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Saturday, 30 September 2006

Our trip to the Korean War Memorial

I've heard a lot about the Korean War Memorial and it has been on the top of my list as one of the places to visit in Seoul. I love history so visiting the Memorial was pretty fascinating. Devante had a great time too, except she is not a big fan of war or war relics for that matter.

Opened in 1994, the memorial details all the wars Korea has been involved since its early days. Anyways, the Korean War Memorial is located near Yongsan. The quickest way is to exit via the Samgakji subway station and the walk will be about five minutes. Definately worth a visit if you're coming to teach English in Seoul.

Near the main entrance to the memorial you will see The Statue of Brothers:


Here's a picture of a mosaic from inside the dome:


The Statue of Brothers behind a piece of artillery:


Statues Defending the Fatherland:


The Stone Bowl is the pedestal of the Statues Defending the Fatherland:

Korean War Memorial ...

We had an interesting trip today to the Korean War Memorial...it's too late to post so I will post about it in the morning.

Here's a picture tonight of Dongdaemun at night for your viewing pleasure...(I don't know how I always end up there) don't worry, I won't let the bed bugs bite.


BONUS PICTURE: Gdog "keeping it real" standing next to a B-52 Bomber...

Thursday, 28 September 2006

Random pictures of the day...

Chuseok is just around the corner. We will have four days off work next week plus the weekend. That means six wonderful days off. Yahoo! Anyways, here are your random pictures of the day...

The sights at Dongdaemun...


A snack stall in Dongdaemun:


No, this isn't the Salvation Army...it's the Dongdaemun bargain bin!


For those still interested in Xylitol gum, feast your eyes on this!

Wednesday, 27 September 2006

Street BBQ's: rotisserie technology

If you love street food, you'll enjoy eating it while you're teaching English in Korea. There are trucks that pull up shop everywhere, 24 hours a day. Outside the Omokyo subway station (exit 2) there has been this one BBQ stand that I've been dying to try. Well, it was my time a few days ago as I took the plunge. This place had the ultimate marketing tool: a rotisserie that would draw your attention like flies to a dump truck. The smell of the juices hitting the lava rocks was mouthwatering!

Here's the stand:


A picture is worth a 1000 words, so here you go:


If a picture is worth a 1000 words, a video is worth 1 million:

Dongdaemun: Doota part 2--"drinks"

Here are some more pictures from the basement of Doota Fashion Mall...

If you are craving some Western groceries, you can find them here too


Trying to find Doritos or Cheetos in Korea? Here you go!


How about some "refreshments" to wash down all those munchies? You can find some items that aren't available elsewhere here...


...feeling like spending some money? Be my guest:

Tuesday, 26 September 2006

Our journey to Dongdaemun...the search for Cetaphil

If you're coming to teach English in Korea, you might want to consider bringing along some toiletries with you. There are some products that you just can't buy over here. One of them is deodorant. However, if you look long and hard enough, as they say "seek and ye shall find"...that was the case for us at Dongdaemun.

Devante was looking for Cetaphil and after some online research we discovered the basement of the Doota Fashion Mall in Dongdaemun hides a plethora of foreign health and beauty products. Let's take a look at what we were able to find!

Doota Fashion Mall is across the street from Dongdaemun Stadium.


Make your way to B2, the "Luxury Gallery" in the basement:


Once you've made it to B2, you will be able to find an assortment of products! Bengay, Vaseline, Polident, Band-Aid, Lamisil, Ex-lax...etc can all be found at Moota!


Look at the second shelf, there's the deodorant (I stocked up at Costco before I arrived). You can also buy deodorant in Itaewon and some markets around Myeong-dong as well (plus others I am sure). Look, there's Nivea, Dove, Old Spice, Lady Speed Stick, Gillette..etc can all be found at Moota!


For all your beauty needs...such as Clearasil, Darphin, Biotherm, all in Korea!


There it is...Cetaphil in Seoul, South Korea!


Trying to find Old Spice High Endurance deodorant? Here it is!


As for how these retailers found these products, who knows. Some theories include "they fell off the back of a truck"...or they were "smuggled" off the US Army bases stationed in Korea. Or they could be knock offs from China. Or they could be the real deal. That's for you to decide.

Once thing is for sure, you will be paying a hefty premium for these products. When there is a demand, price always increases. That's your economic lesson for the day (FYI: I failed an economics class in university--that's how credible my advice really is).

McDonald's applie pie--deep fried in Asia!

McDonald's used to have deep fried apple pies in Canada a long time ago. But anything deep fried is unhealthy and loaded with fat (but tastes delicious) so they have been baked ever since. However, in Asia that is not the case. When I travelled to Hong Kong and Beijing the apple pies there are still deep fried. The case is the same in Seoul.

You only can imagine how good it tastes to bite into the crispy, flaky shell of this piping hot apple pie. It was fresh from the fryer and took approximately seven minutes in the fryer to cook--but it took only one minute for me to devour!

Look at the golden shell on this beautiful pie:


If you know of any other countries that still deep fry their McDonald's applie pies, I'd love to hear from you!

Our lunches...teaching requires calories!

Teaching English in Korea (or teaching in general) requires immense amounts of energy. In order for us to harness our brainpower and to stay alert, we've been packing some jam-packed lunches lately. Here's an example...

This was last week. Dumplings, shrimp fried rice with mushrooms, head lettuce flash fried in minced garlic with a side of oyster sauce...MMMMM!


Now, first you will see some instant Ramen noodles (during class breaks), Yoplait YOP yogurt drinks, a soy milk drink box, and a bag of Sun Chips (they taste sweet by the way). Oh, and a container full of chicken pasta in tomato mushroom sauce (Thanks Prego!):

Monday, 25 September 2006

Korean Street Carnage--outside our window!

The streets of Korea are notorious for aggressive driving behavior. I've posted about street carnage before in the past (and here too) on The Daily Kimchi.

Yesterday morning, while getting ready for work we hear a loud "SCREEEEEEECHHH!" outside! Turns out there was a mini three car pile up on the highway! So, being the photography freak that I am, I quickly start snapping pictures. Here are my findings:

Behind that tree in the center of the picture is the car caught in the middle of this mess:


A digital zoom shot of the damage on the last car:


About 30 minutes later, a tow truck appears:


One thing I've noticed is that the drivers don't get enraged about the accidents--they just accept the fact that it happened and move along. I've yet to witness some Korean fisticuffs!

Watson's "Grand Open"...

Watsons is one of the largest pharmacy/beauty stores in Asia. It's based in Hong Kong and they are as common as 7-Elevens...they are literally on every street corner. Near our place in Mokdong there recently was a Watsons grand opening a few months ago...or shall we say..."Grand Open"...

Watsons: your personal store


I'm not sure if I should use this in my hair, or drink it! These will make wonderful salad dressings too. ;-)

Upcoming holiday--Chuseok: Korean Thanksgiving

Chuseok is a major holiday in Korea. People travel home during this period to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families. Part of this involves buying gifts for family--this is where Korean retailers lick their lips with the amount of spending that goes on.

Here are some examples of gift sets that you will likely see if you come over to teach English in Korea during this holiday period.

Here are some gifts sets from the Hyundai Department Store:


How about 120,000w for eight mammoth sized Asian pears ($125US; almost $16US PER PEAR! These better be laced in gold for that price!!!)?


Costco is going all out...check it out:


We were there on the weekend and people were buying giftsets like crazy!

Sunday, 24 September 2006

Busy with report cards...

Hey everyone, I have some good pictures and posts coming your way, but I am currently preoccupied with completing monthly report cards for students. They aren't hard, but they I do have to dedicate some time to these suckers.

Anyways, tomorrow I'll post about our second visit (read about our first visit here) to Dongdaemun...we were on a quest. You'll find out soon enough what we were trying to find! ;)

Friday, 22 September 2006

Plastic bags--for kimchi!

Koreans love their kimchi...it's spicy and delicious. My students love the stuff to death. Most families either make it home or buy it in bags. If you're coming over to teach English in Korea, you'll see kimchi everywhere--I mean everywhere. It's the one side dish that is guaranteed at all Korean restaurants.

I should've posted this earlier, but these were spotted earlier in the week by Devante at Carrefour. Check it out...bags made specifically for your kimchi making needs!

Gum in Korea...seeking long lasting flavour

Gum in Korea is different. If you come over to teach English in Korea I highly suggest that you bring a box of chewing gum with you. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the gum here. I just enjoy gum with flavour that lasts longer than 5 minutes.

Lotte seems to have a huge monopoly on gum here. Everybody loves Xylitol, a sugar free mint gum that can be found everywhere. If there was a drug in the form of gum, it would be Xylitol.

Anyways, Devante's brother was nice enough to mail us some gum all the way from Canada! Thanks for spending $$$ on the postage (it cost way more than the gum itself)!

Here's the package...it took 1 week to arrive from BC:


Ahhh...isn't that a pretty sight? Thanks Dapper!


Here's a box of Xylitol purchased from Costco (about 6USD):

Thursday, 21 September 2006

Lunch box 1939...darn good sandwiches

Here's my plug for a Philly Cheesesteak style sandwich from Lunch Box 1939 located inside the Hyundai Department store. The owner was really friendly and sandwiches were awesome! I would recommend visiting if you are craving a sub style sandwich from home that is hot, delicious and reasonably priced (6000w; 6USD)!

Lunch Box 1939 locations can be found throughout the world and Asia:


Here's the "food model" display:


...and here's a picture of my sandwich along with two FREE drinks (I told you he was nice)! Devante bought a croissant sandwich and that's some spicy sweet and sour chicken as well to top off our lunch (the best part was the free cell phone key chain thing...I ended up giving it way to one of my students):

Interesting groceries at the Hyundai Department center...

The Hyundai Department Store chains are deemed "luxury" and "high end" so most things in the store are expensive. Since we all know that my pockets are deep, I like to shop and hang out there (window shop that is). Here are some observations from the Hyundai grocery store near us...

We found a Cino's Cheesecake at the Hyundai Department center near us in Omokgyo (click here to visit our first experience with Cino's. Here's how it really looks like before you dig into the sucker:


This is what a 1400w cookie looks like (approx. $1.50US)...it was delicious:


Who likes their fruit hermetically sealed and pretty? I do! Check this out...they are on pedestals:


If you are wondering, yes that is a durian in the bottom corner. When you pay almost 70USD for a durian, they pre-cut the openings it for you...(my durian opening instructions are here):


This lobster has the biggest claws I've ever seen in my entire life (it's probably also 100 years old). It looks like Homer's pet lobster, Mr. Pinchy from The Simpsons!


These crabs were out of control. The bottom half of their claws were cut for safety and they were just running all over the place.


Here's the video, check it out!


Want some fresh fish? Here you go:

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