Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Filling in the mental blanks

So I realised something: without the handy excuse of Facebook, I've skipped write-ups or posts about certain things that have been happening or that I've discovered or enjoyed that really deserve some web time. Let's have a look at them now:

Tiff and Me with our lovely lashes
1. Eyelash extensions. They were awesome. Itchy, but by God my eyes looked beautiful for the three or four weeks it took for me to scratch them off. Perhaps if I wasn't such a consumate napper, they wouldn't have gotten so itchy. Also technically saved time in the mornings because I didn't have to spend as long curling and mascara-ing my eyelashes. We went to a hair salon downtown that had a beauty section and they cost w20 000 for the short ones (that I got which were more natural looking) or w30 000 for the longer more luxurious looking ones (like Tiffany got). Actually, I say 'we went' but really it was more like 'Tiffany went' and May and I impulsively decided to get them too. I was really annoyed that the lady took my eye makeup off though because I hadn't taken any more with me and thus felt very naked afterwards. Especially cos she didn't do the same for May and Tiffany after me!

2. Dakgalbi! If you haven't tried it, 닭갈비 is a delicious spicy broiled chicken dish, cooked with cabbage, sweet potato, onions, spring onions, garlic, enoki mushrooms (팽이 버섯), sesame leaves and lots and lots of chili sauce! The places that we go in our area also all have the absolutely mandatory (in my book) additions of cheese- and sweet pototo-filled ddeok or ricecakes. There's even one place that does pumpkin filled ones - my favourite! You fry the chicken in a massive iron dish at your table and eat it wrapped in lettuce or sesame leaves when it's done. You can either eat it with plain rice (if you find the chili a bit much to handle), or if you think you can stop eating early enough and restrain yourself, you can add rice and shredded seaweed etc at the end to make bokkumbap (fried rice). As well as the chicken, you usually get cold radish vinegar soup that serves to cool your mouth off and a bunch of side-dishes, depending on the quality of the place you go to.
 Dakgalbi is great for those chilly winter days when you just want to pig out on something spicy and filling and hearty. Or any time of year frankly, as long as you're ready to pig out ^_^

3. There is an awesome chocolate cafe in downtown Cheongju called 'De Chocolate Coffee' that I recently discovered with Michelle and Edithe. I know it's been there for a while but I've never been in before then, and am sad that I missed out for so long! Their Real Dark Hot Chocolate is w5300 (from memory, I think that's right) and totally worth it - delicious, smooth and rich. Apparently their Mochas (the same price) are just as good - after all, it is a chocolate coffee cafe - as are their truffles. I also tried a dark chocolate brownie from there and although it didn't ravish my tastebuds it was pretty good. A little dry and no nuts which I find essential in a good brownie, but still good. Sadly they don't really have any real food there beyond bagels so it's definitely a dessert-only place. However, there does appear to be free wifi, and it's up on the second floor so it's nice and peaceful there - good for an extended study or if you need somewhere quiet. Location wise I can only direct you there by landmarks - it's on the corner of the fashion street where all the shoe and clothes shops are and a side alley that runs by Pizza Hut to where the 서문 CGV is, on the second floor above S Shoes. It also stays open pretty late - we stayed one time until about 11 I think and we weren't the last ones there, but the staff didn't try and kick us out or anything - and the main barista guy who has been there both times I have speaks pretty good English and remembered who I was from the first time. It's a bit weird that the decor inside isn't more cosy, so it looks a bit industrial, but the drinks and chocolate stuff and quiet atmosphere more than make up for it.

  4. Halloween. So yes, it's an American thing and I still have problems adjusting to the fact that you don't actually have to wear something scary to be in Halloween spirit, but it's also a fun excuse to dress up. Costumes are pretty scarce in Korea though as Koreans also don't really celebrate it unless a) they're kids and know it means candy (usually because they have a foreign teacher somewhere who panders to this) or b) they're friends with North Americans and want to join in the fun. Last year I did myself up as a properly scary battered house-wife zombie, complete with fake blood running down my face and zombie eyes in all my photos, but since I also had problems getting a taxi and getting all the 'blood' (whiteboard marker cartridges and water) marks off my skin, I opted for something less scary and more in keeping with the North American tradition of "Slut-o-ween" instead by wearing a $7 dress from Tempt or something that I bought last time I was home (with this in mind) and going as a flight attendant. What do you think dear viewers? Which costume did you like more? 2010 or 2011? In my defence, I didn't slut it up as much as I could have this year and none of my underwear was visible through/under my dress.

5. Saw the beautiful Ms Sophia Ko and her lovely hubby Phil on Saturday for some delicious mushroom shabu-shabu in Yongsan, Seoul. It was great to catch up, as they live (mostly) in New York, but although I rarely get to see them, it always feels like we spring back to normal when I do and just continue chatting about our lives where we left off. Here's some photos of our delicious dinner and Phil being just plain weird with his mushrooms (they grow them in bottles and then you just cut them off into your shabu-shabu when you order). But then, we wouldn't have it any other way - he does it so well! Haha^^

Anyway, that's about it for updates so far. I feel like I should throw a funny in from my students though, just to keep to the usual tone of my blog. So we've been doing a chapter on 'Growing Up' and for 2nd grade I showed them the Pussycat Dolls "When I Grow Up" and got them to fill in the missing blanks in the lyrics. This was partly as a treat because I knew they'd like the song and partly because I knew it would make the noisy boys classes shut the hell up for once, guaranteed. And it did! If by 'shutting up' you also accept catcalls and cheering, which is still much less noisy than they normally are. Haha, it was really funny seeing which of them were more interested in the video and which were more interested in getting all the missing words ^_^ The girls also liked it, especially the 'power' dancing' and how much attitude they had and one or two started trying to dance along to the video, but the boys in class 2-5 had the best reaction - they actually applauded once it was over and one of them shouted out "I LOVE AMERICA!!!" and then used every speaking activity opportunity I gave them that lesson to tell me about how much he wanted to move to America and meet 'sexy girls'. So don't say I never give you guys good press! Haha^^


  1. USA! USA! USA!

    Actually here's a related story:

    GF took the bus to work this morning, but it was detoured because Canberra is partially shut down for the motorcade. The bus driver has no idea where he is going and GF realises this too late, so gets off near Treasury to catch an express to Woden.

    No cars anywhere, no sign of any buses, then after about 10 mins of waiting, the motorcade passes through, including AFP, lots of black jeeps and sedans, a 'van that was a box shape' (I'm assuming the mobile secure comms room).

    tl;dr - GF gets lost on way to work, bumps into POTUS Motorcade.

  2. Halloween is Irish!! Goddam Americans, get your own traditions! Ok we'll share...

  3. Most random thing ever... this came up in my feed today and I was so confused. I was like "Is Amy back in Cheongju, because I'm pretty sure that she would have told me that in the email that she sent me yesterday." Clearly the world is telling me that I miss you far too much!! *hugs*