Monthly Archives: February 2011

TWD WonderJournalism Exclusive: 3-sided Explosions of Delicious Will Punch You in the Tongue with a Tasty-Fist! Hide Your Kids!

BREAKING NEWSYou’ve seen them in the Family Marts, 7-11s and Mini Stops: sixty cent triangular kimbap rolls, standing at attention like soldiers at the DMZ. But what are they really doing there? And what does their constant presence mean to the waygook, lonely inhabitant of convenience stores throughout this nation? A quick glance at the packaging reveals very little, particularly to those new to this land or to the illiterate. They look, smell, and feel like food, but why are their so many? What lies beneath that sexy seawood coat? Our investigative journalists took to the streets to unwrap this culinary mystery.

For your convenience, triangles were rated on a .5-5 chopsticks scale. Continue reading

Apologies and the Return of Smallface

Part 1 – Repentance

So Megan & I took an unexplained and unplanned hiatus. We’we sowwy. Can you find it in your vastly superior and better-looking hearts to forgive us? The blog-apathy and disappearing act are what happens when you have a whole bunch of 6-day weekends thrown at you by your employers (Are you listening, potential EPIK applicants? 6 Day Weekends, or, Winter in Korea.) and also when the weather starts climbing up into the 60s. Also, I’ve been really depressed since I saw Eric Clapton take a sarcastic old man dump on maybe my favorite song ever onstage. Did you know it’s possible to ruin “Layla”? It is. And God is dead and we’re all alone.

Part 2 – Smallface Strikes Back

We haven’t entirely forgotten about you, faithful internet. Here, we have pictures about weirdos and their obsessions with smallface. (What do you mean you didn’t read Part 1 of Smallface?) One is from the bitchiest tv show ever, in which Korean celebrities had their faces scrutinized for who had the smallest face. One picture is from me clambering on top of people inside a bus in Seoul to get a picture of an ad. I also tossed in a few photos from my upcoming coffee table book “Megan Is Angry At Me”. It’s fucking brilliant and fun for the whole family.See if you can guess which ones are which.

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Ok, so anyway, all of this is a way to say that we’ll be back to your normally scheduled programming tomorrow. Peace out, homes.

Seoulja Boy

In lieu of Erin writing about K-pop today, TWD has a very special guest contributor: Korea’s own hip hop icon, G-Dragon.

in da HEEEZYHIIZZZOUSE-uh!

Yo yo yoooooo, it’s ya boy GD, burnin up dese hoes like I was a VD! Naw son, chlamydia ain’t no joke. Getcha junk straight cleaned up befo’ ya hit da club,  heard? Anywayz, some Erin bitch up in herr be all like, G-Dragon, you ain’t no gangsta MC. But I be all like, yo grrl, yo’ punk ass gotz da rightz to remain silent and shit. Then I be all like, pop and lock!Then she be all like, aw why you so fine an’ shit, G? G-Dragon done made a fool outta yo ass. Recognize, 4 realz.

Dis year, me an’ my boy TOP be layin down some mad rhymes-uh, so get yo fine ass on da flo an’ let me see dem tittays. Peep my video, grrl:

(Ed: Can’t see it? Go here.)

Iz dat legit enough fo you?! Aaaaaaaw yeah, dat shit be crazay! Me an’ my crew be all up in da club,  sippin on soju and bangin some hoes! Nawm just jokin, we be straight proper up in herr. Respek deez bitches.

Ya’ll know we be wearin some fly ass shit up in therr too, you feel me? Shoulder pads be hella tight this year, an’ you know you already done shaved ya eyebrowz like a brotha, an’ don’t fahget, you won’t be tappin shit widdout ya eyeliner. GD – bringin da fashion to yo fine ass since 2008.

Yo grrl, you know I wanna stay and play and shit, but G-Dragon gotz to bounce -uh. Don’ worry, I be back next time dis triflin punk ass bitch try an say I ain’t got moves and grooves. Pray for ODB. Word is born.

Korean Konveniences

The whole ‘Let’s live abroad!’ experience is rife with change, this isn’t news. And on this blog we make sure everyone knows which big changes are not appreciated (beer and toilets, thank you). But what makes living in different countries such a unique experience is not simply the radical, life-changing, culture shock differences, but the minor ones, the fun ones that are often overlooked but always awesome to recall in some inane bar conversation years later. Continue reading

The Humans Are Dead

It’s old – but endlessly amusing – news. English teachers in South Korea are being replaced by robots. This robot, in fact:

brains?

I kid, I kid. Meet Engkey:

brains?

Shit got real last fall in Daegu with 29 robots entering elementary school classrooms. You can read more about it at Weird Asian News and CNN (Honestly, the CNN one is more outrageous, with a super-obvious “But what will this DO to our CHILDREN?” fear-mongering bit toward the end. I highly suggest it.). Anyway, I’m not personally offended that the ESL job market is getting smaller due to machines, but this seemed like an opportune time to point out what a real live person can do that a machine cannot. Without further ado, I give you 10 Reasons Erin is Better Than a Robot:

Continue reading

The Best Part of My Day

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What I’ve most looked forward to about returning to school after five weeks of ‘vacation’ is school lunch. Don’t frown. I know it’s odd-for at least three reasons. First, who in the history of the world has ever liked school lunches? Second, I remember there being only one menu item that I loved in elementary school; it was called a ‘Fiestada‘ (party in your mouth!) and it was some bastardized form of frozen “Mexican” pizza (square bread with yellow cheese instead of white and maybe some refried beans?, yum). American elementary schools just aren’t known for their gourmet meal choices.

And the third reason it’s probably strange that I seriously love on my Korean lunches is  that there are A LOT of English teachers here who really detest the food in the school cafeteria. So much so that in refusing to eat it, they damage their relationships with their Korean coworkers by avoiding lunchtime altogether (everyone eats at the cafeteria in Korean schools). I pass only a little judgment on these people because if I still felt about lunch now the way I did when I first arrived, I might be myself in a similar position.

That is to say I HATED lunch at first because everything tasted like gnarly fish guts, especially stuff that didn’t appear to be fishy at all (kimchi, soup, salads). It was depressing and frustrating and I ate mostly rice for the first few weeks. But soon my body decided that after teaching little children all morning, it was damn hungry. And in being damn hungry, I was forced to adapt to the food situation. Two months later I realized how happily I was anticipating lunch everyday.

It’s exciting not to know what lunch might be, but to be sure that if nothing else, there will always be rice and kimchi. By 11:00 I start making bets with myself about what the cafeteria ajummas might serve and I’m rarely disappointed (save for Eel and Sesame Leaf Soup, which tastes like a fucking dirty tree, and Boney Fish Stew, because nobody needs that).

Some notable dishes are as follows:

Duck with Spicy Sauce: I had no idea duck could smell and taste like bacon. But evidently it can. And it does when served at my school. Then they add this super spicy, vaguely sweet, hot pepper sauce. It is probably my favorite thing to eat at school and I get visibly excited when it’s on the menu (which perplexes my coworkers but too bad).

Enoki Mushroom Soup: There’s something awesome about the consistency of enoki mushrooms. I’ve been underexposed most of my life, but they are everywhere in Korea. If you can’t tell from the pictures, they are the super skinny, string-like mushrooms often found in Korean soups. The texture when you bite on a little clump of them is so unique and pleasing that even if the flavor of the soup isn’t all that mind-blowing, it’s still delicious.

Dried Anchovies and Almonds: So this ‘salad’ is a little startling because it’s teeny tiny dried fish, all silvery with their eyes buggin out. But you don’t even notice what it really is until you get up close. Usually it’s tossed with some sort of vinaigrette and toasted almonds, lending the salty, chewy fish a bit of sweetness. I generally enjoy this sidedish, but if I wait until I’ve eaten most of my meal, the flavors are often too intense for me to finish the amount that I took. I’m learning to be less greedy.

Red Bean and Rice Noodle Soup: Quite a novelty to me, if only because it is so purple. Then again, Koreans eat more purple food than I knew existed. Also, this is usually served at my schools with brown sugar, which is kind of weird because it’s already sweet. I like this soup but always end up taking more than I can eat because I forget how profoundly freakin heavy it is. Liquid Bean + Rice Dough = a Fullness You Immediately Regret.

Spaghetti: There’s nothing really notable about the spaghetti (tastes like a sloppy joe, actually), but I wanted to point out how it is ALWAYS served along with rice. Which is just too bizarre for my Westernself to handle. TWO STARCHES?! What are you trying to do me Korea? But Koreans load up on the noodles and the rice and don’t bat an eye. How these people are toothpick-sized will remain a mystery.

So at the risk of sounding really bloggerish, I’m super curious about what other people think of their school lunches. Y’all should post lots of comments and tell me what you love and what you hate. I just have a really big food boner and need to discuss it.

 

Trainspotting

Erin and I traveled to Seoul last week to go Everland. It was pretty fun and Korean, even though (because?) we froze our balls off most of the day. We donned ridiculous headwear (a must if you want to fit in at all) and ate silly Koreanified snacks. At Everland we rode a rollercoaster and some other fucking crazy ass human rotisserie ride that left us both ready to ralph up our buttered potatoes. But the coolest ride I went on this weekend was the one I always go on in Seoul, The Subway! Continue reading