Sunday, June 15, 2008

High heels and protests

It's amazing how removed I've been from all the recent political activity in Seoul.

Not a single person (MC and my parents excluded) in the US has asked me about the beef issue, nor the protests, which leads to the assumption that most Americans (or to more accurately put it, my friends, haha) aren't very aware of, or don't care about the issue. But it's exploded into quite an ordeal over here.

If you have no idea of what I'm talking about, you can get a quick rundown from the NYT here:

After a night of eating and shopping around Myeongdong (명동), I made my way back to the subway station and ran into this:

It was the first time I'd seen one of these demonstrations in person.

I'll stay away from any political commentary (you can read about it from more informed sources elsewhere) and move onto what we had for dinner. This, I'm good at. Eating, that is.

Jjim dak (찜닭) is a marinated chicken dish with veggies and noodles in a spicy broth... emphasis on the (unassuming) spicy! I was actually hoping to find "the kong gooksoo place" that my family and I ate at last September, but gave up, only to later realize it was but 2 doors down from the chicken place!

Ironic. This happened a second time, when we were searching for "the really tall soft serve ice cream cones." We gave up, settled on gelato from Gustimo, and realized... of course, 2 doors down... I guess the moral of the story is... patience... determination? Or perhaps, "Learn where you're going."

On a separate note, I took a mini trip to Ichon-dong (이촌동) today, after having heard of a "Little Tokyo" in Seoul. My mission was to find teriyaki seasoned nori from one of the Japanese supermarkets. Unfortunately it was nowhere to be found, and you can pretty much find the same Japanese products in the import section from Lotte Dept. Store in Myeongdong. "Little Tokyo" was a little disappointing in the sense that, it didn't seem particularly Japanese to me - though I'm still not sure if I missed something? Perhaps a hidden street? I did, however, notice quite a few cute cafes and bakeries that I'd love to revisit one day. Ichondong (Subway Line 4, Exit 3 or 3-1) itself was quiet, residential (filled with apartments overlooking the Han River), and had a unique charm to it - for some reason, it personally reminded me of morning strolls in the Richmond (SF).

Strangely, I did run into a shop that sold CHEETOS PUFFS (excitement!) but refrained from purchase, mostly because I didn't feel like carrying it around the city all day. I was also impressed to find a GNC Store and small organic market on the street. But look what else I found!

Oh, Boston... I miss you. Sometimes. : )


veronica said...

ever since the beef protests started i stayed far away from myeongdong and gwanghamun. but today, unfortunately, i have to go and i'm too chicken. (haha) from all the pictures, it looks like a war zone! hopefully, during the day its a bit quiet? scarrry..

did you by any chance find hot cheetos? i crave those once in awhile...i couldnt find that anywhere in seoul.

thanks for all the great info on your blog! :] it makes me start a blog of my own.

Richard said...

Jjim Dak makes it to your blog!!!
So good...hmmm...Im craving it right now!
Remind me what kong guksoo sounds familiar? It cant be better then jjim dak!

Usually at Jjim dak restaurant they sometimes server haemaul(but extremely spicy) as a "combination" for bigger groups. Its really good too!

Richard said...

If you dont mind other readers to your blog, what is your blog website? Your name doesnt link to your profile so I cant look it up.



Intelligent design

The Korean government are forward thinkers. Some bright spark at the internal affairs office realised that instead of buying costly street sweepers they could just use bored middle aged women. Thusly every Korean mother or aunt is bowlegged, shaped like a question mark and smells of bins. But those street corners, wow.


Richard said...

Im sorry that you felt the need to comment this blog on Cheri's site. She has such a great blog sharing her experiences in Korea. Both good and bad, but mostly good. And a lot on the really good Korean food :).

Good Korean food can fix a lot of things. Like Spicy Jjim Dak will make you forget all of your worries and melt your stresses away Jolly. You should try it sometime.