Thursday, December 23, 2010


Sick again. My nose is full of gunk and I almost passed out into my lunch because I took too big a bite of food and couldn't chew it AND breathe at the same time. Seriously, I started seeing black spots in front of my eyes, and I couldn't even discreetly spit it out because it was red-bean rice-cake and had glued itself to the roof of my mouth. Needless to say, when I'd finished chewing furiously, and gasped a huge breath (luckily there weren't too many people around at the time and most of those who were were too polite to say anything) I made sure to take much tinier mouthfuls.

Grossness aside, the rice-cakes were very interesting. This particular kind is called ssiru ppat ddok (시루 팥떡) One of my co-teachers told me that because they are covered in crumbled red-beans (ppat or 팥) and red-bean powder, and the colour red is believed to keep away demons and bad spirits, Koreans believe that it is very important to eat them around the New Year. The red-beans are a little sweet, but not prevalently so, and you get occasional chunks of whole red beans too.

There are lots of other types of rice-cakes too, all of them delicious! Well, delicious for people who like rice-cakes anyway :) For those of you not familiar with Korean ddok (rice-cakes), they are made out of glutinous rice pounded into dough (which is a fun thing to try if you ever get the chance to do it at a Korean folk village) and there are lots of different varieties made with lots of different ingredients. For example, they can be made with things like ssup (숲, a kind of fragrant Korean plant that looks like chives), made plain but rolled in different grain powders, made with chunks of pumpkin, sultanas and pepitas, made into balls filled with honey and sesame seeds (called songpyon 송편), and of course made and filled with a sweetened ppat paste - the list goes on. To me, they are much better than Japanese mochi because they aren't as sweet or soft, so they have a much more satisfying and really unique consistency and you can eat them sweet, savoury, spicy, hot, cold or even kind of frozen with ice-cream.

Ok well that's about it for today. No funnies from my students, but I did see a bizarre performance n a music dance show. Korean pop-stars try weird mixes of cute and sexy with varying results - see James Turnbull's entry on his blog The Grand Narrative on an excellent article on the Lolita image in K-pop. One of the best examples of this is Orange Caramel's "A-ing! (아잉!)", the main dance of which is so cute it's slightly sickening (as well as slightly disturbing, even if you didn't read James' blog first) and also featured on the music show today. Here it is below if you want a gander.

seriously. what the?

Anyway, the weird thing I saw today was by Seo In-Yeong (서인영) of her new song "The Rhythm Within (리듬 속으로)" on an MBC music program - hilarious because it was one of those "I'm sexy, you're sexy, look at me be sexy, let's dance sexily on the dance floor" songs but she was wearing this weird kind of fairy outfit complete with epaulettes. It looked weirdish but ok with a black corset and a pink skirt and no epaulettes in the music video with all her back-up dancers wearing something similar, but her blue version with a yellow tutu in full-shouldered glory while her dancers wore simple black with various shiny pants was just weird.

Hot? Who, me? Lee Gi-Gwang
To end on a positive note, I'm glad I watched the whole show because the last band was B2ST, pronounced as "Beast" (2 in Sino-Korean is pronounced as "ee") which I love 1) because of the name which tickles my pun-nybone (lol, sorry : p) and 2) because of Lee Gi-Gwang who is a beautiful beautiful man... and perhaps co-incidentally also totally ripped ^_^

But really, the reason why I love him is actually because he's a complete dork. He's been on a few tv shows, one of which is a comedy program called "Hot Brothers (뜨거운 형제)" and another is a kind of reality show where a female comedian gets sent to basically babysit B2ST (Korean pop stars usually live together with their band mates) who are all in their late teens or early 20's, and in both of these, he is the token himbo of each group. For example, in "뜨거운 형제" there is a section where they are all given a clue and they all have to whisper the same answer to the camera. Gi-Gwang is inevitably the one with the wrong answer, which sometimes isn't even anything to do with the clue, and the look of innocent bewilderment he gives as they all yell at him is pricelessly adorable ^_^

I don't care that you're so silly, I heart you anyway Gi-Gwang!

(P.S. I just realised I made the title the wrong day. Must have had a Gi-Gwang moment ^_^)

1 comment:

  1. get better soon, amy! you should just go to the hospital.. it's the easiest and quickest way to get better here. i love dduk! the one in the pic looks good. well, have a great christmas! :)