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Saturday, 7 July 2007

Naengmyeon Weather is Back

It's starting to get hot and humid in Seoul--so hot that my pants stick to my legs when I am walking to work and I'm in a deep sweat by the time I arrive. To solve this problem, I've been rolling my pants up to get some ventilation for my legs (since we're not allowed to wear shorts at work). I don't really care what people think, as long as I can reduce my perspiration levels due to this sticky weather. Hey, didn't you know that farmer rolls on jeans are coming back in style? Heck, anything goes in Korean fashion so I might as well join the club.

One of the best ways to stay cool is eating Mul-Naengmyeon (noodles in an icy beef broth) on a hot and muggy afternoon like it was today. I remember my first experience with naengmyeong when I first arrived in Korea. I couldn't believe I was eating noodles served in an icy broth--now it's one of my favorite foods to eat. I've even purchased the make-your-own-naengmyeon-at-home packs from Homever (homemade naengmyeon coming soon). What can I say, naengmyeon weather is back!

Today we went to lunch at the notorious 2900w restaurant, where everything on the menu is only 2900w. You may recall one of our previous visits there in the past. This place is good for a quick meal that is easy on your wallet and the food quality is not bad considering the price.

Here's what I had for lunch today...ready? First up, it was an order of donkatsu. I think this place like to use extra large plates and bowls to create an illusion that you're getting a bang for your buck--too bad they're not fooling me! The rice always comes flattened and spread out:

Here is it, an order of mul-naengmyeon, served in a massive bowl. I'm not going to complain because this place serves up some of the best naengmyeon in Mokdong. Also, if you are still hungry they will give you a noodle refill for free! Today was not a refill day, unfortunately. I could've done it, but I probably would've puked upon returning to work (for those wondering, I asked for my gochujang on the side--hot pepper paste):

Devante settled for a bibimbap and had some of my naengmyong. To go along with our meal here is some kimchi and yellow pickled radish I dished up from their self serve bar:

I told you their bowls were big, right? Well, this picture explains it all...this is an ajuma trying to drink her broth while wearing one of those crazy sun visors that cover your entire face--don't worry, she did fine:

Curious as to how they make the icy beef broth? Well, here is the answer--a refrigerated pot that freezes the broth and keeps it at a slurpee consistency. I wonder what a beef broth slurpee would taste like? Man, could you imagine that? Naengmyeon served in a take out cup...all you would need is one of those huge bubble tea straws to make it work. I know a lot of people don't like having chunks of randomness in their drinks. Well, I do and one day I'm going to create beef flank noodles to go in a cup:

What do you eat/drink on hot days to cool off? I could go for a strawberry sundae from Dairy Queen right about now...mmmm....Dairy Queen....


Anonymous said...

Aigo~~..eating so icy cold soup on hot days?..
My name Angel.I am from singapore.
I like reading your blog..
lots of pics and information..
I really wonder how hot is in seoul because I am going there next month. But..because I myself is living in a hot and humid country too. And i do check the weather temperature. it does seem singapore is much hotter than in seoul.. But, I still drink hot soups and don`t sweat like mad thou, perhaps i train myself not to sweat. haha. could you put more pics of how the people in seoul wear/behave/complain/eat on hot days. I would definately like to see.. Pleaseeeeeeeee......^^

Anonymous said...

Ah.. I would love to see you put up more of hot the weather is.. like dresscode, behaviour and eat!
haha... Pleaseeee.... ^^

Leo said...

Yeah man, a nice strawberry cheesecake Blizzard from Dairy Queen sounds good.
Then again a nice sleeve of ice cold beer served in a chilled glass will do just fine :)

Vega said...

Last year in Seoul I experienced the naengmyeon weather you are talking about.

It was so sticky and so humid that, in about a month, I think I perspired an entire one-year water supply for a medium size city. (sorry but any other expressions wouldn't have given the idea)

I tried anything to cool off, including the cold noodle, and I think these have been the most effective to the purpose.(not the baskin robbins cake I once bought at the coex mall, to show off...)

However the truth is, no matter what I did, even just moving an arm or going from a room to another made me perspire.

Now I realize why my roommate J from the USA (a korean american paying a visit to his ancestors' land) had the bad habit to keep the A/C at about 15 degrees celsius (59 F)

In the end, I was able to avoid the sticky weather, but not the consequences on my lungs and throat because of that always-on polar-temp air conditioning.

So here is my advice: if you live there, be heroic and bear the weather: it will finish.

If you are tourists: board the first plane back home and come to Korea in September.

John from Daejeon said...

Thanks to modern technology (Electricity, Air Conditioning, Central Heating, Television, Refrigeration, the Light Bulb, Down Jackets and Coats, Cars, Elevators, Buses, Subways, Trains, Airplanes, clean water to bath and drink, etc.), most of us have become very vocal complainers about the slightest of life's inconveniences. Today, if the power is off for more than a minute, we are calling and screaming at the power company to do something about it because we are missing the latest news on Paris, some inconsequential sporting event (in the grand scheme of the world's problems), the latest Simpsons episode, or heaven forbid, we can't access the internet or even use our computers for a short time.

How did my grandparents and great grandparents survive without cell/hand/mobile/portable phones, computers, refrigeration, and instant transportation and communication? The average life span has increased dramatically thanks to these innovations and breakthroughs in modern medicine. In 1900, the average American lived to 45. Now, it is up to about 80. We are also no longer forced to work 100 hour work weeks in sweatshops, live in cramped tenements, and eat only gruel and water.

We need to step back, once and awhile, and be grateful at just how truly good we have it compared to those who came before us, and realize that we are actually living in a pretty remarkable and wonderful time.

BTW, Gdog. Wear shorts on your way to work and change into your slacks in the bathroom/restroom/water closet/toilet or maybe in the bathroom/restroom/water closet/toilet of a nearby PC Room/Bang if that is more convenient.

Gdog said...

Angel: I'll try my best to keep you posted on the current dress code in this hot weather. Thanks for visiting!

Leo: How about a Duff beer from the Kwik-E Mart? Did you spot any?

vega: thanks for posting your experience. Actually, it's not that bad here in Seoul, I can't imagine how it'd be like closer to the equator!

John: Another insightful post--you should be posting these thoughts on a blog or website. Do you have one?

I was contemplating the shorts, but we walk 8 minutes to work so I don't want to bother--yet. Once it gets super hot, you can bet I'll be sporting shorts on my walk to work!

Angela Arenivar said...

I love your blog!!! It rocks. AND I think I will go to Dairy Queen in your honor. :)

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