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Sunday, 24 February 2008

Eating Samgyeopsal in Richmond!

I'll admit, I am dedicating a lot less time writing posts for this blog. Honestly, I've been so busy with work and other online endeavors that I have been neglecting this blog. However, I am grateful to all of you guys that still swing by here once in a while to check up on things!

Anyways, earlier last week went went for a Korean meal in Richmond--samgyeopsal and samgyetang to be exact! This has only been the second time we've had Korean since we arrived back in Canada. You can read about our first encounter in Coquitlam here.

Why you ask? Well, I think we both had more than enough of our fair share during our time teaching English in Korea. Plus, it's so darn hard to eat anything else but delicious and cheap Chinese food in Ricemond!

So our restaurant this time around was none other than Kyung Bok Palace (check out my visit to the REAL palace here) located inside Landsdowne Shopping Mall.

On the menu today, some samgyeopsal for me and some samgyetang for Devante. Let's take a look at the pictures, shall we?

This samgyeopsal was sliced very thin, unlike the thick chunks in Korea. I loved the thick slabs...mmm...pork fat...

The ajumma (aka a teenager) flipping my pork belly...they forgot to turn on the fan, which I politely reminded them to do so:

What is this stuff again? OH right...it's called kimchi!

Remember what I said about it being sliced too thin? It's like I had crispy bacon (yes, I know this is too well done, blah blah blah; I like my samgyeopsal crispy and not fatty)!

Overall, the meal definitely was overpriced compared to prices in Korea--by a long shot. This meal would have cost 26,000w in Korea, but it cost us about $45CDN after tax and tip (that's what I miss about eating in Korea--no gratuities!). The side dishes were really good and everything tasted fresh. Too bad their service wasn't up to par. We were 1 out of 3 tables, yet I had to ask for so many things.

Anyways...let's hope our next Korean experience will be a bit better. What should I eat next?

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Namdaemun: Then and Now

I've visited Namdaemun in Seoul on countless occasions. It is located in the heart of the city and I have taken lots of pictures of the beautiful monument, which sits at over 600 years old. So to discover that the ancient gate was set ablaze while I was perusing news headlines, I was surprised to say the least!

For those unaware, Namdaemun was set on fire just over a week ago. The entire incident was suspected to have originated from an arsonist, which proved to be true soon afterwards. A 70 year old man, known as "Chae" confessed to lighting Namdaemun on fire with paint thinner and a lighter.

Why the heck did this elderly man set the structure on fire? Well, his beef was about how he was not properly compensated by delevopers in the sale of a plot of land he owned. His cries for help went unnoticed so he took matters into his own hands!

Koreans are a very patriotic bunch, and to see their #1 National Treasure burn to the ground must have been devastating! They are planning to rebuild and restore the gate, but it obviously won't be the same. Let's take a look at some pictures of Namdaemun I've snapped up in the past...

...during the daytime (check out my post on Namdaemun Market)

...a few during the night...(from my trip to City Hall at night)

Pictures of the fire...here it is set ablaze with the wooden structure at the top crumbling to the ground (picture credit to the AP):

...and the aftermath (NY Times)!

Here's a clip of the inferno...

For those still in Korea...what is the general mood about the destruction of this national treasure?

Sunday, 10 February 2008

View of the Highway from our Officetel

I'm still receiving emails from some of you guys asking about my time in Korea. I apologize if i haven't responded as I've been very busy. Anyways, whenever people go teach English in Korea, finding out that your accommodation is a wonderful feeling. One of the best ways is to ask your employer for pictures. Most of the time they will send a few pics.

Anyways, here are a few pics of the highway outside our officetel in Mokdong. I've been meaning to show these pics, but never got the chance. These three pictures were taken with my Canon digital SLR, with my head stuck out the window, while I was getting a few breaths of (smoggy) air.

From the left (in front of that bus is the fire station, which is beside Homever; yes, buses are colored in South Korea):

Directly below (the bottom right, where those red tables and chairs are is the king crab shack):

To the right (the bottom right is a police station; we would walk 10 mins to work following traffic)

So there you have it...the typical view from an officetel located on the 13th floor in Mokdong!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

A Pre-Chinese New Year/Birthday Dinner

Another week, another post. Work this week was pretty cool, and subbing is a lot of fun. Every class in every school seems to have one or two or three Korean students. I was able to talk about my experience in Korea in a few classes, giving examples of the differences in life between our two countries (EG, not being able to buy certain things--deodorant; expensive fruit, etc)

This weekend I had some family come over from Victoria to celebrate a few birthdays (my little cousin and grandma). It was also a pre-Chinese New Year celebration at the same time. So what happens when you get family together in Richmond? If you guessed a big dinner at a seafood restaurant, you're right!

Tonight we went for dinner at Imperial Court, in the Staples plaza off No.3 road. It was a set menu that included a lot of seafood and other goodies. Let me warn you: the following pictures will make your mouth water! Let's go through the extensive gallery of MSG-laden dishes, shall we? ;) Get ready for a lot of pictures...

Here is my place setting...along with our first dish:

Some pea tips with shredded dried scallop:

Seafood stir fry with snap peas:

A ten pound Alaskan King crab...with LOTS of garlic!

Note to self: you will have garlic breath for the next two days:

Soup with crab and chicken and other misc. items...

Baby bok choy with Chinese mushrooms:

This was my first time trying this dish. Deep fried rock cod, smothered in sweet and sour sauce and topped with pine nuts! As you can see in the background, my uncle is another typical camera-crazy Asian like myself:

Don't forget the crispy skin chicken...

Most restaurants prepare the King crab in 2-3 ways, since there's so much meat. Here is the shell filled with curry fried rice with shrimp, topped with a cream sauce and baked:

Remember those two massive plates of King crab? Well, the server takes back the unused garlic and juice back to the kitchen to use as the base of our last dish, egg noodles:

Bring on the dessert...here we have some sort of deep fried pastry...which I didn't enjoy...

For those in Korea...here's something you might relate to...Chinese people love red bean just like the best of 'em! Red bean dessert soup, a staple in any Chinese restaurant:

These are steamed buns filled with lotus seed paste, and are usually served on birthdays. For some reason they remind me of rabbits...I don't know why...

...and last, but not least, the cherry on top for any birthday is an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen--with the Canucks logo to boot!

So there you have it...dinner was definitely served tonight. We walked away extremely full and some more. The food was pretty tasty at Imperial Court and came out piping hot. The only thing that was lacking was the service, as they seemed understaffed throughout the night. Plate clearing was pretty much non-existent. I'm stuffed, tired, and ready to sleep off this dinner. Hope you had a good week--goodnight!

Friday, 1 February 2008

English Writing Software That Might Be Useful

Learning a new language is always a challenge. It's easy to grasp languages when you're young and still within the years of language acquisition--but anytime after that, it will take work and dedication. When it comes to the English, mastering this unique language takes years and quite possibly a lifetime.

What to do if you're a writer and want to make your work perfect, you might want to consider EnglishSoftware.org. Their software is possibly better than Microsoft Word at double-checking your mistakes. Here are three benefits to using their product:

(1) Write English like an English expert
As you send out more grammatically correct correspondences without errors, not only will your ability to communicate effectively be enhanced but also your reputation, as your ability to write proper English grows tremendously.
(2) Cut your writing time in half
If you spend time rewriting or editing your reports or other correspondences, grammar correction software can save you a lot of time by automating these tedious tasks.
(3) Improve your writing skills
As you use this software, it can help to teach you to improve your writing naturally. It's like having a virtual writing teacher built into your computer.

The General Writing version is $69 and focuses on: Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Style and Structure. Multi Lingual Dictionary and Full Text Translation. Error Explanation Tool.

This tool will save you time and money if you're struggling with lots of mistakes. Check them out.


The following was a sponsored review.

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