Have you been to any business yet and heard the woman or man behind the counter shout “Service!” before giving you something for free? This concept took a little while to adjust too, but I’ve written a quick post about the meaning of service in Korea on Tripwolf. Check it out!
Forget about BeeBimBap and Bulgogi. There is a wide world of Korean cuisine out there just waiting to be explored by the Western palate. Some of it is really quite delicious, and some of it, well… let’s just say that you’ll want to be sure and keep the toilet paper fully stocked. Koreans eat a lot of raw and uncooked foods, such as fish, beef, and kimchi. You can read more about my experiences with raw Korean food on Tripwolf. Below you’ll find pictures of one glorious shit pile after another; our greatest hits and misses. Some of our favorite culinary conquests over the past year include…..
Sam Gyop Sal: A Korean Barbecue dish. Pork belly cooked on the spot and served with garlic, lettuce wraps, sesame leaves, and super hot gohchoo peppers.
Meat Shabu Shabu: Shredded beef boiled on the spot in a spicy garlic broth with garden variety weeds and mushrooms.
Seng Go Gee: Sliced raw beef slabs, served straight up with Soju. Hell mother effin yeah!
Chawm Chee Hwey: Sliced raw tuna slabs, served straight up with Soju.
Dak Bal: Chicken feet sauteed with onions in hell sauce. Best served from an orange tent in a dark alley sometime after midnight.
Neng Myawn: A spicy (or non spicy if you prefer) Summer soup dish comprised of noodles, boiled egg, cucumber, and shaved ice.
Seyoo Bohk Um Bap: A carefully sauteed blend of rice and shrimp
Drinking is a sport in Korea. Read about the rules on Tripwolf.
In celebration of making my 18th million, we went back to Busan this past weekend for some major shopping. To my surprise, the Gukje Market in Busan’s Nampo-dong had almost as many bootlegs as we saw at the “well known place for slaughter of foreigner dollars,” better known as the Silk Street Market in Beijing, China. Being that Busan is the largest port city in South Korea, I suspect containers of counterfeit goods arrive on a weekly (if not daily) basis. Naturally items were more expensive here: Swiss movement Breitling or Rolex Submariner for approx $90 (in China $45), Dolce & Gabanna / Diesel / Armani Jeans for approx $65 US (in China $15). Quality forgeries though. Perhaps one day I’ll afford a real pair of D & G’s and confirm there is no difference — not one that justifies spending an extra $100, anyway.
Before spending all of our money, we paid 4000KRW to ride the elevator up to the Busan Tower observatory and snapped some dreary pics of the city. It really does look bland (have a look for yourself), but the night life is definitely great. We stayed at some fucking cum dumpster of a motel about 100 feet from the Jagalchi fish market, Korea’s largest and most famous marketplace for marine products. I walked into the room and turned on the television hoping to find the World Cup soccer game and instead got a screen full of hanging titties. For $13 a night, I hope they at least washed the sheets. Later that evening when coming back from a bar which served dry roasted skate with $5 bottles of Leffe Blonde, someone had taped the largest hooker cards I’ve ever seen to the flower pot at the motel entrance. One side read massage event, while the other simply said sex. Have I mentioned before that prostitution is absolutely rampant in the country? Stumbling out early the next morning, all the cards been taken or thrown away and I wobbled down the alley into the Jagalchi fish market. A woman mercilessly tore the ink sack from an octopus. Black ink spewed everywhere. She then tossed the creature into a plastic bag before happily tossing that into the corner. This next to another women furiously chopping the heads from live fish curiously sparked my appetite. So I went to McDonald’s.
Crossed another one off the TO-DO list in hiking Cheonwangbong (천왕봉) on Jirisan (지리산) this past weekend. At 1910 meters, 천왕봉 is the tallest peak on mainland South Korea. It is also the tallest mountain I’ve personally ever hiked, and there were a few mental / physical road blocks on the way to the top. But if it were easy, it wouldn’t mean anything. Read more about it on Tripwolf.
NEWSFLASH ::::: : We took a field trip to the photonics expo with the student only a week later ::: : : : :: ::
Read about all the neon, fire, and hardcore pornography on Tripwolf here.
Gwangju Sangmu Citizen’s Park from April 2 to May 9, 2010. Check out some of the choice Korean attempts at professional English writing that I pulled from the brochure.
“People around the worlds are following the enormous potential of photonics”
“The science class where has learning programs of various science about lights origin and kinds by characteristic interesting methods.”
“We meeting the theme image by 3D Animation”
“The article space where were creating by citizen and photonics artist.”
“Seven kinds of power contents which is able to experiencing only at the Photonics Expo.”
“You can watching the dynamic story of the light which is keeping the earth from darkness…”
“You can joyful experiencing and understanding the light’s principle by established various lights facilities.”
Dear Photonics Organization Committee, hire me please.
Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but it has been a long month. Sickness, scheduling conflicts, shitty weather, students that just don’t know when to shut the eff up…. it all added up to one miserable March. It was probably the hardest month for us since coming here in September. A lot of times with these new students, I feel more like a baby sitter than a Teacher. During story reading the other day, one little boy flapped his arms and blurted “bathroom”.
“Whoooooa Jack!” I said, lurching backwards. “Looks like it’s a little late for that there buddy”. Thankfully, his mother sent him to school with an extra pair of trousers.
Days later, in an Elementary School class, this one little girl (or rather, vampire with no cape) would not stop repeating after me. Normally, this is EXACTLY what you want from a student. Read. Repeat. Now do it again. That’s basically how every lesson goes. It’s brain-numbing at times. Had she at least been aware of what she was criticizing, and not just mocking Teacher, perhaps she’d of been sparred. Given the theme of things lately though, that was not the case. I told her I was going to get the Korean teacher after warning her several times to kindly stop. She laughed.
“Jason Teacher angry?” one portly little fellow asked with a smile.
Taking a deep breathe, I calmly swung the composite wood door open, and left the room. Already the students could be heard gasping from outside the classroom. Jason Teacher is fucking serious… And this time, this one and hopefully only time, will watch a student get what she deserves.
It was silent when the Korean Headmaster entered the room, a far cry from the zoo only 7 minutes before. “Which one?” she asked with extreme seriousness, whipping stick vigorously clenched in her right palm.
I looked the student straight in the eyes and watched her lower lip slowly start to curl. She was fucked, and she knew it.
“That one,” I said, pointing my index finger as I looked away.
Without hesitation, the Korean Headmaster slapped the ten year old girl in front of the class before dragging her by the ears into the hallway for some verbal abuse. Ten minutes later she returned, in tears and shaking profusely.
“She WILL NOT do that again,” said the Korean Headmaster (and she hasn’t). The teachers in neighboring classrooms later told me that the yelling from the hallway was scaring even their students. I could go on, but its all too trivial at this point. March also marked the beginning of the Asian yellow dust season. Every year during the Spring months, toxic yellow dust clouds from China blanket the Korean peninsula. Despite it all, I remain hopeful that April won’t be such a train wreck.