Monday, August 30, 2010

Back from the Lakelands

Visited Michigan two weeks ago. It was a nice trip, I saw my family and looked at lakes. Minnesota boasts of having 10,000 lakes. Michigan has something like 12,000.

I flew from Detroit to Kalamazoo, and then from Kalamazoo to Detroit. When you fly over Michigan in the twilight, it kind of looks like a driveway that had been rained on.

I kind of wish I could live there, except there is an unemployment rate of about 14% there, and I'm pretty sure that if I were to find work there I could only make a pretty terrible salary only after searching for for a job for three or for months.

Random Musing

There is a kid who goes to my school whose name in Korean sounds like "Tea Country." That is kind of a pleasant name. Whenever you say that kid's name you kind of think of pleasant thoughts like, "Hmmm, I want to go for a drive in "Tea Country." Kind of like visiting the wine country in California.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Example of Korean Awesomeness II

The in-laws.

It might sound strange, but I really like my in-laws. These people are pretty sweet. Today was my birthday, and my mother-in-law made a pretty large, and delicious, meal for me and the rest of the family. Not only that but they also gave me some pretty nice birthday gifts as well.

That is pretty much standard for birthdays in general, but despite the language barrier, they do make me feel welcome. Last week my wife was away on a business trip, so her niece sent me a text message about going to a river valley for a picnic with everybody. So not having anything else to do, and not wanting to seem like a party pooper, I went with them all without much reservation or hesitation to the picnic. Once again a good time with great food. I wish they wouldn't fawn over how they think that I'm not having a good time, because I was having a good time. I'm just shy.

Other things are pretty cool about them too. They really like to try to keep to tradition. They I went with them out to the country one time to celebrate something called Shisa. This is a kind of celebration to honor ancestors. Also the MIL (Mother-in-law) is like Mcguyver in the kitchen. She makes all the sauces like pepper paste, and soy sauce.

So big ups to the in-laws. Whenever I start to fret about people in Korea, I just remember my family and I remember that everyone is just a person.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Examples of Korean Awesomeness

This is a new series that I'm starting to try to counter all of the whinging that goes on by a lot of foreigners. I'm going to try to share stories of things that have happened to me or people that I know to try to show a different picture than what normally gets covered in the blogosphere.

My first story happened last October. I got married last October, and so my family flew out to Korea for a visit. My family found many favorable things about Korea. They enjoyed the food, they liked the scenery, and were pretty much overwhelmed by a lot of things. I went to the Hwagae market in Hadong with my folks, and it was pretty much a "Oh look at that," "Hey Jim, what's this?" festival. Then later that week, my sister, and brother in law were taken aback by how cosmopolitan Busan was.

But a pretty interesting thing happened the night before the wedding. My mother and father in law, wanted to have a meal together with my parents, so we all went out for Galbi. We went to a place called Gaya Galbi in Jinju's Sangpyeongdong, nearby the Hanil hospital. In times since eating there I have realized how great the food is there. I didn't quite notice that night since it was quite an eventful evening, however when the meal was over my family needed to get back to the hotel that they were staying in -Jinju's Asia Lakeside Hotel- which was on the other side of the city.

Anyway, the owner of the freaking restaurant had a big van, so he just drove us all there. This was a distance of about 9 miles and the guy was like, okay get in. How awesome is that? On top of that, we had a meal that fed about 10 people and it only came out to 250,000 won. It's not like we brought him a whole bunch of business or anything, 250,000 won is a drop in the bucket, and you don't tip here.

Every time that I have wanted Galbi since then, we have gone there. It is seriously some good Galbi. The side dishes are plentiful and not too salty, and they make this thing with baby cabbage, green onions and red sauce that is pretty wonderful. I recommend this place if you are ever in Jinju, well shoot me an e-mail if you come to Jinju and want to go there, it is kinda hard to find, and not really nearby anything important.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Haven't been inspired lately. I wrote some other shit down on my other blog "Three Stripes of Meat in Teotihuacan." It might be a bit amusing. That is my auxiliary blog about what it might be like to be a Native English teacher with Korea experience who was sent back in time to native English teach ancient Aztecs. That blog doesn't get updated much, because I rarely feel creative when I'm by a computer.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Roots

Man the Roots rule. This post has nothing to do with Korea. Just the Roots man, they rule.