Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Neng Myeon



Ok this will be the first in a long series of post about Korean food. I will start another series on Indian food too. People have the misconception that Indians only eat curry. Or that curry is only of a few types. People, India has enough diversity to be a continent. You need to visit India to truly see this.

Ok well let me tell you about Neng Myeon. Firstly Neng means "cold", and "myeon" means noodles. This dish when translated into English literally means cold noodles. This was truly unique to me. I grew up on pasta, and sometimes Ramyeon (I am using the Korean pronunciation). Those noodles were always server HOT. Neng Myeon is served cold.

There are two types of Neng Myeon. One is called Mul Neng Myeon, while the other is Bi-bim Neng Myeon. Mul in Korean means water, so water cold noodles is very mild. You see the broth that the noodles are in is quite tangy. You have red pepper paste with some wasabi (Japanese spicy paste) with vingear mixed in. Bi-bim is more spicy with more of the red pepper sauce.

When you get your bowl of Neng Myeon, you will notice that there are radishes thinly sliced, along with slices of Korean Pears, they are very different than American pears. They are more crunchy, but they are just as juicy! You might find tomatoes freshly sliced, with sesame seeds, and last but not least, a boiled egg (usually just half an egg), yogita's favorite!

Neng Myeon may have meat (beef, or pork) as well. It differs based on the region. I have heard of many types. Bi-bim the picture with the meat and noticeable more red sauce is more spicy, along with that nice tangy taste!!!!

So...enjoy, it is a strange sounding dish...but totally yummy. Tomorrow I want to have it for dinner!!!

Tata




Monday, June 29, 2009

Time Flies!!!!

It sure does especially here in Korea...i am not joking seriously i have talked to other people who feel the SAME way...it's like today is Monday and then before you know it's the middle of the week and then before you can say wow! lo-and- behold it's Friday again......i love that about Korea...in other places we have been weeks would just drag on sometimes forever but not here

Like Jemal mentioned both George and Jeyo are doing great and growing fast...George is reading these days...he is learning science and math and he loves studying...Jeyo is talking these days and has quite a few tricks up his sleeves that keeps his grandparents very busy!!

Jemal and I are busy but we enjoy our work so it's really fun!!!! we will be in July soon..it's really hot and humid here these days but we can't complain...i guess you can say we are nice and cool compared to our family in India...it's HOT there.....so i guess count your blessings huh!!!!!

Windy Korea!

Yeah I know 2 post in one day...what can I say. I thought of making this post after looking at picture in the last set of pictures I posted. OK about the wind....Korea is about 70% Mountainous.
The other 30 percent is in the form of some flat areas like Gunsan (great rice producing region), and beautiful breathtaking valleys.

So when it comes to building more highways...and trust me this little nation needs them, you come across some problems. Basically the first roads, which became highways later ran north to south. The number 1 expressway which runs all the way from Seoul to Busan takes such a winding path, that it adds hours to your trip.

Mountains mean more tunnels....I mean tunnels that can be over 1 mile in length, or almost 1 mile.
Many are half of mile. Huge valleys....well the road is raised over them....by hundreds of feet. Finally the wind. Korea is a very windy country. It is felt less in large cities due to the abundance of large structures which actually block wind. However, in the valleys there can be a very strong wind current!

Our car the KIA Enterprise is a fully loaded large luxury sedan, that weighs in at 1 ton, with a 182 horse power Engine. I think Melahs SUV is MUCH heavier, but...even at 1 ton and traveling at 110 miles and hour (180km range), when I exit a tunnel.....BOOM! I am hit so hard that I can feel it strongly in my steering, and wheels. Even the tranny will react by changing gears shifting down for more power. It is so unsettling that I have stopped speeding! Well...more like 140km/h, at that speed I am not so scared. I wonder how a Chevy blazer would handle it. Omorro your little PT.....dunno twin.....but your wheels are larger, and tires are wide.....I would so like to buy your car and ship it here! I would be like...cool...cause I have an American car. I still want to talk to you about helping me import a car over here...but maybe sometime later.

OK enough...Jemal...shut up.....drink your beer, get ready for tomorrow....

tata

Cloudy day

Yeah cloudy and a bit muggy. Our weekend was busy! We took a drive on saturday AND sunday. We drove all over the place. Nearby of course. This time I brought the camera along and took some pictures. Well we both did. We might be seeing transformers 2 today. I have heard so many good things. I really hate it when critics bash movies that are actually pretty good! Well tonight promises to be a bit busy.

Having car can be a very nice thing. Of course being in Korea that means safety is a major concern. Last weekend we saw two bad car accidents. In one the accidents it looked as if someone was seriously hurt. It was wierd. The ambulance that was to assist the injured was driving behind us, very slowly. Finally I decided to let them pass, they still drove very very slowly. Only to arrive at the scene as we were tailing them. It was horrible! The cars were crushed, and twisted, people were lying on the ground, others crying, and the ambulance slowly arrived and set about to helping them. So for me, I am going to keep being as careful as I can.

George is now 7 years old! Yogita talked to him yesterday. His teeth are starting to come out! He is very excited, and yesterday told his grandpa "See now I am strong like my Daddy" He often goes up on the roof, and picks up some heavy stones (I think they are empty flower pots, big empty flower pots!). After doing this for a few minutes he runs down stairs showing off his muscles. LOL

Jeyo has fully recovered, as has Abu, so all is well on that front.

I gotta get ready now....

Tata

Friday, June 26, 2009

Micheal Jackson.....

Well news over the internet travels very fast! It is amazing to me how some people seem to have everything but death can take it all away. This man was rich beyond peoples wildest dreams. He lost nearly all of his wealth as we all know. The scandals that seemed to follow him. I asked my students what they thought of him.

They all seemed to like him....up until the allegations of the child molestation came to light.
In this world we have a nuclear armed North Korea (in what stage who knows), who is threatening to attack. On the other hand a pop star dies. Sheesh, the news these days. People are losing jobs, losing their homes, and a pop star dies.

I am belittling him, he did alot in his field. The media took his personal issues, and aired all of his dirty laundry.

Ugh I hate the media. You can never believe what they say anyway.

Well it is lunch time. I think I will make a another post about Korean food. For those of you in Alaska....you have great access to Korean food. About 20,000 Korean Americans have settled in Anchorage alone.

Take care.

Tata

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A RARE Post!!!!!!

i know i know its been a while....but i have been busy..well...sort of...ah...o.k....just lazy...but better late that never RIGHT!!!!

First of all we have had some major changes work related and otherwise..everything has turned out to be really good this far...we are planning on joining the gym and getting back in shape....

on another note...we LOVE Startrek...we are watching the ENTERPRISE these days(by-the-way same name as our humble black ENTERPRISE) and we are absolutely in love again...it's so much fun...only a true Trekki can understand...we have this teacher working in our school ...YOUNG KID...she does not now the first thing about STARTREK...CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!!!!!

lol.....oh well...we are OLD....but as they say OLD IS GOLD!!!!

Ciao for now!!!

Yogita and the many poses!






Yeah this is from the same trip...only Yogita was having loads of fun!!!!

Here we go!


We are planning more scenic trips around Korea in early July. We love taking drives together.
We drop by places of historic significance, and learn something. I even signed our names in the book at this place.

Well Yogita will give us one her rare posts!!

Tata



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Some pics of yours truly!!






So we went we on a drive to an area about 1ookms north of us. This area has a shrine devoted to a Korean hero who fought against the Japanese. He led soldiers against the Japanese. He died, but here we can get a glimpse into the past. Korea was dominated by the Japanese with a small Korean army attacking in Guerrilla warfare tactics. He was a scholar, and a tactician. This is located within a huge valley. It was so beautiful!!!!

Well Yogita took many pictures of me this day...so I have decided to post them. Usually I am the one taking pictures. Well feast your eyes...Yogita's will be coming up. I am sure George will be really loving these pictures!~


We love you big boy!!!!

tata

Middle of the week.

It is Wednesday in South Korea. It is such a beautiful day. I think I will cancel the lunch plans this weekend with another teacher. We ought to just take a nice long walk. We have two teachers leaving. They have been here for a long time. In Gunsan Yogita and I are among a few who have been in Korea the longest. I met one guy...years ago. Married a Korean woman I think that he must have been here at least 15 years to date. We have met others, some I keep at arms length. Others make me very glad to have a car, so all we have to do is roll up the window.
People who we meet, teachers in particular are very surprised when they finally meet us. We usually do not spend allot of time with other expat teachers. The reason? They are loud, obnoxious, get drunk and all the above tends to get even worse. They do not have a vested interest in Gunsan. Most barely stay a full year. I have been here so long. If you have read the book Rat King, you can see why I like it here. Well one thing is sure, we will be more busy. Longer days, but what can you do? These are difficult times, hard to deal with.

It is so funny when I hear teachers complain, then go back to their respective countries only to end up back in Korea. It is very hard to find a job that has the same perks and opportunities to earn extra money like here in East Asia.

Well soon I will have another class in morning, my old 10am class, which I have had for years. It will be good to be back!

Jeyo


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cd Space....

Well actually there are many programs like the one mentioned above. Basically they create a "virtual" cd rom on your hard drive. Sounds wierd? Well...it is. Basically a portion of the hard drive has a special partition for image files. These files are basically a copy of a certain disc. Lets say a movie, audio, or computer game. What you do is you download the program and install. Make sure you read into how to make multiple "virtual drives". Once you do this you can use the program itself to make image files out of your cd's.

Once you have the image file which is basically a hard drive copy of an actual CD-ROM, you can load it into the virtual drive. This makes disc swapping a thing of the past. I currently have about 5 virtual drives. I am a gamer so they all hold games. I can basically switch from game to game (sometimes running 2 games at a time!) with out taking out pesky CD's everytime I want to do so.

The program I use is called Magic ISO. It is SWEET. It is not very easy to learn how to use right away even I get stuck at times. With Pc games you might need a no-cd crack. However, be very careful about downloading them; often times they contain all finds of malware (viruses, trojans, spyware....).

Well another week is here. Our free saturdays will be gone for about 4 weeks, but that happened earlier this year...so we are used to it now.

Tata


Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday.....ahhhhh

Yeah it is Friday and I have just finished my evaluations of my students....nice to get that chore finished. Nowadays I go to 2 different companies. In my experience here company classes have changed so much. For example years ago I could just walk right in. Say hello to the guards, and head straight to the class, chatting with Yogita while George was getting potty trained.

Now....there are checkpoints, your cell phones camera's will be taped over. I will take pictures of both of my cell phones to show you all. Wow...and GM Daewoo there is so much scrutiny. I want to bring my pc in today...I might have to reconsider. It will take me some time to get it cleared!

I will not abandon my plans....however, if it takes too long.....

Tata!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Slum Dog.....

I just read the news about the boy's family getting apartment. The size? 250 square meters!! That is soooo small! In Mumbai Yogita and I almost rented out an apartment. The size was much larger than the one this little boys family is moving into. It was a 2 bedroom apartment located about 60 km outside of Navi Mumbai. It was pretty far from the downtown Mumbai.

I think it is so unfair that this little boy who helped the film earn millions and millions of dollars...is get a little crap apartment. The total value is quite at 50,000 USD, or 2.5million rupees. However, I think it does not matter. They should get a very nice place with good educational facilities nearby. I have seen Mumbai up close and personal. In that HUGE city you can see the best and worse of both worlds. People live at two extremes, on one hand you have children moving thier bowels right in the road, with open sewage. Then you see manhattan style apartments, with western style resturants.

Sheesh I can only say this...people get real....stop being so cheap and let the kid have a few million bucks...then hire him again in another movie.

tata

p.s tomorrow is friday.....so um like....oh yeah!!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

And another day bites the dust.

You know I have said before and I will say again....take advantage of the cheap tech upgrades for your pc. Even if you are just a web surfer...you will notice the increased cache of todays pc's rock.
I remember reading about a old zeon processor. It had 1mb of cache memory and it was able to out class the fastest p3's and it rated very well against the newer p4's.

Basically the more cache memory the better;. It allows your cpu to VERY QUICKLY access files that were accessed before. So what does that mean. Well if you visit certain websites you will be able to VERY QUICKLY be able to access those sites again. If you use ms word you will be able to pull that program up again very fast. So the more cache you have the better. Dual core cpus are fine. But with out cache (my AMD turion has only 512k shared between two cores so that is 256k per core....is MUCH better than a p4....but...it sucks when I load mulitple applications).

So if you are going to upgrade...look at cache, and remember...the more the better...dont just look at Ghz, it does not tell the full picture. Remember a 400mhz cpu with 1Mb of cache out did faster clocked (higher mhz, now Ghz) p3 and p4's.

So dual cores with high cache memories mean AWESOME CPUS. You like websurfing...fine. Game no issues. Video editing..well add extra ram and once again with a good gpu (video card) you will have no issues.

Now my cpu is the old 6300E dual core....1.87ghz on each core. Now..Yogita rules us all....a phenom triple core with 3 megs of cache memory...1 mb per core....awesome. My next upgrade (july) second hand i7 Intel cpu. Now the i7 is basically a quad core on drugs. This thing has hyper threading capability. Well what does that mean? When p4's first came out with this it allowed a single cpu to handle 2 threads. It increased cpu efficiency by perhaps 10-15%. Now remember with a p4 on that tech your operating system will see 2 CPU. However, with a quad core cpu.....AND hyper threading....your system will see....8 CPUS!!!!! You can do whatever you want and notice no slowdown, and no lag.

ok...well remember upgrade now while prices are low.

tata

Tuesday...





Well we finally have our internet phone set up. So we are hoping to make more calls and more cheaply. Basically to call in Korea is free, with nominal rates when calling internationally. I think it reduces bandwidth a bit, but now that we are on 50mb/s it will not hurt too much. Next month I will go back to KT's office with Yogita and get it back up to 100mb/s. I have downloaded over 80gigs of files, usually dramas that we simply can not get here in Korea.

Ok on to more pictures.......Basically the shots of the water, well at low tide actually. It is a river but upstream there is a type of dam that regulates the water level. So here you can see the mud, but off in the distance is Gunsan as seen from the road to Seo-cheon. I would race down that road at 120 kph!

The first picture is from Mu-Ak mountain.....I will never go there again...scared the blood out of me.

Tata

OK here some more pics...






Basically early June will be catching up on all of those pics that we took. Here I want to show some fun we had at home, as well some travel pics. Firstly Yogita the bum. And the Enterprise...basically a fully loaded Mazda 929 HE. She is sweet massaging chair, along with many other options. She is a long distance cruiser, not a racer like the Legend. I plan to buy another legend. They get up to 60 mph in about 7 secs. Not sports car like specs, but a sporty luxury sedan...WHOOOOOOSH!!!!!

Ahh....well you can see some of the valleys we saw in one of our trips. I will post more of that tomorrow or the next day. Such a busy schedule ahead of us.

Ok we love you all...spell check coming up!

tata

ok some more....






You see these pictures have been in the works for while. However, We have had such busy schedules for quite some time now. In this series I want to show Mu-ak Mountain. Basically if a mountain in Korea has the -Ak suffix, it means it has many rocks, and is quite tough. A number of people have died on that mountain.

Of course we did not know this when we started. Let me tell you all this...in Korea mountains might not be as high as in USA, India, or Europe. They are tricky, beautiful, and dangerous all at the same time. With drops of a several hundred feet..and sheer cliffs.....ugh scary stuff to say the least.

Ok let me spell check this....

Oh one more thing..this is the first time since the flight from America to Korea (the plane dropped 100 meters and scared the poop out of me), where I thought I would die.

Basically there was a sheer Cliff, with only a small rock on to which you had to place your foot in order get across. I told the other climbers...Yogita's students...uh i am bit tired. Well I scared. Yogita went over, and so I followed. Later on that same trail we had more tough spots. However, I decided I would not turn back due to that one place with the sheer drop, with that little rock....UGH.

Ok ok pics...ok here they go!!


P.S Now the last picture shows my bravery!....NOT!! I was at the bottom of the mountain by then....LOL I even had some soju up there (a nice bit if I may say so myself!!)


Mai Mountain!!





Ok actually it means in English "Horse Ear Mountain". However it is still a very beautiful site. These pics were taken 2 months ago while I was in Seo-cheon. Now I have transferred back to Gunsan. During those months we took several trips. During the winter as well, or rather towards the end of winter. One thing I have noticed is that driving through the mountains, one can encounter very strong winds. My car weighs in at about 2000 kg or about 1 ton. It has about 180 hp, but....those winds.....OUCH. Yogita and I actually could feel it shifting the car. You see 70% of South Korea is made up of mountains, hills, or basically any form of elevation. What this means is that winds flow in between them. SO your cruising through a tunnel at about 100 mph, the emerge on to a bridge that is over looking a valley....WOOOOOOSSSSHHHHH!!! Your hit by such a strong cross current.

Ok enough yapping....pics already!!!!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Friday....

Well this will make post number two for this month. This week has been crazy! How do I start....ok lets start from the begining. On Monday we had to go to immigration to settle my transfer from Seo-cheon to Gunsan. Finally that was finished. Now Yogita and I were staying in another apartment under my old boss. However, both my old boss, and new boss know each other so there was no issue with us living there. Usually your employer provides free housing (even for couples and families) one of the perks of the job.

Well lo and behold....the company managing the apartment went bankrupt. Here is how it works in Korea. Basically owning an apartment can come under 2 different types. One complete ownership (the most expensive), and another sort of like a lease, where a deposit known as "key money" is used. Basically you put down say 30,000 bucks, and you get to stay in the apartment rent free (paying utilities), for a set period of years (3 is common). Now the real estate company takes your deposit and they invest it for the term of the lease. When the lease is up you can start the whole process over again, or move out. If you decide to leave then that deposit money is returned to you.

Now here is the catch, the person managing the funds can...run away with the deposit money. The person signed on to the lease might not even know until the lease period is up, or if they get some to take over the lease from them so they can move into another place.

Legal cases in Korea can take a very long time.

Well this is what happened on tuesday.....the company managing my former bosses apartment when belly up! Fortuntately for my former boss the government has bought the apartment from the bankrupt real estate company. So he had an option pay rent (400-500 bucks a month might be higher!), for a teacher no longer under his employ, with his own apartment to manage. So in order for him to get his deposit back we had to move our hind quarters fast! Well we moved down the hall tuesday night. Ugh it was not easy. The next morning we had to get up early to work out the details of finalizing our move, and assist with the final clean up. Wednesday night I had a dinner party (Hwae-sik in Korean) with my students, then thursday morning we helped move. Whew....gotta catch my breath! SO NOW we are here on friday oh...I forgot to meantion...we had to get up early thursday morning to get our internet services transfered. So today we are also getting up early because we have to get our internet phone set up...so we had to get up early again...actually they are here now...so i better go and post this....

tata

First week of June!!!

Ok so perhaps in the states all of you are wondering about South Korea. In many papers it has been reported that North Korea could launch a massive ground assault. So I asked my adult students how they felt. Well, one of my students Mr. Kim used an analogy to describe the situation on the Korean peninsula. He said that an attack from North Korea Korea would be like that of a bee. As we know a bee has only one stinger. Once it has stung, its stinger and poison sac is separated from its body. The result is that with one attack the bee will die. Likewise with North Korea. One massive attack, and well...the regime of Kim Jong Il will die. Tech out rules numbers anyday.

Now this does not make me feel secure. For in this world there is only one source of such security. It does not originate with mankind. So as we are living on the brink of something....our eyes are wide open. We (Yogita and I), are aware that seemingly stable countries can be turned upsidedown overnight. South Korea owes its sucess to that of American sponshership, in both military, and economic means.

My dreams never lie. At aleast the lucid ones. There is something coming. I think all on earth can feel it. Yogita and I and many others know that happiness will result.

tata