Friday, June 14, 2013

A calm week & a little "clean eating"

Hello familia & friends!

Have you all started roasting from the heat yet?  BECAUSE WE SURE HAVE.  There are times, mostly all the time, that I question Korea's supposed four "seasons".  I wonder what their definition of seasons are...

"Phew, we are finally out of that 7 month long 'Cold War' winter.  Please enjoy the next 2 days of beautiful before the sun comes crashing down."  

So, doing our best not to run the A.C.-like I've mentioned for now 3 summers, it is VERY costly.  The spectacular..what we call the "Tower", is probably a foot-long wide machine that blows cold air.  And unless you are standing about 1 foot away from can't even feel the cold air anywhere in the house.  The kitchen is a real doozy come July.  You'd think I was a woman in her 15th year of menopause!

The rain is supposed to start kicking in next week for about a month.  Not every day, but in and out heavier showers & most importantly..the birth of 6 trillion mosquito's that will be feeding on my entire body.  I think I counted 13 on one ARM last week.  I question their purpose and existence every second of every day.  My first bite of the year back in APRIL..April...why are they alive in April?  Was under my eye.  So close to my eye that if I were to scratch it it would've made my entire eye swell shut.  

On a side note--Korea is pretty in the summer!

You know how we have those "Baby on Board" stickers on our cars in the states?  Well..this is a Korean version.  They usually have them in either English or Hangul but I just found them humorous.  Not only are they so tacky..but they don't put their children in carseats here.  I know,  WHAT?!  But I'm being totally serious.  It isn't uncommon when you'll see a infant..6 month get the picture on their lap just bouncing away.  There isn't a carseat law here, which is honestly just disgusting.  Why can't parents think for themselves?  And just by the way they drive!  I fear my own thing I will never understand about living here.

I think Korea SERIOUSLY needs a new marketing/editor.  I'm going to give it a 90/10 they never get the language correctly.  You have to sit and much are you spending to produce and distribute these signs?  I guess they don't know the difference....?  Crazy cats!

Here are some old ladies (or in Korean they call them Ah-ji-ma-s.  Technically I'm an ahjima because I'm married, hahaha) tending to the local farm nearby our house.  I actually have to pass this stanky thang everyday to & from work.  Honestly, especially when it heats up, imagine they gathered around 350 cows and people (yes, people) and said "Alright, take a dump!"  There ya have it.  That's the smell.  There are times I will catch myself saying out loud "OH MY GOSH...that's bad" when I walk past it.  But I will give them credit...they can grow things like nothing I've ever seen before.  Must be that secret human "ingredient".  MmmmmMmmm.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!!!!!  Really?  It's June.

So Mr. Fancy Pants right here is giving the outgoing Commander's wife unit flowers (a tradition for both the incoming and outgoing Commanders).  Mike's commander is actually getting out of the military and going to Grad school in Chicago and leaves in August.  A huge change for his family but they are excited for the new journey.  His new commander is Korean (but speaks like..less Korean than I do) and his wife is also.  The previous commander and his wife were Korean as well (both speaking fluent Korean).  It's an odd coincidence that they both have been but it's a nice perk for a language barrier.  I couldn't go to the ceremony because I was at work but glad there are pictures!

Mike is in the dress uniform on the very right of the picture.  Just look for something like the Goliath.  It's obviously the angle but man..he looks like he could step on some people!  But this is Mike's company that service just the V.I.P's of Korea for the United States.  They handle all the incoming guests too (like the President, Joint Chiefs, etc.)  

So..."clean-eating" is in the title.  I'm not sure if you guys have heard of clean-eating & what exactly it entails.  Basically, I'm trying to go to a more natural way of cooking/eating without incorporating all of the nasty chemicals, additives and fillers they put in food these days.  I won't even go into detail's time to make the change!  It's a hard transition..but it's one that I think is healthy conscious and beneficial for us long-term.  I transitioned myself to Almond Milk...and that in itself has been a challenge HA!  But, being active and healthy is a huge part of my life so I hope to try to stay on this track for good!  From time to time I will post recipes that I come across that are keepers (because Lord knows I'm making to make a lot of disgusting stuff LOL)


Say that 10 times fast!

Hope you guys have a great week!  Hopefully soon we will be able to venture out somewhere new/different & I'm sure there will be funny stories to be told.  Love to all and chat with you soon!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Bingsu is B-A-C-K

What is bingsu you ask?

Only this glorious-ness.

Back one is mango (or as Koreans pronounce it 'MAH-N-GOH") coconut.  Front one is a delicious berry bingsu chalk FULL of beans.  Yes, beans.  No, it doesn't make sense.  And nope, no earthly idea why they do that.  What's even weirder?  The cookies & cream bingsu that has even MORE beans in it..with a unusually large dollop of whipped cream.  I tolerate the beans in the berry one just because it is THAT amazing.  After all it has to have some protein value, right?  How awesome would these sell in Florida though?  I'm feeling a business starting?  (Minus the'd totally go out of business :P  )  Could you imagine a store sign... "BEANS n' ICE".  Ew.

Passing these lovely little "markets" on the way to dinner..still can't bring myself to buy these goodies.  I know everything can be washed...I just...well..I've just seen them POOP in peoples farms.  That's a whole other story.  Ah, what the heck.  So, you probably read that and possibly spit up a bit or perhaps even lost an appetite.  I only wish I could read this and not witness it with my own eyes and from the comfort of my very.own.front.yard.  Oh, it's true.  In fact, it's more common than ever should be in one human's lifetime.  Probably last year sometime, a couple was walking down the little alley way (separating my house and a tree farm).  I guess they really take the whole expression literally "When you gotta go, you gotta go".  And...they did.  Both the husband AND wife popped a squat, using the light pole as a balance.  Now clearly, we didn't watch it was so obvious.  I mean, really people of Korea?  And let's not forget how many countless times we've seen men just go right on ahead all over the place..especially on peoples FARMS.  So..forgive me poor old ladies, I just don't know all what's going in or ON your stuff :P

On to something a little lighter on the stomach & even brain from filtering all of that VALUABLE information. ;)  This dish is called Dak-gal-bi.  I actually cooked a version of this in my cooking class I did last year.  This was a bit different than mine and sooo much better.  Why?  Because I didn't have to make it!  There were a good variation of side dishes like spicy sprouts, ridiculously spicy onions, leafs (I know, I know, woo hoooo leafs...) quail eggs (the Easter-eggish things) and so on.  The taste was excellent.  Just enough spicy to sweet ratio.  Inside is cabbage, onions, sweet potatoes, and little rice cakes (that resemble tasteless marshmallows...which I find slightly disturbing).  I went with the bank members & it was another nice experience, one I'd never have the opportunity to do simply because this restaurant was similar to finding a needle in like 57 haystacks.  But now I know and I shall return!

 Heatin' on up!

The head boss of Korea, (she's American-praise Jesus), invited us over for a casual Memorial Day dinner.  She has been such a blessing to know throughout my time here.  You have no idea how much of a relief it is to see an American face and one that is so sweet and understanding (and can relate to) of the many challenges of both living and working here.  She is the DEFINITION of a world traveler, running all the banks in the UK prior to running them all in Korea.  SUPER woman & I'll be sad to part ways.  She's a fan of Mike, too :).

My little pipsqueak enjoying this dew-y grass in the mountains.  

My big pipsqueak enjoying his newfound hobby...rolling in the dew-y grass in the mountains.  Or any grass for that matter EXCEPT the grass in our own yard.'s not "the same".  

Somehow, I convinced Mike to walk the dogs with me to the local traveling market they put on every Wednesday in the apartment complex nearby our house.  We've never gone and I was curious to see what exactly they sold.  It was a total ripoff but if you're not in the mood to cook it is the perfect place to get some good munch-y type of Korean homemade food!

Because without that white chef so would not be official outdoor market, ghetto set-up, high-class eating.  The sign says one chicken on a stick (our translation and's not anything other than chicken, seriously) is around $2.80.  Believe it or can get that for $ .90 nearby so while that is cheap, it's rather pricey for what it is.  I'd totally buy it though!

WOOP.  Check out that fine piece of acid denim.  Bet you wish you never threw yours out?  No.  Be glad you did.  They're pretty big here but woo wee..still hideous.

So pawpaw (Mike's new name-totally kidding) turned the big 2-5 last Friday.  You know why he's excited?  Lower car insurance.  Which, actually doesn't even apply to us considering we'll pay like $400 a MONTH in Germany to ensure us.  Don't even ask.  Something to do with German laws, coverage, Euro, the whole nine.  

It was a fun day.  Coincidentally, the guys had a big battalion organization-type day where they focused on team building.  Basically...a fancy way to say they played sports all day.  I woke up early and set up the house with balloons.  I made him the UGLIEST cake the night before..seriously so....ugly....which, I'm sad about because my days at Ms. Fields cookies were obviously a total waste :D.  

I'm sorry, it wouldn't let me rotate the picture on here.  Honestly, you don't even really have to.  There is this store here that every American mispronounces (I did, too, before getting hired at the bank and was corrected a number of times) called Da-ee-aa-so.  Anyways, kind of like a dollar tree.  CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THESE suction cup hangars?  So much hilarious-ness and all for only $0.90.  Thanks for the laugh Ko-Ko.

There are no words.....................

Me and the BiRtHdAy BoY!!!! (can't you tell I'm working? Shhh.)

So, 2 funny stories before I sign out.  

1)  Let's just say..someone in the office...for the sake of someone somehow getting a hold of this, bless his/her soul, needs to be medicated for bi-polar.  I mean, I'm no doctor...but in this case they don't need one it is OBVIOUS.  I'm laughing out loud right now...
So, a friend of mine, they were customers, left a while back.  They were expecting their first child when they left and she was going to deliver stateside like 5 or so months later.  I showed them an updated picture of their new addition as well as the husband & wife.  Here's the conversation:

Me:  Hey, wanted to show you their family picture.  Don't they look great!

Them:  (Smiles)  Oh...mmhmmmm.

Me:  What?

Them:  Her face got the more bigger.

Me:  What does that even mean?

Them:  After delivering da baby, woman's face always gets more bigger.

Me:  Well, then why hasn't Michelle Duggar's head exPLODED?

And...that was pretty much the end of that one.  WHERE DO THEY GET THIS STUFF?  Someone please tell me.

Story 2:

One of the students I tutor, loves seafood..and when I say "loves", I literally mean he'd probably be reincarnated as a tuna fish.  So today, he shows up with a Korean bag of what I assume were chips.  WRONG.  Wrong a million times.  At first, I didn't even ask him what is was, mainly because I have no interest in eating it, ha!  Well, later on I saw a little shrimp on the bag and here's our conversation:

Me:  Ew!  Are those shrimp flavored chips?

Him:  No taste da shrimp..REAL.
Instead of saying "seriously" or "really"  he just says REAL-so bold and so sure of it HAH!

Me:  Thanks for the offer but I'm good.

SERIOUSLY not even 5 minutes later I was practically dry heaving from the smell coming out of his mouth.  It literally smelt like an abandoned fish market.  I'm surprised I can even put words to it but that's the first thing that came to mind.  Honestly.  "No taste da shrimp".  What a LIAR, he totally was setting me up.  The pieces even came with little indentations on them like shrimp have.  Cute?  Whatever you say.

Well, time to JeT!  
sleep-time almost.

Love to ALL

M & B