Thursday, April 29, 2010

Random Korean Food

Andrew and I discover new foods all the time. Often we see things in the grocery store or on the street, but we don't buy them because we don't know what it is, or how to cook it. However, our boss often brings in various drinks for us to have. Sometimes they are healthy things (such as yogurt drinks) because they want us to stay healthy. Other times, they bring us things just to be nice. Often we really enjoy them and they make their way to our regular grocery lists!

We have seen this first one in the store many times. We haven't bought it because we had no clue what it was. When our boss brought it in, we tried it, and found out it is coffee flavored milk in a bag! So delicious! 

When we go to restaurants, we usually order the same few things. When our coworkers take us out to a restaurant, they order for us. Usually we can't read the menu and there are no pictures, so we just order the same thing again and again. 

We recently went to a few new restaurants and tried new things! The first is nicknamed a "lunch box". This is because a long time a go, people put their lunches in these tin boxes. It consists of rice, sunny side up egg, and kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage). When you get it you are supposed to chop it up with your spoon, put the lid back on and shake it for a while to mix it all up. It's so delicious! 

This is after chopping up the egg a bit.

Showing off the metal tin.

And it's mixed!

The last food is something that we have been eating for a while, but we recently tried it at a new restaurant. We order lunch from restaurants in our building a few times a week. If we share (we often do and still leave full) Andrew and I can eat a meal for $4. We have a couple of restaurants on our floor, so we usually order the same 2-3 things, one of which is bi-bim-bap, or mixed rice. The restaurant in our building serves bi-bim-bap that is way too spicy for us to enjoy. However, the new restaurant's bi-bim-bap was delicious. 

The ingredients in the dish are different depending on the restaurant. Usually there are several greens: seaweed, cucumbers, onions, lettuce. There is often kimchi, pickled radishes, bean sprouts, egg, spicyish red sauce, and octopus/squid legs. It comes in a bowl, unmixed. Then, you mix it - and enjoy! 

This is the bi-bim-bap from the new restaurant. It is served in a double serving (costing about $6) and comes in a massive bowl. See Andrew's hand for comparison!

We have now found that we buy things like seaweed at the grocery store out of a feeling of necessity, rather than curiosity. We will surely be in reverse culture shock when we go home! We have even joked about moving to a city that has a Korean restaurant! 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cherry Blossom Festival

Andrew and I wanted to go see the Cherry Blossom Festival. They have the festivals all around Korea, the most famous one in Seoul. We were told that we'd see more people than flowers... so we decided to stay in Suwon and go to the festival here. Again, I'd say that we saw more people than trees and flowers, but it was still pretty! 

Festival food!

Andrew with the South Korean flag! 

Magnolia trees!

This is a memorial to the missing soldiers in the sunken ship. 

More festival food! 

This is a very popular food in Korea. It is meat on a stick! I'm not sure what kind of meat, but it is edible. 

I'm not sure what this street food is. 

That's a lot of sausages!

These massive pots are kimchi pots. This is where they ferment the cabbage for kimchi!

Kimchi pots!

More kimchi pots!

Do you ever run out of traffic cones?

Street vendor food.

Outside cooking!

We started walking away from the festival. We walked for quite a while and found ourselves at Suwon Station. We went up to the top of the station, and I took a couple of pictures from the windows. 

Sooo congested! Check out all those tall buildings in the back. Those are all apartment buildings. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Manseok Park

Andrew and I found a fabulous park about a five minute walk away from our apartment! We went there on one of our first nice days (it has since gotten cold again) but we believe this might be our favorite Summer hot spot! 

This is at the entrance of the park. We have driven by this countless times, and it is lit up with bright colored lights at night. 

A dad helps kids fire off a rocket. 

Apparently we live right by the Yeongchwacheon River. 

I'm not sure what these guys were working on... but they were definitely taking a break!

There were (grass-less) soccer fields! (Notice the fountain in the background... It was shooting up really high in the sky, but by the time we got to the lake, it had stopped running. I hope we can catch it another time)

The pavilion

inside the pavilion... all of these things have the same painting/colors on them!

Mountains in the background (for you Dad)

The soccer field... and apartments in the background. 

... and more apartments...

... and more apartments... (they all look the same all around Korea)

Public exercise equipment! 

Instead of lifting weights, you lift your body. 

Apartments, apartments, apartments!

(and apartments!)

This little guy is making the nearly mile-long walk around the lake. Its really uncommon to see kids in strollers here. They walk all around the city with their parents from when they are able to walk. It kind of makes you think that we really are lazy Americans... drilling it in at such a young age!

Can you see the waterfall?

Are those apartments over there?

I thought this little girl was SO cute. She had massive cheeks. I was bummed I never got a front-on picture of her. Her sister was wearing the same outfit and they were playing hide-and-seek. 

Her sister, hiding. 

Uh oh...

Two kids come to the rescue. 

Oh no! I've been spotted! 

This guy was seriously going to town on his work out... Korea jumpsuit and all! 

Those things on the bottom are not birds... those are all the spouts for the fountain. 

I have a try on the elliptical.

This kid was just riding the unicycle like it was no problem. 

This is the big central area where all the kids zoomed around on their motorized jeeps. These cars were available for rent, along with two person and four person bikes. These kids had almost no sense of steering or breaking, so we had to be on the constant look out. There were accidents all over. 

A driving lesson from dad.. 

Ahhh the open road... 

I think it might be a little too tall....

The Magnolia Trees and Cherry Blossoms were blooming! This one is near our apartment. 

Do not enter!

This is the road we live down.

This is an example of how much they try to utilize any free land for gardening. This is a small area next to an apartment building near our house. They plant vegetables here. It smells like raw sewage all the time. And, if we are lucky, if the wind is blowing just right, we get to smell it in our apartment! 

Our apartment building.

One of our favorite traditional Korean Barbecue restaurants is down this road next to our apartment. 

Do you think there are enough power lines?