Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another post about food....

A friend of ours has come back from the United States after staying for about one month. She brought back some goodies for us, we did not ask for much because we did not want to burden her. We got pork rinds! We love this snack. I remember when I was a kid, and I would watch my father eat it. I would eat some but I thought it was sooooo disgusting! It tasted like fat, with some salt sprinkled on and deep fried so many times that it became crispy. My goodness just typing that makes me very hungry. I love the taste now! I want to bring some of it our dinner (we will meet on Friday evening), and see what my friends think about it.

Food, thinking back I remember spam. Spam on Saturday or Sunday mornings, with pancakes. I hated spam then. I would endure it when it would appear on my plate, but that was it. Now, I LOVE spam. Yummy! Spam with boiled eggs, and tea! I tihnk there some things from my childhood related to food I would like ot forget. Namely, codliver oil, YEEECCCCHH. That stuff was and I am sure still is....VILE. I remember the first time I allowed George to pick his own ice cream flavor...must have...3 years old or so. He choose chocolate. To this day our boy loves chocolate cake, and ice cream. Me....I am not that big a fan of chocolate ice cream. Something tells me though that in the near future, I might have to developed a taste for it.

Do not get me started on Korean food! I hated anything red when I first go here cause I knew what it meant. I would be burning from the inside out! Kam-cha-Tang, Dak-Kal-bi, kimchi stew, and many many others. I would only eat mild dishes for almost a year after I got here. I would eat Man-du-kuk (dumpling soup), sam-gyup-sal became a favorite (grill pork belly, similar cut like bacon but much thicker, and not cured). Now? The more spicy the more I crave it! I like Jam-bbong (a seafood, noodle dish...can be very spicy), I love yang-pum kal-bi, porks ribs marinated in an extremely spicy sauce. The list really could go on, in fact I get annoyed when we go to a new restaurant and they assume that because I am a foreigner that I would like to have my food prepared mild. It often surprises restaurant owners when I visit their establishments.


Ok well I better go now..

/tata

Thursday / Friday

Hi today is a thursday friday for us, we are getting a day off tomorrow. So we will see what do with our time. We will meet a friend of ours for dinner Friday night. I am thinking about what to do Friday morning. I am thinking of taking a trip to Jin-do perhaps take some photos and look around. It has been quite some time since we have been there.

We have a dinner tonight with the staff I was planning to head out early but well that will not happen.

Oh well....

/tata

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Can you smile?

I read my little sisters blog and well...it got me thinking about smiles. Our weekend plans were quite exciting by our standards, go to muju and relax in the valleys there while reading our books.
Sounds good right? Well life does not turn out the way you would like. I think that even though that is the case we should smile anyway.

This is what happened: We woke up and started to get ready for a nice little drive to muju. I started the engine to our Enterprise (I really think George will love this car). Anyway as we are heading out I realize that it is time for and oil change. So we head over to my friends place, and we get the oil changed. I saw another friend of mine, Mr Ryu, he was also getting an oil change but needed some extra work done.

Well Yogita and I went for lunch nearby and decided to just eat and then go back and get the car. WEEEELLLLL when we got back we found that the oil gaskets had gone bad (I knew about this already and have been keeping an eye on it). So we are like....well ok but how long will it take? Look people if someone mentions gaskets realize that it is a time consuming task.

You basically have to take apart the engine to reach the gaskets. In our case we had to clean parts of the engine as well. My friend Hwa-Nil is awesome, he work over 10 hours on my ride. I and another friend on mine cleaned parts of the engine housing. He was much better than I, but I learned alot. I remember in India Dad would say "They had to clean so and so part with gasoline" Well gasoline is a very very good cleaner! I used a diesel / gasoline mix to clean parts of the engine. I even got to clean the throttle body which let me tell you is not easy! The enterprise has a dual throttle body.

Well how does this come down to smiles?


Our day was ruined, in the fact that we did not go where we wanted. We stayed at my friends car garage all day on Saturday. BUT we smiled, all day. Why? Cause we had each other, and we were helping to keep the USS Enterprise road worthy.

The bottom line is this...we were together. At one point Yogita felt bad cause the guys there were telling her to go inside and enjoy the air conditioner. I told her to put her foot down and tell em that she WANTED TO BE THERE. Well it worked. We were there all day fixing the car.

We did not see the wonderful valleys of Muju, BUT we did spend time together with friends.
So We did SMilE!!!!


Thanks abu

/tata

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The wonderful world of rice cooker!!!!







Amazing! amazing! just absolutely amazing...

rice cookers are very popular in Korea what with rice being the staple food and all....

anyways, i am totally blown away by the fact that there are so many things you can prepare in a rice cooker besides rice...for example the other day i made a full breakfast of french toast eggs and bacon in the rice cooker...last week for dinner i made chicken and vegetable stew and the other night i make pork and vegetable stir fry in the rice cooker....

Also in the past i have even cooked lentil soup and pulao( Indian style rice based dish which often also includes ingredients like vegetables and/ or meat) in the rice cooker..

i did a search on the web and sure enough there are gazillion recipes you can cook using the rice cooker including some traditional recipes like Jambalaya and Gumbo...i love it because its a no sweat easy way to cook delicious food.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A deluge!!!

We are getting heavy heavy rain. This year once again I was totally soaked in about 5 seconds running to my car. Ugh. Now it is raining heavily on and off. I wonder if this will continue until tomorrow.

It reminds me of monsoon rains in India, so heavy and would come down not in burst like here but for 30 minutes straight.

So if this weather system stays with us until tomorrow, I think I will take Yogita to a video room and watch some movies. Maybe stop by subway before watching the movie.

I think my listening students will not come today. Well perhaps one or two will.

Well enjoy your weekends people.

/tata

Thursday, July 22, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things.....







playing in the water
as the day keeps getting hotter
lying at the beach
with no classes to teach
these are a few of my favorite things.

a cup of cold coffee
or a cup of ice tea
a slice of watermelon
or beer with a lemon
these are a few of my favorite things.

when it is hot
when it is muggy
when i am feeling a little edgy
i simply remember my favorite things
and then i don't feel so HOT!!!!!



Action packed season!

We might be going away on Saturday with some friends. We will go to a valley near Muju. Muju is a mountain, where ski resorts are located. It is very popular in the winter, but in the summer it is also a nice place to visit. There are numerous valleys in and around Muju, and from what I have seen and heard...they are very beautiful. Actually we have not had a chance to visit any of the valleys, so this Saturday might be our first time to see it.

I will take my laptop, with controllers (MAME32 kicks butt!). Of course I will bring books, we are nothing with our books.

So this Saturday might be action packed, if not then I will make sure we get out of the house during the hottest part of the day. Perhaps we can go to movie room, or even a pc room for a while. Gotta love it there, people battling others in cyberspace the sounds of Internet battle raging through the air.

Ok I gotta go...

/tata

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The heat is KILLING me!





well not really....i am being overly dramatic...but honestly it is very very very hot and muggy here....yesterday was actually the hottest day here in Korea...most Koreans eat either dog meat(boshin tang) or chicken soup(samgyetang) on the hottest day...

The chicken soup is very mild with ginseng and other herbs so the broth is really delicious..it is usually a whole chicken (small size) stuffed with herbs, garlic, chestnut and rice..the chicken is then boiled in a stew pot until the meat is falling of the bones..it is garnished with green onions and served usually with radish kimchi

yesterday, we had some chicken soup it was delicious...

on the bright side, i LOVE watermelon...and i had a ball having it yesterday and today...CHILLED WATERMELON...YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Japan and Korea...very sad countries...

There is a report in the newspaper here on the suicide rate in Japan. Across the east sea for every 100,000 Japanese, 35 commit suicide yearly. I was going over those figures in my head, and that would mean that here in Gunsan with a population of about 270,000 people, roughly 80 people would roughly be the average. Now hold it right there! Korea's suicide rate is HIGHER than Japan. So now I need to look at my figures again. If you look over at this website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_OECD_countries_by_suicide_rate you will see that Japan is at the top of the list. However, recently Korea topped that figure reported there. That would mean perhaps 80-85 people committing suicide every year. Not a small number in this small city.

Koreans seem to be happy at first glance, almost carefree. Under the surface there is more than what meets the eye. Students are under enormous pressure to do well on their exams. Here in Korea it is impossible for you to fail, or rather flunk a grade. However, the points, or your test scores are what matters.

In one class suicide was being discussed, the students were all middle school students. Some of them thought to be able to carry out the act of taking your own life was heroic. WHAT? If I do poorly in an exam, or lose large amounts of money (stock market, private business), it is heroic to throw your life away. Strange, very strange, but that is how it is.

/tata

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vacation....

So I need to choose vacation days. The only problem is that none of the teachers have taken a vacation yet. So that means we could end up in a very bad situation. The 2 other teachers are nearing the end of their contracts...so this means that well...we could end up with a real problem.

Vacation days......um I think I will just wait like I usually do. Things will get sorted in time. I have been dreaming of Philadelphia recently I want a hoagie, a cheese steak, and much more. I want to visit the mall, and go to places that I used to visit when I was there. 10 years...seems like forever.

I need to do some research though, cause we will need a hotel, transportation, and good intel on where to eat. It has been to long for me, so I am afraid I might get lost. BUT, renting a car would be awesome! We could go to the beach, I have not been to wildwood in....well...I can't recall (I need Mike's chronological memory for that!).

Yogita suggested going to Cheju Island, but at this time of year....getting a plane ticket is next to impossible. Also hotels are pretty much booked. Oh well like I said, I will have to wait it out, and see what happens.

/tata


Monday, July 12, 2010

The Weekend!!!!

This weekend was pretty laid back. It was actually cool weather wise...we got some rain on Saturday and a little today....we went out to get some sandwiches and ice-cream in the evening and ended our weekend with a madea movie...perfect ending to a nice and relaxing weekend.

By-the-way, Jemal and I are in love with the Madea movies....they are fun..actually we like all of Tyler Perry's work...the movies, the sit com....Mr. Brown is hilarious...Jemal can mimic Mr. Brown pretty well....if you like some light hearted comedy trust me that's the show for you....really funny...we love it!!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Adventure is out there!!!!!!!

I was watching the movie "UP" the other day. I like the movie...very well done...very sweet and romantic....

it got me thinking, what is Adventure? The dictionary describes it as:
  1. To venture upon; undertake or try.
  2. To expose to danger or risk; hazard.

  1. To take a risk; dare.
  2. To proceed despite risks.

I thought it was very interesting because usually when we think about Adventure we think about all the big things: bungee jumping, skydiving, climbing Mt. Everest, going to the moon...

but we usually overlook the small things.....Everyday we do something that in its own way is a risk that we are undertaking despite the danger, something new that we are ready to try: making a new friend, telling someone how you feel about something, getting married, having kids, doing your job to the best of your ability, enjoying the music and singing along off-tune loudly, getting up and dancing with everyone watching you..

it is the small things that we remember the most....don't overlook these small things because you are brooding about the big stuff.....

remember Adventure is out there!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 09, 2010

when u love someone......

i have been thinking about this wonderful man i am married to...and i am not just saying it..... he is AWESOME....i don't know what i would do without him...he is the sweetest person in the world and what i love about him is that he gives it to me straight........ no flowery words....no diplomacy...it's like a reality check that i soooooooo need.....i am not contradicting the fact that its frustrating but i am happy i have someone who care enough for me to help me and let me know how it is....there is no fakeness..its all real...and let me tell you this from personal experience reality may not be sweet but its like a bitter medicine that we all need...and i am happy that my DOCTOR is in town...love you babe!!!!!

Korean woman in their 40's

Just little thing that I have noticed here in the good ole ROK. Women, hairstyles, and age.
It seems that depending on your age there is a general hairstyle that you should have. A young woman (early 20's to late 20's), usually has very long hair. Or at least long hair in some sort of style. These days many people think Yogita is unmarried and much younger than she is. Of course my baby is beautiful, but here people are shocked to learn that she is married and has 2 kids.

The reason? She wears her hair long, and it naturally curls, and forms waves. Yes I like my wife's hair a lot! However, once women starting getting closer to middle age, they will usually cut their hair short. This type of perm is so prevalent, that I can guess a womans age (in my mind of course!) Short hair, with curls. Thats basically it! I keep looking for some soft of break in this trend....and well I have not seen one yet. I know I know I going over board with this, but come on?

A friend of mine is approaching 40, as is his wife. He told me that he loves his wife to have long hair. She however doesn't want to grow it long, and seems to fall in with the trend.

/tata

Thursday, July 08, 2010

All work and no play.....

Education in South Korea is viewed crucial for success and competition is very heated and fierce. I have a middle school student who is forever preparing for one test or another..i am not joking this kid is forever memorizing words, preparing for an exam or presentation or some such...Her hard work paid off and now she is studying in New Zeland for a month on a partial scholarship.

But the funny thing is most of these kids and over worked...some of my students don't get back home until well after midnight.....they go to one academy after another as soon as they finish school...these kids have no time to relax or have a social group or play or do anything that kids basically do...sometimes i woder if thats the reason why most of them have little or no imagination...who has the time to go daydreaming when there is a pile of books to deal with....

Monday, July 05, 2010

The internet is all!

This is something that I have been thinking on and off about for some time. How many letters have you actually posted, I mean handwritten. You put a postage stamp on it, and drop it in the mail box. The last time I ever did that was back in Philadelphia,....10 years ago! Now I use emails. Heck even emails are starting to become a cumbersome mode of communication. MMS, texting, online messenger programs that even allow video conferencing. Oh and you can do this from your smart phone or cell phone. It's nuts I tell you!

Magazines, newspapers, comic books.....nuff said that is so yesterday! I download old comic books online in scanned form. Reading a comic book on an Ipad will kick butt! Newspapers, I mean really...online news is faster, or rather I should say updates much faster. Newspapers are often late in getting news out. Heck the reporter can just upload their story to the net. Magazines....pdf people....pdf.

So the Internet is all!


/tata