Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another Another K-pop Post

This 2 Ne 1 song is okay. I don't really enjoy watching girls get beat up though. It kind of ruins the song. It's like you are just sitting there jammin, and then that shit has to happen.

On Monday night, my wife and I were just chillin and watching "Law and Order SVU," when I heard some noises coming from the outside.

Sometimes interesting things happen when I hear noises from the outside. The first time I saw some dude beating his lady, so I yelled at them. This gave the girl an opportunity for a counter attack. I watched a few more minutes and then went inside.

Another time a guy was killing a dog with a hammer.

Then for a while I think a group of ajumas were operating a gambling den in their house. The cops got called there a few times before those folks disappeared.

These days there is a small gang of middle school aged boys who are causing problems in the hood.

Monday night was their reckoning. I got to witness a lady beating some kid with her shoe as his buddies watched. Some useless ajoshis were just standing around watching, one guy picked up a metal pipe, but another guy told him to put it down. They were making phone calls.

Later a taxi pulled up and a lady got out. She was pissed. She fought through everybody. She landed a good side kick on one of the men before picking up the afore mentioned shoe kid by the hair and started to knee him in the sides. She then threw the kid to the ground, jumped on top of him, and started punching him in the face.

The others picked her off of him and she still was kicking at him. I think she was his mom. My wife could hear the conversation and was telling me that one of the kids had stolen something from someone's house. I kind of wish I had filmed the beat down. I had my camera in my hand, but I wasn't sure if they knew I was watching. This particular instance was kind of funny but also brutal.

This little ajuma could really kick ass, she beat the shit out of her son who was twice her size...he didn't really fight back, I think the men would have killed him if he tried. I'm mostly disappointed that no one called the cops on the lot of them. I'm getting pretty sick of how folks can make so much noise and commotion for so long without getting any kind of repercussion. A shotgun with salt charges would have been perfect for this situation.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another K-pop Post

I actually kind of like this song. The guys who sing it really get into it when they do live performances. I just think it's funny how ambiguously homoerotic it is. Check out the video, there are a lot of torso scenes, and the hot girl doesn't even show up until 1:58.



Once again the live performances are powerful and charismatic, but seriously, it is two dudes singing a love duet. (Well the song is about breaking up with a woman and putting on a brave face.)



It kind of reminds me of "Blades of Glory."



Still I kind of like the song.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Video of me Climbing Mountains and Kicking Stuff

Posted over at my martial arts blog. It was how I spent part of my Chuseok holiday. My wife called me "Wancta," because of this video. "Wancta," kind of means looser in Korean. I can't really see how she is wrong on this one. I did ride my bike about three miles to go climb some mountains and film myself playing ninja on them, I'm not going to win any cool-guy prizes for that. Anyway, you can checkout some hot Korean psychedelic rock from the 70's on the videos.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Restaurant Review. Geumsan Gook Su 금산국수

A post from Korea's most important expat blog about fine dinning in Jinju's Geumsan Myeon.

Today I stopped by Geumsan Gook Su for lunch. I had 콩국수. Coang Gook Soo, is a soup that has noodles in a soy milk sauce. It is usually served cold with slices of cucumber in it.

Geumsan Gook Su is one of my favorite kinds of restaurants. There are only four tables and a kitchen. The interior was by no means impressive. The menu was written on brown paper on the wall. It really didn't look like anybody put that much thought into the interior. Most of the business seems to be from the delivery service. The place seems to be a husband and wife operation with the wife in the kitchen and the husband manning the phone and delivering noodles. An elderly woman was the other customer in the place, she ordered the "Jan Chi Gook Soo, 잔치국수 aka 물국수 (Mool Gook Soo) Some of her friends saw her in the place from the outside and stopped by for a visit.

The woman told the others how delicious the food was there and that they should have some. It seemed that the others had just finished lunch and were just stopping by to say hey. Anyway, my noodles were pretty good. I really wanted to have some Coang Gook Soo that day and it lived up to my expectations. This particular bowl had some toasted sesame seeds in it. I believe I have had their Mool Gook Soo before. This place is just at the foot of the big hill that my middle school sits on, and I believe that the summer vacation lunches come from here.

Like most places in Geumsan, I recommend it for lunch. The coang gook soo was good but at 5000 won a bowl it was a bit pricey. I'll try the Mool Gook Soo next time since it is only 3,500.

Thanks Miss-A



I may have lambasted Miss A in a previous post, for stealing the catch phrase "You don't know me," from crazy teenagers on the Maury Povich show, but I have realized a great benefit of this song when dealing with annoying kids on the street saying "hi," in Korea.

Y.B.M. Miss A practice dialogue:

Kid on the street: Hi, where are you from, what's your name, I'm fine thank you and you?

Me: You don't know me, so shut up.

Thanks Miss A

Jiri San Adventure



I've lived in Jinju for well over four years now. I have always heard about how I should make it up to Jiri mountain. Well on Sunday I finally did just that with my friend and English man and his father. Now the Englishman and I are both foreigners who are married to Korean women. While on the mountain, I came to the realization that mountain climbing in Korea is poor man's golf. It's an activity to get you out of the house.

This was by far the highest mountain I have ever climbed. If you live anywhere in Korea and are fit in physicality and can tolerate heights, I recommend giving Jiri a climb. I must warn any potential mountain adventurers that when you climb Jiri you go up for four hours. You should also bring plenty of water, a few extra shirts, and a flashlight.

We started up the mountain yesterday about 11:00 or 11:30 in the afternoon. We reached the top at 3:30.

I have to say that the whole mountain is a place of striking beauty. There are trees, wild flowers rocks, birds, rocks, waterfalls, rocks, and a mountain stream that runs through more rocks.

The top of the mountain has a lot of huge jagged rocks that shoot up through the tree line. It's possible to take a brief siesta at the top on one jagged rock that is about the same surface area as a Korean one room apartment. We all stopped to drink some canned Makeoli and eat some apples, then it was time to go down.

One thing striking about the top of that mountain was how we were in and above some of the clouds. Once again, if you are afraid of heights, it might be a bit disconcerting to be breathing cloud.

We made our decent next to a small river that afforded us views of waterfalls and the jagged landscape. The only problem was, was that it started to get dark.

Jiri is a pretty difficult hike. The ground is littered with rocks and tree roots. As twilight turned to night, the only things visible on the ground were the white rocks. Stepping onto a dark patch could have meant stepping off of the ridge and onto a certain broken leg or death. Stupidly we didn't pack flashlights or headlamps so going was tough, but after a while we were wise enough to light the path with our cell phone screens.

As the cell phone batteries died we switched to the displays on our cameras, to save the small bits of juice in our phones in case we needed to call for a rescuing.

We struggled along in the dark for a few hours. Finally we were rescued by a middle aged couple who were wise enough to have a flashlight and a head lamp. They walked with us lighting our path. By 8:00 at night we emerged onto the paved road that lead to my friend's car.

Jirisan is a beautiful beautiful place, if you ever go there, try to begin your hike at first light, don't mess around in the dark. I saw some amazing breath taking things on our journey. I also learned to appreciate things we take for granted like daylight and flat surfaces. I also highly recommend the adventure.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Communist Ass Bullshit

I've been trying to upload a video onto my other blog for the past two days. I also tried to go to youtube and upload it. Now of course you can't upload on youtube if you go to Korea youtube, so I selected worldwide, and Australia. Still I'm getting blocked.

Korea won't let users comment on youtube, or upload videos unless you prove what your real name is. They have to verify your real name by leaving your national I.D. number. To leave comments it's possible to sign on with "Worldwide," which I have been doing to upload, but the video gets about 30% uploaded, and then the thing just says that an unexpected error occurred.

Seriously. What the fuck?

Last week Mike Breen had a piece in the Korea times about a guy who went to North Korea for a vacation. The South Korean government told him not to. When he came back the South Korean storm troopers swooped in and took him off to jail.

Breen's point in writing the article was that by having the SK storm troopers run in and cart the guy off to jail at the boarder, the S.K. government gave a propaganda gift to the North Koreans. All anyone had to do was take a video camera to film the event. North Korean T.V. could play the video at night and say, "Hey look, they aren't that much better than us."

This real name verification is another example of that. You can't upload videos on to the internet unless you prove who you are. What? When did the south turn into the north? What was that whole war for 60 years ago? If South Korea tries to press to the U.N. about human rights, all the North has to do point to this bullshit and say, hey there's no free speech there either.

If you are from a different country, and want to make a tourism video about Korea using the latest and newest technology, how can you do that?

And what is the whole reasoning behind this? Last year a few famous people committed suicide because people left some mean comments on the internet. Hey you famous fucks, grow some thicker skin will you. You are famous, and there are loosers talking shit about you. They are called haters. If you have haters, it means you are successful, so bask in their hate and brush it off of your shoulders. Go on television and say, "so the fuck what." Challenge the mother fuckers to meet you face to face at a given destination, and when they don't show, tell the world what shallow cowards they are.

But in the mean time, this is no reason for you all to try to block what I'm doing. I just wanted to post a video of me climbing mountains, to show the world the beautiful things that you can see in Korea. Instead, I heard that Gyungbukgyung has a roach problem. I think that Myung Bak should give everybody in Seoul a sledgehammer to kill the roaches in the country's number one national treasure.

Update

I used a different computer and was able to upload my stuff!!!! Still that real name verification kind of sucks.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thing's That I'd Like the Judges of Super Star K to Say

There is no Simon Cowell in Korea to put people properly in their place. So after watching today's Super Star K, and not understanding what the judges were saying, here are a few things that I wish they were saying.

1. I was moved to tears by your song. Not because it was good, but because I was embarrassed for you.

2. I'm sorry you lost. It wasn't just my poor judge's score that made you loose, the whole country voted against you. You are the worst person in Korea.

3. I know that when you loose, you are going to apologize to your parents for failing. If I were them, I wouldn't let you back into our house.

4. Come on, even the Wonder Girls sing better than that. I mean The Wonder Girls. I used to work at a chicken slaughterhouse, and I've heard better harmonizing from chickens being murdered, and you can't even match the Wonder Girls. Here's the address to the Ha-Rim chicken farms, go learn how to sing.

5. Don't waste your money on singing lessons. Auto-tune me.

Race Class and Inequality in Places that Serve Noodles in Korea

No not really. I just wonder why a plate of spaghetti can fetch up to 15000 won a person while freshly made noodles from Korean and Chinese disciplines of cooking top out at around 8,000.

Seriously, we went to an Italian pasta shack where my wife had some kind of spicy seafood spaghetti. It was 17,000 won. It was good, but it was basically Jjam Bbong with tomatoes in it.

Down the road from that place is a Naeng Myun restaurant that was featured in the famous Korean food comic book called Shic Gaek. The noodles there are always fresh, and the lady makes naengmyeon broth from a combination of beef and quail. The price 6000 a bowl.

There are a lot of Chinese joints that have dudes stretching and throwing big strings of noodle dough around, that usually charge like 3000-4000 for some Jja Jjang Myun or Jjam Bbong. Also whenever you go to a noodle specialty restaurant and here a noise that is something like a food mixer engine running, that's usually the cook running noodle dough through a noodle maker. That means you aren't eating no pasta barrilla.

Eat it and appreciate the labor going into your meal.

I Don't know About this Trend

Okay so this year was Chuseok. The first Chuseok I spent in Korea I remember some Korean people bringing me some flavorless rice snacks. I tried one or two, and then just let them sit in my room for a few months until I threw them away. This year my wife has been wanting to eat these snacks called "Han gwa."

At my school there is a math teacher whose parents just happen to own a Han Gwa store. I bought a big box of Han Gwa from him to take back to my wife. For the past few days I have been eating and enjoying these things that taste a bit like flavorless Rice Krispie treats.

Another disturbing trend that I have noticed, is how I'm starting to like Mool Gook Soo, and Bibibm Gook soo. Mool Gook Soo is a bowl of noodles in lukewarm anchovy broth. Bibimb Gook Soo is the same noodles with pepper paste and vegetables.

Mool Gook Soo smells rather terrible if you order it, and a delivery man brings it into a teacher's office. It is the meal of choice for teachers teaching night classes. To me it was the taste of extracurricular imprisonment, but much to my surprise, I ordered it twice last summer.

Bibim Gook Soo, to the uninitiated, is a frightening juxtaposition of flavors. It's hot, it's sour, it's served cold. When you sit on the floor it's hard to eat. Last Saturday I went to a noodle shop and ordered a bowl and slurped it down like it was lobster thermidor.

A good tip for saving money in Korea: learn to enjoy the noodle dishes. Mool Gook Soo usually runs a good 3500 won in restaurants. Bibim can be cheap as well. In the summer time try Kong Gook Soo, which is noodles in soy milk - I learned to like this a while back, it's yummy. Also try Naengmyun, and Mach Gook Su, those won't save you much money, bowls run from 5000 to 7000.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chuseok

I celebrated Chuseok today with my wife's family. I always enjoy Jeasa food. My wife's family generally prepares all of the Jeon, but what is special about the meal is the rice and soup. Chuseok, and Seollal food in my wife's family is usually served with "bibimbab," that has no pepper paste in it, and a nice soup called "Tang Gook."

Tang-gook, is some real special stuff. It is beef and octopus broth with radish, tofu, and shellfish. The flavor is just a nice and mild soup that is made salty with home made soy sauce. I usually eat two or three bowls of the stuff.

I also like the alcohol, 법주. Bub Joo is a rice wine that tastes a little like Sake. Great stuff, I wonder why Koreans drink so much soju, when there are better and more traditional things to drink like Bub Joo, and Makeoli. Sure soju get's you krunk, but it tastes like a goddamn chemistry set.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Site Stats



I was looking at the stats for this site. It turns out that the most page views this week have been for this post about my desire to rip out Nick Kun's femurs. While I still bear a bit of a grudge against him. I'm a bit jealous of how well he can speak Korean. I bet that after I ripped out his femurs, he wouldn't want to give me any private Korean lessons. That might not be a bad idea though. If you have your femurs ripped out, you probably have to spend a lot of time in a wheelchair, which means that he wouldn't be going anywhere. Hmm, new plan for ripping out Nick Kun's femurs.


1. Kidnap Nick Kun

2. Stockholm syndrome

3. Rip out his femurs.

4. Keep him in house while he heals. (Since the last post my girlfriend has become my wife, and we have a baby on the way. A femurless and recovering Nik Kun, could come in handy for childcare.)

5. Learn Korean from Nik Kun.

Great plan!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Here's a Reason to be Thankful you have a Job in Korea

Apparently the recession, in America, has affected some people so badly that they have taken to stealing bricks. I've heard of scrapping metal, but folks are burning down houses just so that the fire department can come and knock the mortar out of brick walls with the fire hoses. Then thieves come and steal the left over bricks and sell them.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Towards New Things do with Your Hand's in the Air

Musicians for over the past thirty years have been instructing audiences to throw "Throw their hands in the air, and wave them like you don't care."

I feel that world events don't afford us with so many opportunities for apathy for what we do with our hands in the air. So I'm trying to think of new things to do with your hand in the air.

So everybody one time, throw your hands up in the air and:

1. make like you're pealing a pear.
2. touch a stranger's hair.
3. pretend it wasn't you with the au pair.
4. do disgusting things with your taxi fare.
5. throw your money everywhere.
6. poke a homeless man on a dare.
7. fopishly say "I do declare."

I'm getting tired of this.

Hite D

It was a few years ago since the good people at Hit came out with Hite Max. Now they have an all new product called Hite D. Hite D is certainly something to drink, and it does indeed taste different to the original Hite. I still don't know if it is better or not. My original impression was that it kind of tasted like Heineken, but I'm sure if I came out full on and said that, people would jump all over my shit. Hite D boasts a "dry finish." It lives up to it's promise. There isn't much in the way of an after taste.

I think that the folks at Hite were trying to come up with a type of beer that lets you drink all you want and doesn't make you smell all beery when you come home to your family. Besides that it boasts a robust 5% alcohol rate. So you can be completely krunk off your rockers and your family will just think that you have gone crazy since you don't smell like beer.

The dry finish might also better take mixing with soju for some good ole poktang joo. Notice to foreigners...If you are foreigner in Korea and you drink soju by choice, you probably have a problem. If you drink poktang ju...get yourself some help. I know that Hite is by no means a great beer, but nobody has to ruin it further by mixing Soju. That's what Cass red is for.

Anyway, go out and try some Hite D. Tell me what you think.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tribute to Grand Master Sun Hwan Chung

Post on my martial arts blog about my Tae Kwon Do instructor.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Music Bank

Okay so I was watching music bank today. Music Bank is one of three weekend kpop concert shows.

Normally Kpop can be described as sexy communism with a beat. Many of the artists are talented, many can't sing for shit. Many can dance well, but most of them are just hot teenagers who got picked and groomed by a talent agency.

I'm actually not that sour on K-pop. I like to participate in it because I find the teenage fandom somewhat fascinating. It's also good to know about pop stars because it is something that kids like to talk about.

So it was quite a shock to see this band on KBS's music bank today.



These guys are called Galaxy Express. They are hailed as Korea's loudest band. It was a shock, but it was also a relief. I mean these guys were pretty awesome. The clip here isn't from the show, it's just something I searched for on youtube when the show was over. All I can say is...well that I'm impressed. Long live rock.

Update:
Here is the Music Bank performance:


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I wish K-pop Was More Like this These Days

This is Kim Choo Ja. She was famous back in the sixties and seventies. Great stuff for movie sound tracks.

Learning

The New York Times had an interesting piece on learning a few days ago. It's worth a read.

Random Musing

I have found out recently that my wife is pregnant. People have been congratulating me. I think that it is a bit early in the game to receive all of the adulation. I haven't really done anything that special yet. Give me pat on the shoulder when the kid has graduated from college without a drug problem.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stuff I Have Been Watching

I'm doing a post in the style of Mr. Wonderful. That is I'm going to talk about T.V. show's I've been watching. On Monday, I did a Brian in Jeollanamdo type post where I talked about festivals in Jinju. Today I'm copying another Korea expat blogosphere legend.

After you get married, there really isn't that much to do other than watch T.V. and eat stuff. Also you can spend time wanting to win the Lottery or just figuring out other ways of not living in Korea. Don't get me wrong, I like living in Korea, I just don't want to do so for the rest of my life, but everyday it looks more and more like I'm stuck here for the long haul.

Things to watch:

1. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia I literally fell out of my chair watching this.
2. Mad Men I resisted watching this for a while, but finally caved after reading so many Frank Rich columns in the New York Times that compared something from our times to the early sixties when Mad Men was taking place. The best thing I like about it - the Suits- I started wearing suits and ties after I moved to Korea. It's nice to not look like shit all of the time.
3. Breaking Bad Kind of in the formula of Weeds where a person in need starts to sell drugs. It's a formula that works. Besides it is kind of cool to see a Chemistry teacher do bad things.

Korean Shows
생생정보통
This is one of those documentary type shows where they take a camera crew to different restaurants all over Korea. It's about the only kind of Korean show I can stand. When it was on I really liked High Kick.

I'm not really a fan of those reality type challenge shows. Infinity Challenge can be interesting some times, but One Night and Two Days can be a bit grating after they go in to a forest somewhere and play rock paper scissors for the hundredth time.

That kind of monotony is becoming common all over the world though. When I went home, I watched a show on the discovery network called, "American Pickers," that had two guys who just drive around the American Midwest picking through piles of junk and then buying random shit from the people who own the piles of junk. The suspense comes when the guys negotiate the price. After that show is another show that is basically the same except it takes place in a pawn shop.

Those shows made me want to produce my own show for Discovery called, "American Number Sayers." Here is a preview:

Announcer: Tonight we go all the way to Reno to say some numbers with some kitten ranch whores.

Jake: One hundred.

Kitten Ranch Whore
Two hundred

Jake: One twenty five

KRW: One Fifty

Jake: I'm gonna have to call Murphy on that. (Cuts away to Jake in a confessional) My friend Murphy has a lot of experience negotiating with whores. (Cuts back to Jake and whore)

Okay I called my friend Murphy, and he says that One Fifty is a good number.

Announcer: And then we join Melissa in Spokan as she randomly shouts some more numbers out the window of a Ford Fusion. Build Ford Tough.

I'll post more shows after the fall seasons start.

Korea's Most Important Expat Blog Focusing on Fine Dining In Jinju's Geumsan Myeon

Yeah, I have to play around with google a little bit more. I googled my name, James Kruska, or Jim Kruska, under the images section today and didn't like what I saw. I'm also trying to get google to recognize this blog as "Korea's most important Expat Blog, about restaurants in Jinju's Geumsan Myeon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Restaurant Review The Geumsan Mom's Touch

Fun Times in South East Korea. Korea's most important expat blog reviewing restaurants in Jinju's Geumsan Myeon. (Jim Kruska is awesome...why do I say these things...just google my name I'm not who pops up.)

There is a phenomenon sweeping Jinju. It's called Mom's Touch. Korean chain restaurants and coffee shops seem to take over places like army ants. If one franchise opens up, sooner or later five or ten more open within three or four months. Jinju has two such places like that now. One is the impossibly expensive coffee vendor, Cafe Bene, the other is the fried chicken sandwich joint called Mom's Touch.

I'm not proud to admit my times spent at Cafe Bene, where more than once I have paid up to 7,000 won on cups of brewed coffee. However, I will stand behind the blissful occasions I have had at Mom's Touch, where time has stopped for me to graze through that lovely combination of grease and carbohydrates, all washed down with the Hite of liquid refreshment.

I find the name "Mom's Touch," to be a bit of an oddity in Korea. Who is this Korean mother, who is making fried chicken sandwiches for her kids? "Honey, you home from school, I'm going to fire up the broaster, you want light meat or dark meat?"

This week a new Mom's Touch opened in Geumsan in the place that once was Tae-woo mandu. (I wonder if the place was named for Korean former president No Tae-Woo.) Now I don't think that I can do justice to the place in a review today. I feel very strongly that Mom's Touch should be enjoyed with beer. Sometimes I see students milling around outside of school grounds when I have my lunches, so I don't really want to get caught by a bunch of kids seeing me krunk it up during work hours. Secondly, I had a bulgogi burger.

I'm just about ready to give up on bulgogi burgers. I don't find them satisfying. If I ever find myself really needing bulgogi burger, I'll have a lotteria han-woo bulgogi burger. Even at Lotteria though, the bulgogi burger isn't my first choice. Anyway, Mom's Touch tends to go all out on somethings, and on others, you kind of wish they would have just stayed inside. The bulgogi burger, and the oven chicken sandwich are items that don't merit my ordering a second time. I also had the displeasure of eating cold fries at the Geumsan branch.

I'll order something else later and then finish this review. For now I'll refrain from getting touched by any mothers.

Festivals in Jinju

First there is the Jinju floating lantern Festival. Or the 진주남강유등축제. It will be from October first and will conclude on October tenth. It is always fun to go down by the river to look at the lanterns, and to play the games that they have. The lantern festival commemorates the first battle of Jinju during the Imjin war. Citizens put lanterns in the river to confuse the Japanese. It would look as though they were approaching the city, and then blam, they weren't approaching the city, it would just be a bunch of lanterns in the water.

Then there is the 91st sports festival. 제 91회 전국체육대회 I'll be interested in watching some of these events. I may have said before that in a past life I was quite the Taekwondo aficionado. Anyway the city of Jinju built a big stadium and a swimming facility just for this event. It will be from October 6th until the 12th.

My first brush with Korea was at the second international Hwarangdo festival in Jin Cheon county. The town went all ape shit to host us. I liked being a part of a large raffle where the prize ranged from bicycles to body wash. The organizers of the raffle yelled out the raffle ticket numbers in Korean, and when nobody would claim any prizes they would just say: Aw hell just give it to a foreigner. People from many different countries took place in that event.

Gacheon arts festival: They usually run this at the same time as the floating lantern festival. It can be hard to tell where the lantern festival ends and the art festival begins. But from the website it looks like there are some performing arts. It might be a good chance to see the "Jinju Sword Dance," which is something that I have never seen but have always wanted to.

The silk exhibition: 진주 실크 박람 회. I'll have to find out more info on this one. Usually it is at the same time as all of the other festivals. Jinju silk vendors set up shop in the city hall and then sell their silk products. Two years ago they set up a tent next to the river, near by where all of the other festival stuff was going on.

The Jinju Drama Festival: Also goes from October first to the twelfth. It looks like there will be an awards banquet. A famous Korean orchestra and famous Korean singers and actors will take part in an original sound track concert from Korean dramas. This will be at the Gyeongnam arts center on Sunday October 3rd at 2:00 P.M. On October 4th, it looks like there will be some talent scouts at the Gyeongnam arts festival. It looks like they will do a kind of American Idol type thing. That will be from 7:00-9:00 P.M. There are other events that seem to be going on here too. If you are into K-pop or K-dramas, this might be a good place to go. On the 2nd there will be a red carpet event at six in the evening. In years past, the late Andre Kim, has used the Drama festival as a platform to show off his new Hanbok collections. He always make a point to buy Jinju silk for his hanbok.

I hope you all can make it out to Jinju to see the festivals.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Top Traffic Scares in One Week Comming Back to Korea

So I was gone for two weeks to the lake-lands, as I said before. I experienced many of the things that people commonly bitch about Korea when I was there.

My parents and I took drive back into the deep forests of the Sand Lakes-Kirkland Warbler Quiet Area. (Kirkland Warblers are endangered birds that nest in the forests of northern Michigan.)

One thing that I and others tend to complain about Koreans, is how they throw garbage everywhere. Well, I was reminded that rednecks also do that. I saw a few empty beer bottles and other assorted garbage in that particular wildlife refuge. The Eagles didn't seem to mind though.

I also happened to have been driving behind some pick up truck hillbilly piece of shit who was throwing his McDonald's lunch garbage out the window as he was driving down the road. It made me equally as angry as when I took my seat on a bus behind some bitch in Korea who threw a paper cup out of her window while the bus was parked at a bus stop.

Now the prospect of riding shot gun in Korea is usually a terrifying event, since laws of traffic or physics are often neglected on the Korean roadway, but I had a similarly terrifying experience driving from the coast of Lake Michigan last Thursday, while trailing some moronic college or high-school kid who was stoned out of his mind.

Nonetheless, in the short week that I have been back I have pulled out and have been tempted to pull out my middle finger at people's disregard for the fact that the public roadways carry large and dangerous machines.

1. Tuesday morning: Saw a taxi driver drive on the sidewalk to avoid stopping at a stoplight.
2. Tuesday morning: Flipped off a guy in large blue truck for making a left turn at the exact same time our car was in front of him. It seemed that he was thinking he could pull in front of us if he just went fast enough.
3. Tuesday morning 30 seconds later: Moronic woman changes lanes in front of us without signaling, tries to use car to cut in the car line in front of her. There was a right and a left lane. The right lane was for turning onto a bridge. She pulled over into the right lane and then straddled the dividing line as she tried to pull into the left lane. I flipped her off.
4. Wednesday afternoon: Took a ride with a guy who missed two red lights within 200 meters of each other.
5. Thursday night: Rode down a road with my wife. Cars were parked on both sides of the road. In one instance, cars were parked on both sides of the road and a truck was double parking them in, meaning two lanes of traffic were taken up on a two lane road.
6. Thursday night, on two different occasions cars game speeding out of cross streets and then skidded to stops with their cars hanging in the middle of the road, after they finally looked to the left side and saw that there was cross traffic coming.
7. Later Thursday night: Teenage girl on a bicycle was riding in the middle of the road while talking on a phone.
8. Friday morning: Had to restrain my self from yelling at elementary student for walking across a very dangerous three way intersection diagonally. I figured it wouldn't make any difference because I lack the Korean to talk any sense into the kid, but I think sense left the building when his parents let him walk around busy streets by himself. (He looked to be about six or seven.)

Well that's enough whinging for one day.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Geumsan Restaurant Review 진우동

"Fun Times in South East Korea. Korea's most respected expat blog about restaurants in Jinju's Geumsan Myeon."

The last place I reviewed went belly up and is now going to become a Mom's Touch. I feel this is kind of a loss for Geumsan. 태우 만두 was pretty good, but so is Mom's Touch. I don't know if I'll eat at Mom's Touch though. I like to eat in Geumsan, only when I'm having lunch, and I feel that Mom's touch requires beer. I don't think that it is a very good idea for me to be having work beers between classes.

A few weeks ago a new 분식 chain restaurant opened up in Geumsan. It is called "Jin Oodong." I've been there three times this week, and one time before I went home.

The first time I went there I had the Oodong. Oodon, is usually too salty or not salty enough, or too fishy. This Oodong was passable. I don't really remember it too much.

Last Tuesday I had some Bi bim Mandu. A lot of small places like this do Bi Bim Mandu by frying empty skins and then leaving the vegetables to be filled. This place simply uses fried mandu with the vegetable medley. I think that I like the later version better.

Yesterday I had some Kimchi Chiggae and Kimbab. This wasn't a very memorable meal. The Kimchi in the Chigae was a bit bland. It got points for having some big chunks of pork in it though. The Kimbab tasted a little off, but it was okay.

Today I had hot Bi Bim Bab in a stone bowl. I have to say that this was pretty good.

The highlight of Jin Oodong though is the 반찬. The 반찬 is pretty fresh and numerous. One could get full simply by eating the side dishes. The 계란 말이 (Korean omelet thingy) is flavorful combining a saltiness with a strong onion influence. The other side dishes aren't bad either.

I recommend this place for a good business lunch with friends. Deliveries are also available.