sunday at 8:00 AM for California (San Francisco area). I arrive back in Detroit at 7:00 AM on Wednesday. I leave that same day at like 3:00 PM for St. Louis. I return to Detroit around 8:00 PM on Friday next week. I then leave Saturday morning at 9:00 AM for Vancouver. Im going to a freestyle ski camp for a week. Freestyle ski camp = x-games style skiing with jumps and spins...never done it beforoe so Im gonna go out and try to break my leg...lol

I cant tell you why Im going to California and St. Louis right now, but if everything works out, I'll be able to give more details in 2 weeks!

Be sure to check frequently because I plan on taking lots of pictures everywhere. Especially California and Vancouver (when Im skiing)!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Ok, well its not exactly Friday, its Tuesday Morning. But when you work 28 straight 12-15 hour days we say every day is a Monday, except the last day which is the day you leave. Guess what? I LEAVE TODAY!!! W00t! can you tell Im excited??

I have been out of the US since early March. I miss my house, I miss my truck!! Its amazing the weird things you miss when your away from home for so long. Anyways I leave tonight at 10:30 PM and I will be traveling for about 24 hours! 8 hour flight from Equatorial Guinea to Paris, 4 hour lay over, and about 10 hour flight from Paris to Detroit. Luckily for me, my company flies me in Business Class. I'll have to say over the last 2.5 years of doing this; 1. I have racked up the mileage and 2. Im starting to get spoiled with Business/First Class. I dont like to fly Coach anymore :(