Posts Tagged ‘bibimbap’

Ever since my trip to South Korea, I’ve grown a liking towards Korean food.  My mouth has been watering for some good Bulgogi, Bibimbap, Ddeokbeokki, etc.  It’s come to the point where I dream about the food I ate on Korean Air- what people usually refer to as “yucky plane food.”  Well, I’m going to have to disagree with that statement because I no longer fear planes and plane food… Wait, before I get any further, I must mention that when I was little, I used to puke on planes from the motion and the food was so flakey and gross that I could barely look it before I felt sick.  ANYWHO, now I feel differently about planes and their food.  I’m actually looking forward to the next time I go on a plane and have to eat food!  Lol~ that must sound weird but I DID devour everything on my tray on the plane.  Even the people sitting next to me watched me curiously- can’t blame them.

So, sporadically throughout my days, I have sudden cravings for Korean food.  Let’s start with Bulgogi.

Now, I usually don’t eat beef… and I can’t even begin to describe the sick feeling in my stomach when I first saw Bulgogi.  A bunch of little shreds of raw beef meat sizzling was so gross to me!  BUT, I promised myself that I would be very open-minded in a different country.  So, I stuck a little piece of the cooked shreds into my mouth… and a wonderful relationship began.  Kekeke… even today, I refuse to eat any beef products except Bulgogi or the little pieces in Bibimbap.

My next largest craving is… BIBIMBAP.  Oh Buddha is it good!  I need to have this as part of my diet!  I learned that it keeps girls in-shape- exactly what I need. 😉   On the plane, I was afraid that I would spice myself out, so I put very little hot sauce in my Bibimbap and the Korean guy next to me goes “more sauce more sauce!  needs to be very very spicy to be good!”  I go “but i can’t take too much spice.  my tongue hurts.”  He goes “this sauce is nothing compared to real hot sauce in Korea!”  LOL~ great guy he was… Ever since, I put lots of hot sauce in my Bibimbap!  Kekeke…. that is, if I EVER get to eat Bibimbap again!  Soon!  Gahhhh~

And I forgot to add to my beef list: Korean BBQ.  Man am I biased lol~  I used to think Korean BBQ was like… Bobby Flay BBQ- but then I realized that they are 2 separate things.  I love making the Korean BBQ… And omgah… I can’t even begin to describe what is so delicious about it.  It’s something that people have to try to know what I’m talking about.  All of the flavors just mix perfectly in the mouth, like magic!

Lastly, it’s not a food… but I must mention it because I crave it as much as I do the foods- BANANA UYU.  Most people think that the concept of banana milk sounds disgusting, but I assure you it is NOT.  It tastes like a banana smoothie~ and I would love to gulp down some right now… fo real~

Now that I’m done ranting about my cravings… I must figure out a way to satisfy them.  I COULD head to an H-Mart, but did you know?  THERE ISN’T ONE NEAR ME.  T_T I’m so sad now…

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Day 6:

This was the beginning of the best part of this entire trip.  It was the first day of homestay.  Before day 6, everything was OK… nothing wowed me and I wasn’t exactly enjoying my stay in South Korea too greatly… especially the dorms at Yonsei.  But early in the morning, we met with our Korean host sisters or brothers in the New Millennium Hall.  There, I met my host sister, Kim Min Kyoung.  Because there were so many people there, I had trouble finding her at first.  I was so lost and at one point, I was even directed at the wrong host sister… But, in the end, I was placed with the right host sister and we got along fairly well.  For one, we both love Super Junior!  A little awkward at first, we eventually talked more.  I guess it was because we were both shy and didn’t really know what to say.  Anyways, hhaahaha~ We all sat through a lecture about Korean schooling… The thing that amazed me was the amount of schooling they go through.  O.O  It was horrifying… They spend more time at school than at home with their family! *gasp* Their typical day: school from around 7ish to 10ish >>> then Hagwon for another 2 or 3 hours >>> back at home finally… but time for another 2 hours worth of homework >>> couple of hours of sleep and then back at school…

Where did their free time go?!?!!?  and apparently they eat dinner at school too!  and they have a study hall that they technically don’t have to go to if they don’t want to… but it’s kind of mandatory since if you don’t show up, you get in trouble.  aiiissshhh~

what else, what else….hmmm… oh yea, they don’t really date… because if their teachers find out, they will call home and tell the parents that their children are dating… it’s seen as bad because dating distracts the kids from their work… and their ultimate goal?  get into a SKY school (Seoul National University, Korea University, Yonsei University).

So education is extremely important in Korea… for example, I told my host sister that if I come back next summer, we could meet up and hang out and she says “Oh… in 2 years after I get accepted into a SKY school!” lol…

But Hagwon is an interesting thing… because it’s a prep school to help students “get ahead.”  Only rich kids can afford it and in school, teachers expect the students to be ahead of what they are being taught… Hmmmm… that sounds awfully familiar.  You see, every summer, my parents have sent me to summer prep school to help me “get ahead” of everyone else… I would learn things in advance compared to everyone else at my school… it was school over the summer… and the places were owned by Korean-Americans… was I being sent to a Korean-American version of Hagwon?  Food for thought… 😉

Then, after the lecture, it was time to make Bibimbap (which is so yummy).  So, the funny thing is that we were actually supposed to decorate our Bibimbap and make it creative and pretty… only, for some reason, I did not hear that and just dumped all of my vegetables and items into my bowl on top of my rice.  While everyone was carefully placing their items down and all that jazz, I started mixing mine… and I was thinking why everyone else was taking so much time to mix their Bibimbap… hmmm by the time I found out what was going on— oh wait… so my fellow table people started commenting on this kid’s Bibimbap and how decorative it was… the judges came over and declared him the winner of our table… THAT was when I realized that it was a competition.  oops… too late…  the winner received a prize too!  darn… missed that…

Following the Bibimbap session, we basically went home with our host family and began the 3 day adventure.  That night, my sister took me out to the Coex mall to meet up with 2 of her friends.  It was going to be my first time on a Korean subway.  lol EXCITING~  Surprisingly, the subway station was so so clean!  And there were stores everywhere with cheap, but decent products!  Hahah but the Coex was really cool.  It was a huge mall~ Apparently, the Coex is available for shopping, watching movies, and taking standardized tests.  The mall was really amazing looking!  I didn’t buy anything though because the same stuff could be bought in Shinchon at a cheaper price.

After Coex, we all went out for noraebang (노래방), which is karaoke.  I’ve never been to noraebang before, so this was quite an experience… well, at first, I had no idea what was going on.  lol… I just kinda observed how I was supposed to go about noraebang… kekekeke~

By the time we got back home, I was worn out… I was sweaty from running everywhere and tired from the long day.  My family was really nice to me~ lol Min Kyoung lent me her bed for my stay, I was very thankful~ for once, I was not sleeping on a hard bed with solid blankets in Korea.  <33333

Day 7:

(btw, I’m starting to get really tired from all this blogging!  but, I must get everything down before I forget!)

Uh, so the morning began with a trip to the Han River.  My sister planned for her friends and us to ride bikes by the Han River… only it started to rain.  While we were waiting for people to arrive, the rain started to pour really heavily.  With that said, we could not ride bikes (woo~ i don’t know how to ride bikes… so i’m glad that plan was cancelled… Min Kyoung was going to teach me… but i don’t like bikes 0.0).  But the view of the Han was beautiful… even though it was foggy and I couldn’t see too far off into Seoul.

So we all took a taxi to Lotte World. lol that was how we were going to spend our Saturday.  Lotte World was amazing~! It was like any other amusement park, but half of Lotte World is indoors lol.  and many girls and GUYS wore “ears.”  haha it was cute for the girls but when I saw guys wearing the ears… it looked funny lol… you know, I was actually contemplating buying one, but i didn’t think it was worth 5000 won. lol there was not a chance that i would ever wear it again, besides in amusement parks in Korea lol…

But here is the highlight of Lotte World>>> so pay attention…

I SAW THE UP AND COMING KPOP BAND “D-NA!” Yep… I was waiting to go on one of the roller coaster rides with a couple of people when one of the girls I was with pointed out some hot guys.  They looked awfully handsome to be in a crowd of ordinary people… I was suspicious… but then my Korean friends were saying how they are an idol band but they cannot remember their name at the moment… If you ask me, honestly, I would have to say that they were quite “douchey.”  They had this arrogant, cocky look to them, almost as if they ruled the whole amusement park with their handsome features.  Me?  I didn’t like that, despite the fact that they were handsome and famous.  While I was figuring out how I was going to tackle the roller coaster, which goes upside down, my Korean friends approached them asking who they were… they were obviously ignored… and when the other student I was with asked if he could take a picture of them, they said no.  Apparently, they only answered him because he was a foreigner.  Pffft…. “douches.”  It was only later that we figured out that they were a new idol band known as “Dae Gook Nam Ah,” or D-NA.  Aisshhh…

For lunch, we ate the yummy yummy jajangmyeon.  Mhhmmmmmmm… unforgettable taste…

Overall, Lotte World was pretty fun.  I went on many rides that I would not normally go on.  For instance, there was one ride in which it went in a loop and we were only held down by a metal bar.  SCARY… because every time we went upside down, I felt like I was dropping out of my seat.  Some of these upside down rides really flipped my brain all over the place.  Maybe all that tossing and turning will make me smarter! ahah~ I mean, the day was great, the sun even came out later… allowing us to go on the outside rides!  My only disappointment then was that it started to pour very heavily when I went on this “gyro spin” ride in which I was whipped through the air at a great height above water and whatnot.  As I was being flipped and tossed in the air at a great height, the rain sliced and diced me.  Ouch… as I came off the ride, I still felt the stinging from the hard whips of the rain.

At around 6ish, we all left Lotte World for dinner.  At a small little shop, we ate ddeobokki and sundae.  It was quite delicious, but the ddeobokki was really hot and spicy.  Yikes!  After, we said our “kamsahamnida” and left.  Yup… we crossed the street, and ate luxury patbingsu!  haha~ we just ate ddeobokki and sundae, but I really wanted to try patbingsu! haha finally did it!  and i have pics too~  we sat around for a good hour or so just talking over patbingsu and fruit bingsu.

Finally, we ended the day with how all Koreans end their day: Noraebang!  lol~  I had a little more fun this time because I knew how noraebang went.  Again, I sang “U” by Super Junior with my host sister lol~ lots of fun~ I also sang a couple of American songs… yup yup…

Again, by the time I went home, I was sweaty and tired… ready to shower and sleep.

Day 8:

Knowing that it was the last day of homestay was quite sad.  I woke up and was kind of sad to leave my host family. 😦 I had until 6PM with them, before I had to return to Yonsei.  Our last plans for today was to visit the Seoul Tower, go to Myeongdong, and go to the tutor center with my host sister.  It happened to be August 15th, Independence Day for Koreans.  The South Korean flag was hung around the city of Seoul, north and south (my host family lived in south Seoul where it was more modern).  There were Independence Day events, but we did not attend any.  We met up with 2 of her friends at the Seoul Tower.  While we were waiting, she bought me banana milk, which was so, so delicious.  nom nom nom~ <33333

At the top of the Seoul Tower, I saw the entire Seoul area.  The only thing was that it was kinda foggy, so I could have a great view of Seoul, but it was decent.  There was a poster shop at the base of the tower where I saw IRIS, Girls Generation, SHINEE, and Super Junior items.  Most of the SuJu posters were sold out… so my host sister gifted a Kyuhyun cell phone charm for me!  I was so excited and happy for that generous action~ lol I now have the charm on my phone and every time I look at it, I think of her… 😀

After, we took a cable car down and headed for Myeongdong.  Another shopping district that was quite expensive, I was not too interested… lol the area was slightly familiar, speaking that I was there a couple of days ago for NANTA.  However, the six of us (3 Korean high school students and 3 American high school students) ate some more ddeobokki and sundae… and because the ddeobokki was extremely hot, there were 2 tubs of patbingsu… only this time the patbingsu was ordinary patbingsu. lol~ Following the feast, we went for sticker pictures.  yay! lol this was my first experience with sticker pictures and I LOVED it.  So fun… I can’t believe we don’t have sticker pictures in America… or it’s not very popular… as noraebang isn’t popular in America either… It was about 3 PM then and we all went our separate ways as we had to head home to pack for 6PM… aishhh… but my host sister still had to volunteer at a Vision Center… she had to meet up with this girl and tutor her English for an hour.  The place the tutoring took place at was in a poorer part of Seoul and I was amazed at how Seoul had such a side to it.  Since I came to Seoul as part of this program, I had only been exposed to the beauties of Seoul… we went to the richest of the richest places and experienced all the good… but we did not have any time in a more average area.  It was quite sad to see this… the girl that was being tutored… well her parents could not afford to send her to hagwon, so she is behind in her English in school, therefore she has to go to free tutoring.  I tried my best to help as I was from America and had the best pronunciation.  And the head of the center was quite nice too.  When he found out who I was and why I was there, he shook my hand furiously lol~

Then it came time to go back to the SK Global House.  When I went back, everyone was talking about their homestay and how much they loved it.  I joined in on the conversations and the Global House rattled with excitement.  After dinner, we were given some time for family and friend visit.  But since I did not have family in Korea, I went out shopping in Sinchon with a couple of people.  It was great because some of these people were new to me.  But, this was a great time to get to know them better.  In a way, I think it was hanging out in Sinchon that helped us to get closer.  <333

With that said, homestay was over… and I had, for the first time, really started to live the Korean experience.  I made many friends over these 3 days and the memories I made were amazing.

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First of all, I’d like to apologize that there will not be any accompanying pictures with my blog.  Unfortunately, I did not bring my connector thing for my camera to the computer.  But, I will update with pictures once I get back home.

So anyway, I’ll begin with the flight over to SK.  I have to say, the flight was pretty decent.  I mean, when I used to go on long flights, I always had air sickness.  So I expected to puke like a madwoman and not be able to eat the food offered on the plane.  But, I was able to eat this time!  Yay!  I had Bibimbap (for the first time) and chicken.  Yea, the second meal wasn’t so great, but I loved the Bibimbap.  Yummy!  I remember after the first meal, I was so nervous of getting sick… 😦 I kept playing with the air sickness bag because I thought, any second, I was going to throw up everything I ate.  Hopefully the flight back will be just as fortunate.  And besides the whole food thing, the 2 men beside me were really kind.  They were both really Korean.  They used Korean to speak to the flight attendants, I mean, I was the only one using English.  Dammnnnn….  Any who, the old guy next to me (btw, I was the middle seat on the window side) kept talking to me on the flight over to Seoul.  He was asking me questions about New York and my family, and whatnot.  And, of course, he explained his story to me too.  He was chatting up about how he was a business man and he’s been to America several times to attend conferences and speeches by professors.  The guy also talked about how he loved ‘Mamma Mia.”  Quoted exactly: “The Korean culture is so conservative.  It was weird to see a girl not know her father because the mother was with many, many men.  But, you know, they could just look at her face, or take a DNA test.  Technology is so advanced.”  LOL The last part made me crack up.  And then he also bought a whole bunch of stuff… like, dude, plane stuff is so expensive… he bought a Lancome make-up set for his wife, chocolates, Cognac wine, and a set of crayons for his soon-to-be grandson.  So, so sweet.  😀  The best part of it all, was that when it came time to take your stuff out of the compartment, I was too short to reach.  Yup…. 1 of the guys next to me helped open the compartment and the other helped to take my stuff down.  Thankful!

Anyway, I have to go quick because it’s like, 11:40 PM right now.  I have to sleep or else I won’t be able to get up!  I still have circles under my eyes…. it’s kinda creepy 😦  So, I’ll move onto Day 1 now, which was very short may I say…

Day 1

The New York group was the last to arrive.  How wonderful… So, my roommate is this girl named Ting.  She’s really nice and funny, but really sleepy at the same time.  I feel like we get along well (I hope she feels the same way >.<).  But, I mean, okay.  We walked into our dorm expecting this luxury dorm room because the SK Global House is fairly new (opened in Feb. 2010) and it was beautiful outside.  Yea, no.  Nothing like I expected.  There was no balcony because my room is on the 7th floor and the 7th floor has no balconies, I guess?  But you know what else, me and my roommate are the only ones on the 7th floor.  😦 I feel isolated.  And I can only begin to name off the crazy stuff about our room.  Here we go!

1. No lesson in how to turn on air conditioning.  So the first day was spent w/o air conditioning in our room.  Extremely humid, I was sweating a pond!

2. There was a woody smell to the room, which made me feel sick and light headed.

3. No door exists for the shower area.  It’s just out in the open.  And the toilet is separated from the shower and sink.  Weird?

4.  There is a garbage pale the size of a large cup of McDonald’s soda.  It is located in the toilet room.  How sucky.  2 pieces of garbage fills up the pale!

5. The linen was definitely not clean.  I dusted it, yet there was still hair all over the place.  Especially on my blanket!  So disgusted, I just grabbed that blanket and shoved it under my bed.  Bleh…

6. NO T.V. OR FRIDGE IN THE ROOM!  So, so boring without the T.V.!  and oh my goodness, I was dehydrating last night!  I avoided water on the plane so that I wouldn’t have to bother the old man next to me to go potty.  So I ended up screwing myself over.  Darn.

I’m sure there were plenty of other stuff I complained about.  But that’s long forgotten.  I’ve learned to just get used to it.  I guess…  My roommate and I filled out this survey we were given and basically complained about every freakin’ thing in the room.  We requested maid service and all!  LOL… This morning, when we handed it in to the lady downstairs, she was so shocked, her face-  she kinda looked like this: “-o-”  I can’t get her face out of my mind LOL.  So yea, I went to sleep… woke up every 1 to 2 hours though.  It was hard to sleep through the night.  Don’t mean to complain and whine so much, but knowing that last year, the kids stayed at a luxury apartment, it’s bothersome.  arrggghhhhh!

Day 2

Woke up in the morning at 6.  It wasn’t that hot, but whatever.  Went down for breakfast with my roommate and all.  Satisfied my thirst with lots of orange juice.  lol… and then we happened to have to wear formal wear today.  but we also did a lot of walking!  Oh man, my pants were suffocating my legs!  I was sweating like a beast and my legs were numb with heat!  August is so freakin’ humid and muggy in SK!  Well, anyway, we did an orientation to welcome ourselves and then moved on to our First Lecture.  The lady professor talked so much and she went really slow with the teaching Korean part… Oh my goodness, I was falling asleep and whatever she taught just flew out of my head the second it went in.  It was more of a cram session than it was actual learning!  Ughh… but I took notes and hopefully I’ll use it to do some self-studying.

After, we went to this formal luncheon that had a cool buffet.  Food was good, I ate some sashimi.  Yum… but it was only salmon.  😦  Then, we did some more walking.  We did a campus tour.  Extremely hot. I was sweating non-stop.  Uncomfortable.  Then we just chilled in the Global Lounge.  They gave snacks and drinks.  Perfect.  Honestly, I’ve never cherished drinks so much before.  Nothing big.  I feel like I’m leaving something out, but I’m doing this really rushed.  I need to get to bed soon!  gahhhh~ Dinner happened.  The meat looked gross, but it tasted pretty good.  After, I shopped around with groups of people.  Didn’t buy too much.  I bought a cellphone key chain for my sister and 11 clips for my mom.  Hair clips are expensive in Korea!  Damn…. they must make some pretty hot clips.  These better be sturdy.  They feel sturdy, so I hope my mom likes them.  Mad expensive.  life sucks.  Some more sweat happened.  Went back to the dorm and ended up here blogging.  My roommate is probably sleeping now.  lol… I should go back, but I want to watch Autumn in My Heart.  erghhhhh…  Sleep doesn’t exist for me in SK.  Lawllzzz.  We got a free t-shirt too.  Yup, it’s pretty hot… small… really small… I should try it on later to see if it fits.  I’m like a small/medium.  Whatever, I’ll lost weight on this trip anyway.  Lack of sleep and loss in appetite.  Yup… my weight is going to drop pretty soon.  Okay… I’m going to stop blogging now before I really lose it.  I even feel like I’m hallucinating now.  I’ll be back tomorrow for more blogging about Day 3!  Woo~ I mean, this time, I won’t squish 2 days in one post.  Too long of a post and too much of a hassle to type.  Ugh.

O wait, I must mention that I took a picture with Kim Hyun Joong of SS501 today.  LOL, or should I say the cardboard version of him.  lovely… new fb picture, no?  and Goo Hye Sun was everywhere… I guess it’s because she’s really pretty and has beautiful skin.  And….. I saw Super Junior albums in the music store, along with SNSD, 2PM, Arashi, Kat-tun, Autumn in My Heart OST, Personal Taste OST, Boys Over Flowers OST, and etc.  Okay.  Time to watch a part of an episode to Autumn in My Heart before bed.  Night!

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