Monday, May 30, 2011

Korean Food: Jjigae

Jjigae means "stew," more or less, and it's served literally boiling hot in a special earthenware bowl.  I like most kinds of jjigae, especially after I've shoveled in a heap of rice to eliminate the soupiness.  All jjigaes, with the exception of doenjang jjigae, are made with gochu (red pepper) in either paste or flake form.  (They're spicy.)  They often share other ingredients, e.g. you're likely to find dubu and cabbage in other jjigaes, not just the sundubu and kimchi varieties.  Kimbap Paradise will serve you a bowl of jjigae with a side of rice for 4-5,000 won (like $4.50 tops).  You can do a lot worse.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

No man is island except this guy right here.

Last week Chortle told me about a mandatory teacher training workshop.  The district education office organizes a few of these things each year and I think teachers are required to attend x hours of them; I went to two last year.  She had a visual aid with all the details in Korean.  She pointed at stuff and told me what it meant.  Good enough.  All I needed to know was where to go and when to be there.

Yesterday she approached me with the same document translated in the margins by her blue ink scrawl and relayed all the particulars to me again as if the conversation hadn't happened already.  Which is okay, I mean whatever, she's a busy lady, I don't mind getting the same info twice every now and again.  But she hadn't told me the first time that one of the presentations would cover adapting to life in Korea, for the benefit of the waygooks who arrived in March.  When she mentioned this during the recapitulation she chortled and said I seem to have adapted quite well enough already.  Which got me thinking.

Chortle likes to diagram graphomaniacally while she explains things to me.  I think she distrusts her spoken English.  This document was her visual aid for explaining my schedule this semester.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

This was a triumph.

At the end of a class today I burst into song.  Specifically:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Buddha's birthday: more fun than Christmas.

Seoul calls its official celebration of Buddha's birthday the Lotus Lantern Festival and it's a better party than Christmas for sure.  I attended the festivities Saturday night and am glad I did.  First came a surprisingly long parade with a cast of thousands.  Here's some things you won't see at Xmas:

Huge green swastikas.