Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chicken dokgalbi in Chuncheon, South Korea--up close and personal

Lately I've only been using my camera with the auto-focus system that Canon uses in its SLRs. Last night I decided to take it off of auto and put it on manual . . . wow, I've sooo been using auto too much.

Anyways, this morning on the way to work I came across the drying fruit mats again. I took another look,

I'm pretty sure that these are slices of apple being dried in the sun.

Over the last couple of weeks the path I usually walk has been torn up. They're finally finishing up putting down the recycled rubber bricks. These bricks are very soft to walk on.

The only thing I don't like about them is that they really stink during the heat of Korea's summer. Lately, I seem to like taking pics of the tiny little trucks and vans in Korea. Probably because I've been in a couple and it was absolutely hilarious how big I felt sitting inside them.

This guy was putting some kind of strips of white stuff in the cracks they left between sections of the pathway . . .

This is the intersection I have to cross on my way to the university. I thought it was a little interesting to see the style of the truck used by the construction crew.

After doing some work at the university (on my day off) I left to go meet Julianne for dinner. I saw these elementary kids playing with kites on the athletic field . It's really nice to see kids in Korea being kids--you don't see it that often.

Julianne and I wanted to go to Olive Garden but when we got there and walked in we found out that the weekday dining period doesn't start until 6pm . . . argh!

So we walked over to a chicken dokgalbi restaurant. I like the seats they have here.

With my camera off of auto-focus I began taking pics of our meal being cooked . . . it was then that Julianne noticed that there were no tubes of rice cake or sweet potato slices in our chicken dokgalbi--oh the horror!

I like the steam coming off of the food . . .

Later, I tried some shots on the pre-sets on my camera. These are taken using the "Nighttime" setting with a softer flash.

I then switched back to using manual focus on Aperture setting without a flash on 100 ISO . . . I think I got some nice shots.

I call these 'rice tube pasta' . . . I think it captures the idea.

Sweet potato . . .

Chicken pieces in the foreground . . .

You get pieces of lettuce, garlic slices, and more red pepper sauce . . .

Cold vinegary soup with two slices of white radish. You take spoonfuls of this to cut the spiciness of the chicken dokboki.

Some people in Korea just eat straight off of the cooking pan. Others take a bowlful and eat out of that. I like using the bowl because it allows the meat and sweet potato to cool a little before I eat it.

1. Pick up a piece of lettuce. 2. Select the items you want to put inside: sweet potato, chicken, cabbage, and a little bit of red sauce (I didn't go for garlic slices tonight but sometimes do). 3. Wrap it up and eat it.

I hadn't eaten much during the day so after we finished the chicken dokgalbi we ordered some 'surri' (spelling?). Basically, it's noodles with an egg mixed in with more spicy red pepper sauce. There are a few different varieties of this 'after chicken dokboki dish'--often in Korea, after you think you've just eaten a small feast, this will be ordered. Some places even put it on the cooking pan without anyone ordering it (to my knowledge at least, sometimes things are said in Korean so fast I have no idea what is going on around me, lol).

I like this close-up because you can see how much red pepper sauce has accumulated on the cooking pan.

Be wary of reaching for the 'holy spatula' in Korea. The ajummas that work in restaurants often do the cooking for foreign diners. I've reached for the spatula and gotten my hand lightly smacked for trying to usurp the ajumma role--never usurp the ajumma role, you'll always get some kind of verbal smack, and/or a smack on the hand . . . lol.

The bill. 20 000won . . . wow, not bad for a small feast.

Walking home I noticed a cool looking Taekwondo academy van. Kids are picked up from their homes and brought to the academy to study and then taken home. These kinds of vans are used a lot in Korea for the private cram schools.

Then I saw this sign . . . funny! to leer: 1. to look with a sideways or oblique glance, esp. suggestive of lascivious interest or sly and malicious intention: I can't concentrate with you leering at me.
1. leer + ed + club, or 2. leered club . . . either way, funny.

I've read the word "lascivious" before in a few novels . . . but most people have never heard of it . . . it's quite the English word if you can somehow work it into your everyday speech at least once and a while . . . lol.

1. inclined to lustfulness; wanton; lewd: a lascivious, girl-chasing old man.
2. arousing sexual desire: lascivious photographs.
3. indicating sexual interest or expressive of lust or lewdness: a lascivious gesture.

Later Julianne noticed this sign,

Say it out loud and you'll see. Also, break the word up into first syllable + second and third together and see what you get . . . lol.

Then Julianne asked me the question that almost every foreign person (myself included) visiting Korea says when they first see this symbol,

Why are there so many Nazi swastikas in Korea?

This (above) is a Buddhist symbol.

From wikipedia "swastika,"

The symbol as it is used in Buddhist art and scripture is known in Japanese as a manji (literally, "the character for eternality" 萬字), and represents Dharma, universal harmony, and the balance of opposites. When facing left, it is the omote (front) manji, representing love and mercy. Facing right, it represents strength and intelligence, and is called the ura (rear) manji. Balanced manji are often found at the beginning and end of Buddhist scriptures (outside India).This piece of filth is the Nazi swastika.

From wikipedia "swastika" entry for Nazi symbol,

When Hitler created a flag for the Nazi Party, he sought to incorporate both the swastika and "those revered colors expressive of our homage to the glorious past and which once brought so much honor to the German nation." (Red, white, and black were the colors of the flag of the old German Empire.) He also stated: "As National Socialists, we see our program in our flag. In red, we see the social idea of the movement; in white, the nationalistic idea; in the swastika, the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man, and, by the same token, the victory of the idea of creative work, which as such always has been and always will be anti-Semitic."[52]

The swastika was also understood as "the symbol of the creating, acting life" (das Symbol des schaffenden, wirkenden Lebens) and as "race emblem of Germanism" (Rasseabzeichen des Germanentums) [53].

Lest we forget.



esthersun said...

the "apple slices" are actually "moo" (radish) drying for moo mallengee.. yummmmmmmmmm!

soojungonline said...

I was googling, and happend to come here! and you know what? I'm a student of Konkuk University where the upper picture was taken! It was such fun to see my country through your eyes. I guess you have been to more places that I 've been to. :) Anyways, what a nice blog! :-) I'll come by sometimes.!