That's right, in the world of South Korean business, the "chaebol," or business group, dominates the scene. These huge corporations are family run organizations that are financed in part by government funding. You might be familiar with a few of the big names out there, such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Lotte, etc. These huge corporations branch out into other businesses and areas, in essence creating multifaceted revenue streams. Why do my students study so hard? Maybe one day they will work for these huge companies, and become a "salary man" or "salary woman." Koreans work long and hard hours--my students tell me that sometimes their dads spend the night at the office--it's crazy. Take a look at this chart of the annual work hours of OECD countries--Korea tops the list at 2390 hours, about 1000 more hours than Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands (that's it, I'm moving to Europe!):
( Annual work hours (source: OECD (2004), OECD in Figures, OECD, Paris. ))
Anyways, let's stop all this talk about work (it's depressing) and get back to what I do best...posting pictures about the meals I've eaten. So here is the package of spaghetti made by CJ, my internet provider. Some popular Korean "TV dinners" are noodles such as spaghetti or udon. They are not frozen like our TV dinners back home.
The spaghetti noodles are cooked--you dump the noodles out of the package into boiling water for a minute. The sauce packets on the left need to be in boiling water for a couple minutes--which brings out the wonderful plastic taste that seeps into your sauce, deeelicious! You'll notice that there are also complimentary packets of Parmesan cheese, bonus!
The final result after cooking for five minutes is this masterpiece. Spaghetti with meat sauce and Parmesan cheese, made by my internet provider. The big question remains: when do you think AOL, Verizon, or Shaw Cable will come out with their own instant pasta?