Sunday, October 2, 2011


Since the other post today was quite long and I have other stuff I want to blog about I thought I'd break it up into two so you can choose which looks more interesting and read-worthy :)

So tomorrow is our long-weekend, which is why I have the time to blog on a weekend instead of sleeping or doing house-work or homework etc. I thought I'd throw in a few random thoughts and updates.

First one: a random update. I've lately started bellydancing three times a week and so very quickly noticed that my ankle and wrist joints are not really up to the quick turns and turned hand/foot positions required. My back has also been hurting a lot more since then, and I've also noticed how much my ankles and wrists click when I simply flex them... or when I walk. I don't know if it's because I never realised it before, or that I did and have just begun to take it as normal background noise, or that it's more noticeable now that it's getting colder here, but when I got up and walked to my bathroom this morning, I was accompanied by a series of noises from my ankles that made it sound like I was walking on bubble-wrap. Which when I thought about it was kind of weird. And last Friday at bellydancing, I also noticed a kind of weird pulling feeling from the tissue over the joints in my shoulder when I had to lift my arms into "the snake" position over my head. The week before, I'd freaked my teacher out when I hadn't done a position right and she'd turned my hand into position for me (arm in front of your chest with your hand turned outwards) and felt the bones in my wrist grind together and make quite a loud noise. Although this was possibly also because I yelped a little and she thought she'd broken my wrist. I'm assuming that this is all the result of a slight calcium deficiency, and a quick trawl of our trusty friend the internet suggests the usual inclusion of more leafy greens and seafood (I've heard that the Korean anchovies myeolchi [멸치] are especially good). It also suggests more orange juice and nuts, which I didn't know were good for that, so there you go. Of course, the obvious answer is a calcium supplement, but these usually have lactose or soy bases, to both of which I am intolerant and currently trying to avoid to see if it helps with other health issues. If the clicking (which freaks me out now that I'm aware of it) continues or gets worse I think I'm going to have to go for them though, as the list of related health problems REALLY scared me. Hopefully I'm young enough that I can change my diet to help my health enough to avoid these completely - cooking and eating at home would probably be a good idea rather than going out for dinner all the time. Fingers crossed that my laziness and reluctance to venture out into snow will actually work in my favour in this case as winter progresses. But if anyone knows of any additional ways that I can up my calcium intake easily (especially in Korea) or of any non-lactose, non-soy supplements, please let me know!

Secondly, a food update! As in something you can try, not just me niggling about my very lazy diet :) Yesterday I went to Daejeon to hang out with a friend, and got to try something new and yummy - jjajang ddokbokki! 짜장떡볶이 is just like normal ddokbokki but has the slightly salty black bean sauce you usually get over noodles at Chinese restaurants instead of the spicy red sauce. This one was especially cute as the ddok (rice cakes) were shaped like little stars, hearts and clubs, and there was ham and cabbage in the sauce like you'd get with jjajangmyeon. Very cute!

There was also a guy giving free hugs, and who can say 'no' to a free hug? Of course, the fact that he was quite good looking may have had something to do with it. I probably wouldn't have been as keen on a hug from a hairy wall-eyed midget in his 40's ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ You can't see the girls, but the kids you can see in the background had been standing there giggling for about 5 minutes trying to get up the courage to go for one, and when I was going for my hug a five foot ajumma pushed me out of the way to get in first :)

Lastly but not leastly, some more from my students. A couple of weeks ago I gave them a writing task where they had to draw a picture personality test. The picture had to include a house, a tree, a sun, some water and some flowers. You've probably done this before, and so know that the house = how you see yourself, the tree = how you see your mother, the sun = how you see your father, the water = emotions, flowers = your friends. They usually all look more or less alike, although I did have quite a few of my students draw the water as a glass or a bottle rather than an actual body of water which I thought was interesting, as none of my students who did it last year did that. These were some of the rather terrifying results from the boys.

 Oh and just for good measure, any of my readers who are in Cheongju or at least Korea, make sure you check out the bingsu at Lovestory Cafe downtown at least once before you leave. Bingsu is a yummy summer dessert with shaved ice, fruit, syrup or condensed milk, tiny rice-cakes, jelly lollies, Frosties, and traditionally also red-beans. This one had ice-cream instead of condensed milk but no beans because it was just a fruit bingsu (과일빙수) instead of the usual ppatbingsu (팥빙수), the ppat being the red beans. Anyway, Lovestory does some really good ones. They also have a good variety of coffee, milkshakes and herbal teas (which are ridiculously overpriced in my opinion at 6000 won a pot). Below is a photo of a giant green-tea sundae that the waiter had made bingsu style (but with about seven scoops of ice-cream instead of ice as a favour because he's a friend) I had with Shelly the time she visited from Busan, and then another more recently of the lovely Tiffany enjoying a strawberry Oreo milkshake and our fruit bingsu :)
Tiff and yummies^^
녹차 sundae

So happy Sunday everyone! If you're in Korea, Happy 개천절 (?), the public holiday no-one can explain, tomorrow! If you're in NSW in Aus, Happy Bank Holiday! Hope you're doing something fun and/or eating something yummy ^_^

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