Friday, July 29, 2011

Monsoon season at its worst!

Things in Korea have been well...even MORE wet!  This past week (if you didn't see it on CNN or anything) we received over 20 inches of rain in less than 2 days.  A record rainfall amount that has ever occurred (in 2 days) in Korea.  Korea has great drainage but since it was a chronic flash flood, naturally it couldn't keep up.

The picture below is actually of the Han River (major river running in the middle of Seoul) and it was so full that it ended up covering portions of the major highway, leaving it impossible to cross.

Seeing as Koreans can't stop their life for work, cars were driving & literally started to flood.  Crazy!!  I was the lucky duck that had to WALK to work in this.  My new Target rain boots came in handy.

There were a few mudslides at the mountains nearby and I think more than 40 something people have died.  It has been really sad but thankfully, we have sun today and everything is soaking up very quickly.

Other than that, things have been relatively quiet here.  I discovered (sort of) this new candy that you're going to think sounds awful BUT it is amazing.  It is..drumroll please..chocolate covered fried rice.  Now before you say "ewww" or "that's odd" it is kind of like a chocolate rice crispy treat.  The reason why I am telling you this is because of the container that it is in...see if you notice anything, strange.

Yep, "CRUNKY"...not "CRUCHY".  I was laughing so hard when I finally took the time to read the label!  Ohhh you Koreans :o)

Since on the days it isn't raining here, it is hot and humid.  Both Shep & Danny have discovered this creek that runs in this new high rise neighborhood nearby.  They love it and yes, BOTH, go swimming :)

Wish us luck as we stick out the rest of Monsoon season and pray for NO typhoons this year!  Hope you all are having a great weekend so far!!  We love you all & miss you!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Our new "Whip"

Hello everyone :)  Hope you all are having a GrEaT weekend so far!  Things on this side of the world are..still wet.  I think out of the past 20 days (literally) we have had about 18 days of rain & by rain I mean no sunshine and non-stop rain.  UCK, it is getting old.  Actually, right now the sun is shining and it so bright to my eyes.  When this season ends, which is should be in about a few weeks (if we don't get any typhoons) then comes to HOT season.  Like 95 hot with 99% humidity hot.  Then comes the beautiful followed by the bitter winter. I never thought I'd say this but I am so, so ready for the winter.  YES, it is very cold but at least the skies are clear blue, you can have the fresh air, crack the windows, and what not.  Right now, our house is so humid, has this odd musky smell, and I am having to bleach everything almost daily to keep it from molding since that is very common in Korean houses.  SO this Florida gal is ready for the winter :o).  

A new E-Mart opened up, kind of like a huge version of a Korean "Walmart/Publix".  I've seen this drink since I've moved here but it just sounds horrible to me.  Who would want to seriously drink a drink that said SWEAT on it?  Yuck.  It's a sports drink here, kind of like a gatorade.  Mike says it isn't bad but I will pass.  It even LOOKS like sweat.  Ew!

One of the newer places we've been to is called Jeongja.  Jeongja I think is the second richest area in the specific region we live in.  It's about 8 subways stops away so it's pretty close.  They try very, very hard to be westernized so that makes it even more appealing to us :o)  Anyways, they have this restaurant called "Butterfinger Pancakes" & everything in it is imported, butter and all.  So it has a replica of a state-side breakfast which is AWESOME.  One funny thing is though is that we both didn't eat more than half of our breakfast because I think our stomachs have adjusted to not eating that type of "heavy" food anymore.  WHAT IS HAPPENING TO US :)

So this is a really popular snack-type food in Korea.  Rice cakes (go figure, right?)  A rice cake in Korean is "dok".  So they literally call this "Rainbow dok".  It is pretty much tasteless but a hint of sweetness to it.   I don't mind them, they bring them to work ALL the time so I have grown to like/tolerate them.

This is another version of type of "dok" here.  It's much softer/chewier than the rainbow dok but on the inside (if you are wondering) is a crushed bean paste.  Sounds awful but I like these better than the rainbow dok.  The texture is just WRONG but I can stomach a few :)

Every Wednesday's and Thursday's on base the Food Court makes an optional Korean lunch you can buy which is Bulgogi (beef), steamed white rice, and kimchi.  You KNOW you've been in Korea for too long when this is what you order 2 days a week over Subway or Pizza Hut :)  But it is so, so good.

SOO, I'm sure you all were wondering about the title "Our new Whip"...welllll we bought a car.  And let me just tell you before you laugh too hard, that everyone here that is military drives little 'hoopties' as we call them.  We picked it up for $600 from a PCSing couple.  It comes fully equipped with a Louis Vuitton steering wheel cover that has melted to it (unable to be removed) and a 'Hello Kitty' driver seat cover to cover the rips in the leather.  And get this, Mike says he isn't taking it out.  HAHA But you know, it is a ride, a very cheap one.  It runs great (for a 1997) and is only temporary before we ship our new SUV out here.  It is a 1997 Kia Credos.  Ok, you can laugh :)

Ok, one last thing.  Mike's grandmother sent a toy helicopter that you can fly.  It's actually pretty difficult but Mr. Yu and Mrs. Pak got an absolute kick out of it (for whatever reason) so they INSISTED we take a picture with it for his grandmother.  They are so funny and Koreans have the most interesting sense of I just went with it.  This is inside the bank where we work as well.  You'll see our little currency board to the left and that's where customers see what the daily Won rate is per US dollar.

Hope you guys are doing great.  We miss and love you all!  Have a great rest of your weekend!