Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Korea and me

As I write to you, I am sitting out on my balcony finishing off a small bowl of blueberry yogurt oatmeal mush.  I got the idea from this recipe, and just went to Costco this morning to find the proper ingredients, but the final product didn't turn out exactly like the inspiration.  Even still, it's quite delicious, and it's definitely going on my frequent dish list.

Being in Korea has significantly limited me in what I can cook.  That's been the biggest drawback.  Certain foods are rarer or just harder to find, and the labels are mostly in Korean which I still can't fully understand.  I'm relying heavily on pictures and familiar brand names right now.  Also, as I figured out last weekend at the Gangnam station shopping area, being surrounded by a foreign language and a foreign people can be overwhelming.  (Who knew?)  After a few minutes of filing in with the bustle of the Koreans hunting for what they want, if I can't find what I'm looking for, I'll give up, quickly make my way out of the store, and step outside for some fresh air and no communication requirements.

While it's more difficult to find the groceries I want, I'm surely not starving.  I learned quickly how to order the delicious foods on the menus here.  The words dolsot bibimbap*, chamchi bonjuk*, and jap chae* are second nature to me now.  

Finding good food has been a small and conquerable challenge.  I'd forgotten that I would need to by contact solution, makeup, and other hygiene products, though.  I'd brought enough toothpaste and floss to last me the whole year, but I didn't even think of these other things.  Thankfully, there was never a need to worry.  There are many, many different cosmetic/skin shops.  I'm quite surprised at how plentiful they are.  There's usually a couple in the large subway stations, and they are on every corner in the nicer areas where we usually go for dinner or for shopping.  These shops have names like Inisfree, Face Shop, and Skin Food.  (That's not even half of them!)  And, is it just me, or do you just want to buy something from Inisfree?  Doesn't that just sound healthy and beautiful?

So, yes, I am quite taken care of in the beauty realm.  (I've even found a fantastic shampoo that makes me feel fabulous.)  I never need to go far for stationary, either.  Nor coffee.  Nor fruit, dry cleaning, baked goods, homegrown vegetables, money, and street food.  My small neighborhood has all these things in abundance, and it's really nice to not have to walk more than 5 minutes to get what I need.

Like slippers.

Yes, these are my slippers.  They are very Korean, and they make me laugh.


Dolsot bibimbap - A Korea dish consisting of rice and vegetables like fern stems, dried seaweed, and bean sprouts.  A semi-raw egg is set on top, and the whole dish is served in a sizzling stone pot.  When mixed all together, the egg cooks and covers the rice with its delicious butteriness.  This is my favorite Korean food by far.
Chamchi bonjuk - Korean porridge with tuna mixed in (The porridge here is super healthy, and the Koreans eat it when they are sick.  I tried it for the first time when I had food poisoning last weekend.)
Jap chae - A Korean sweet potato noodle and vegetable dish that moms make when they're tired (like the American equivalent of spaghetti)


  1. I can't believe your favorite Korean dish has an egg in it.

    Also, I'm glad you're not dirty or starving. I would be sad.

  2. love those kitten slippers, any idea where I can get a pair for myself? lol. ;3

  3. :) I got the slippers at a chain store called Morning Glory, actually. The store is very popular here, and I think they're going to try to go global soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

  4. I loooooove your slippers!!! I need new slippers, and now I want those!


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