Saturday, September 8, 2007

Why I (currently) love Korea

The weather cleared up after another walk home last night that turned into a swim (whoever said Korea doesn't get the monsoons?). It is now rather beautiful outside, so I tried to go capture some of the deliciousness of the fruit and vegetable stands that haunt my walk to school. Unfortunately, the truck had just run through and yelled at all the vendors to go away (technically they need a permit to sell), so only a few had set back up and it wasn't nearly the extravaganza that my first Sunday venture out had been. However, I got some of the most delicious tomatoes ever grown and some melt-in-your-mouth nectarines from two different vendors. Here are some pictures of the amazing healthy happiness that is Korea (I didn't buy the onions 'cause I'm a lazy SOB and can buy two pre-peeled onions from Nais Mart for less than a dollar):

The woman who ran this stand helped me tell the difference between Korean cucumbers (o-i) and zucchini (turns out I've been cooking with some mighty bitter cucumbers, but at least now I know for sure that it is silly to cook with them and will eat the remaining two raw!). I would have bought some of her tasty looking eggplants, but I'd have no idea what to make with them since I don't have an oven:

There was a taekwondo exhibition in the park. I wanted to get closer to take some good pictures, but I'm not sure how that would have gone over (crazy waegukin! do not photograph our children!), although it probably would have been fine. Anyhow, one group did this awesome bridge move in unison that I managed to snap, and it gives you a sense of the coolness of the event as a whole:

Tell you what, when I can do THAT, I'll take a photo of it and put it on here, kay?

For now I leave you with yet another animal that is oh-so-happy we can eat him at his restaurant:

I am so excited about Busan tomorrow--it's going to be awesome! It sounds like Gwen might be coming down with something, but I hope she feels better and can go. There is a lot of illness going around our school--the kids have conjunctivitis and a couple Korean teachers have colds. I'm trying my best to wash my hands frequently and stay healthy. I just cleaned my apartment and everything. Hopefully, that will help!


  1. Hi Diana, I haven't figured out if there's a way to respond to comments left on my blog, so I'm leaving it here. ;)

    I'm keeping my chin up. I posted my resume on HiTeacher a few days ago and have been positively inundated with job offers. I'm staying cautious, but I might end up in a public school position, which I'm ok with. I've already gotten my extra photos, my passport, about 5 sealed transcripts, dug out my university diploma, (plus a photo and my resume for all of the different recruiters). I also have a friend from my LiveJournal who is checking out his small city (Yeosu) for job openings.

    Thanks for the encouragement, it is mucho appreciated. ;)

  2. Hi Diana!
    Mmmmm - the eggplants here are very yummy! You could eat it Korean style:
    I love when I go to a restaurant and they have eggplant offered as panchan.
    Have you tried the soybean paste? In your supermarket there will be a large selection of the stuff - in red, brown, and green containers. The green one is great as a dip for cucumbers!
    Have fun in Busan!

  3. Kat,

    You can always e-mail me storysinger81 at respond on your blog; I'll check it eventually! Public schools are a pretty safe route for guarantee of pay and legality. I seriously considered it, but there is more of a chance you will be less of a real teacher at a public school than at a good hakwon. And I have a foreign teacher friend here who really likes teaching kindy students--it's crazy, but they are kind of like sponges and just soak up the info.


    That recipe sounds pretty good. I've been having fun with cooking since I got here, since good veggies are so easy to come by and the restaurants in my neighborhood are ok, but not much to write home about. I'll check out some more stuff with eggplant because at the open markets, you have to buy the whole basket of veggies--so I'd like to have several recipes to try before landing myself with 6-7 eggplants!

    I'll check out that soy bean paste. I've been loving the cheap tofu!



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