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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How to make...

Buchimgae or Pajong aka Korean Pancakes.

First off, let me just say, this is drunk food. Meant to be eaten with Makgeolli and Soju and yummy!!

And I'm not just rambling off how to make this, our Korean Teacher has cooking class with us once a month. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, so I'll just snag some from google images.

Buchimgae is delicious, easy and can be made with leftovers!

Some basic ingredients...
Must have:

  • Flour (about 1 cup)
  • Water (about 1 cup)
  • Saute Pan
  • Oil
  • Fresh Chives

That's it!
Optional ingredients:

  • Squid

He's looking at you!
  • Enoki Mushrooms (or any other type you have around the house)

  • Hot peppers

  • Kimchi (to make Kimchi Buchimgae... slightly different version)
  • Spinach
  • Any other leftovers you might have!


  1. Put a large handful of un-chopped (or maybe chopped in half or 3rds, large pieces in any case).
  2. Put in about 1 cup flour.
  3. Add in any other ingredients you want. (If you want Kimchi Buchimgae, add in chopped pieces of Kimchi and some Kimchi juice from the package/jar.)
  4. Stir till flour coats everything.
  5. Slowly add water, stirring as you do, till the consistency is that of mud. (When you pull back your spoon, the liquid slowly back-fills the spot you left). You can add water from here if you decide you like your pancakes a little thinner, or you can not add as much water next time if you decide you like yours thicker.
  6. Put a little oil in the pan, heat pan and coat bottom evenly with the oil.
  7. Use a ladle or pour the mix into the pan like you would for a pancake, but fill the pan like you would for an omelet.
  8. After a couple of minutes, check and if you can, flip the pancake over.

Put on a plate to serve family style with some Makgeolli and Soju!

Yield: Several several servings, depending on how big your pancakes are.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Korea Weather... not as bad as they say.

I thought that maybe I was just spoiled because we live right next to the ocean we get that lovely ocean breeze which means it's still in the mid-70F's everyday (22-25Celsius).

It seemed like all the other expat blogs were complaining and complaining about how hot it was, and I thought that it must be 90F+ elsewhere in Korea. Well, today I took the time to look up the temperatures, average and otherwise. While it is hotter elsewhere... mid 80F's, (28-30Celsius) it's never even once popped above 90F, which is what I consider swimming weather. So I only just figured out that unless some freak heat wave hits Busan, we won't be getting above 90F (32Celsius) this summer.

I grew up in Kansas City, MO... which is not the southernmost location. But having 5-10days in a summer at above 100F (37Celsius) is not uncommon. And yes, it's humid. I remember playing outside and feeling like I was swimming rather then running. I can't imagine living in Texas or Alabama in the summer (I've been fortunate to only visit in the winter, woot!).

Anyway... from all the talk I heard before coming here, I was expecting living in the tropics or something.

Guess not. Guess I shouldn't worry that much about the "freezing cold" winters I keep hearing about either.

Busan: Record High/Lows and Averages for July. (In Fahrenheit)

80 average is going to be real nice except the beach won't feel nearly warm enough...

Seoul: Record High/Low's and Averages for July:
 Average of about 2-4 degrees warmer then Busan doesn't seem so bad...

Kansas City, MO (where I grew up): Record high/lows and averages for July.
 5-8 degrees average difference from Seoul and about 10 degrees difference for Busan. (Not to mention... check out our records... when we go for records we really go!)

For those of you who don't know me... I'm actually pretty disappointed Busan's not going to get into the 90s, anything less makes me want to shiver when swimming...

But at least most of the time I'll be hot but not sweltering and being pretty happy we're not in say Vietnam or somewhere else tropical during the summer. :D

On another note... this rainy season has been disappointing thus far too. It's not even raining every day. And I have yet to hear thunder... though I did see lightening, once. Bring it on Korea Weather!! (except for this weekend, I have plans, the forecast can continue to stay sunny for this weekend, but I expect it to be rainy every other day!)

Monday, June 27, 2011

ArtsyFartsy - part 5

Or... Kim is feeling lazy, part 5!

Thanks to the new editing software I was able to edit out the cars, or rather make them blurry so they're less obvious.... of course now that I've pointed them out, I'm sure you can see them. In fact, you probably can't stop looking at them now.... damn my big mouth!

Sky Mountain Temple.... HaeSanSa? Haha, no I made that up.

I think this would make a sweet desktop background... anyone think I can make money selling this to Microsoft?

Sky and Temple.

Ok, I couldn't decide which one I liked best.

Temple (Beomeosa to be exact) backed up against the mountain.

More Temple and Sky... I'm on a roll!

From the top of the tallest mountain around... see the fortress snaking through the hills?

More awesome mountain shots.

The golden pool.

Medieval forest? No, just Korean hiking trail.

Feel free to use my photos anywhere you want to. Just please link back to my site if it's on the web, and let me know... I'd love to know you liked my photos enough to use them somewhere!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Engrish shirts that I own. (Because I love them!)

Recently, ok, almost as soon as I arrived in Korea.... I've developed a fondness, an affection, an obsession for T-shirts with Engrish on them. My original resolution not to perpetuate terrible English in Korea by purchasing shirts with Engrish, soon gave way in the face of their awesomeness.

So here's the first 4 I've bought, I say the first because I'm sure I will buy tons more. They were all on sale, at least I haven't spent more then 10,000W on each.

The top says "Darling" the middle says.... "I in Dior Chauo" ? You can't see the bottom which has a sentence that I can't read either. I also didn't know what the box in the middle was supposed to be, maybe a TV? Shannon thinks it's a perfume bottle. He's probably right.

I had to take a far shot so you could see the moon/deer/birds/stars picture on top.

And then... "Electronica ecpronice"? What? That has nothing to do with.... ok, whatever.

"WE LOVE don't say maybe"!

My favorite... drum roll please!
rofl! "Talk of the Devils" I'm sure they meant "Speak of the Devil".... almost guys, almost. You'll get it next time, don't give up!

Don't you wish you owned an Engrish t-shirt? Well, maybe we can do something about that....

Post in the comments below what Engrish phrase would make you a ton of money if put onto a T-shirt in Korea. (due date: July 8th, 2011)

The one who comes up with the best phrase will win an Engrish T-shirt (of my choosing)!!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hot Summer: Monrose vs f(x)

It never even occurred to me that K-pop, or in this case SM entertainment, might be buying songs from other artists. I guess it makes sense. K-Pop isn't exactly traditional music. It is designed to be entertaining, in a very commercial way... not to be an expression of the artist(s).

Still, when a company blatantly buys a song like this, I at least loose some of the illusion that I'm hearing something from the artist's heart or mind and it kind of spoils it for me. I really liked f(x)'s Hot Summer, ignoring that they make fun of us poor foreigners for our tendency to sweat, (Hello?! Why don't YOU sweat? Everyone else on the planet does.... I think it's because you drink so little water.) before I found out that they bought the song. Really this is all EatYourKimchi's fault, I'm pretty oblivious, if they hadn't pointed it out I probably wouldn't have noticed. Check out their review of f(x)'s Hot Summer here. They do a review of a K-pop song every Monday, and every other day of the week they write about something else that's fun. Love 'em and I highly recommend them (note they're one of the blogs I follow on the right).

So I've decided, the real question here... with two almost identical songs (slightly different lyrics), which one do you like best?

f(x) translated lyrics here.

Monrose lyrics here.

Things each group wins at (in my opinion):


  • Cuteness
  • better set(background)
  • no dirty trailer-park-esque white guys (ewwwww!)
  • they're not German (let's face it, German's, though better then the French, are still German)
  • I feel like I could learn the dance to this song, but I'm not motivated to, so I would always feel dumb dancing to this version. But other people could learn the dance, so it's still a plus.


  • Hot sexyness 
  • didn't make fun of sweaty foreigners 
  • no dikey looking girls (does the Koreans willingness to look sexually ambiguous bother anyone else? *both guys looking like girls and girls looking like guys and there's always one in every K-Pop group* It wouldn't bother me if they weren't so intolerant of homosexuals. Quit screwing up the signals I'm receiving!!)
  • actually looks like they get hot which only makes sense in context 
  • I like their chair dance better, I'm sorry I just do. Plus I feel like I could just jump around at a club to dance to this version

Maybe you can be more objective (maybe less offensive) then I've been?

Leave your vote in the comments. ;)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A day at the beach, or, our first time at Haeundae Beach

On Saturday we spent our first time at a Korean Beach. We rode the bus down and met our friend, YeonSil at Jangsan Station and took the subway over to Haeundae. We (I mean YeonSil and I) wore our cute outfits, though YeonSil doubted that we would get into the water so she failed to wear a swimsuit... she'll know better for next time.  :::If you go to the beach, you have to go into the water. Even if it's only for a minute cause it's cold:::

At Haeundae you can rent an umbrella for 5,000W for the day, which we did. They put down a tarp/mat for you to claim your spot, which is handy to put your towels on for some lounging. There were some umbrella's with lounge chairs that you could rent for more, but we didn't ask how much. For Your Reference: If you come to Korea and you need to know how much something is, just ask: Ul Mai Yay Yoh?

Also, news flash - everywhere else in Korea it's blazing hot. It's still comfortable and the breeze is still cool down here at Busan. So Saturday it was about 75F. Not what I would call normal swimming weather, but dangit, we were at the beach!

Shannon, running back out of the water after his dip in the ocean. Surprisingly, a lot of people besides ourselves were swimming, though you can't see them in this picture.

While we were lounging, Shannon got bored and buried my and YeonSil's unsuspecting feet.

We got our revenge, sweet sweet revenge. mwhahaha. Yes, he's a very lumpy mermaid. Turns out just cause you have them doesn't mean you can properly carve them.

At this point we were the only people who had thought about burying anyone. It was fun, and a lot of people took pictures of poor shannon and came by to point and laugh.

He had to get all that sand off somehow! lol.

 About an hour later....

You can only see two, but in this direction are 4 groups of people we could see, burying their friends and making them into mermaids.

And in this direction were three more groups of people, though you can only see two... We had inadvertently set a trend.

And these guys were taking things just a little too far.... ok, you don't have to fondle it any more buddy.

Far enough that I convinced Shannon to go take a picture of the final product. (Notice the guy to the right, he just can't take his hands away!) That's seaweed they're using for long luxurious hair. Poor guy.

A yummy beach sandwhich. It seemed like a cabbage hamburger in a bun thing. It was really hot and tasty, that's all I cared about.

We took a nap under our umbrella before we called it quits at about 5pm. Just in time to rinse off at the 500W showers and go get dinner and some Moccoli. 

What a great day! Now if only rainy season would get here and then go away again so we could plan another beach trip! I'm looking forward to trying out Gwangalli, Jinaha, and Sungjeong beaches too!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Trash Cans? What Trash Cans?

One thing, that's really bugged me ever since I came to Korea.... and I was going to put this into a Love/Hate post if I ever get around to making one, but I got impatient, it still might.... is the lack of Trash Cans.

Anywhere you are in public, no trash cans. And this generalization counts for Seoul and Busan and I can say that I have looked and looked and looked and not found trash cans.
The one "Trash can" at a subway station in Seoul. Actually a cardboard box with a trashbag. But hey, I'm not complaining, it's somewhere to throw my trash. And I did. I threw away trash I had been carrying for hours due to the lack of trash cans. See how small it is? And it's empty? Either they just emptied this cardboard box, or no one else throws away their trash!

Now the reason this upsets me is because I'm a conscientious person and I prefer to throw away my trash rather then litter. 

From asking, here's what I've learned about the lack of Trash Cans in Korea (Busan and Seoul).
  1. There were some terrorist threats years ago (like mail bombs only trash bombs) and that's why there's no trash cans.
  2. The cities employee tons of elderly to go around and pick up litter, so they don't bother with trash cans
  3. The environmentally conscious citizens of Korea take their trash with them so they can sort it for recycling later.
I am a super lazy American. Because I hate the idea of holding onto my trash (ice-cream wrappers, soda bottles, coffee cups, etc) for any length of time. But I also can't bring myself to throw my trash on the ground for some poor old person to pick up, no matter if I'm helping them attain gainful employment or not.

As for sorting for recycling... I always considered myself to be not lazy in this regard. I will sort for recycling... Paper, plastic, metal and glass, right? Right???? Not in Korea, and because I can't read the signs (well, I can read them, I just don't know what those words mean)and I have to sort out the 10 different types of plastic at our apartment recycling center guessing based on what other people have done. That's right, there's like 50 different little bins and you have to put your recyclables into just the right one. Because God forbid I get something wrong, or appear to be getting something wrong (those crazy Miguks!!) because the old guy who is paid to sit there and straighten the area, and sort the unsorted, will come and yell at me! And has, several times!
This guy has it soooooo easy.

Funny story, while I'm ranting about the apartment recycling area: One time, Shannon and I went to recycle and throw away what trash we had. Including a bag of dirty kitty litter. Shannon was about to throw the kitty litter bag into the "garbage" area (2 very small bins reserved for true garbage) and the old guy starts yelling at him. Shannon, confused as to why he's being yelled at, pauses. The old guy comes up and tries to take away the dirty kitty litter bag... he goes to open it and Shannon and I both shout- "NO!, I mean... ANI-YO!! (korean no)". The old guy is still insisting on opening the bag, we keep saying Goyangi (Korean word for cat) and saying poop (we don't know the Korean word for poop). Finally, Shannon makes a gesture that I think is understandable world wide. He motions like there is poop coming out of his butt while saying Goyangi and making farting noises with his mouth. (LMAO!) The old guy gets it and backs off. Phew. In retrospect, we should've let him open it. For all the trouble they give us trying to recycle and trying to do the right thing.

Ok, back to trash cans. After discussing the lack of trash cans again last night, I decide to email the mayor of Busan and give him my opinion and idea. And to make the idea more valid, I acted like I was a tourist instead of an expat. Expats do not have the best reputation in Korea, probably due to all the young expats teaching.... they're young, they do what young people do... drink, party, otherwise make a ruckus.

Here's my letter to the Busan Mayor, short sweet and to the point. aka, very american. 
Dear Mayor,
We are greatly enjoying our visit to your beautiful coastal city, Busan. It's many beautiful sites incline us to recommend it as a vacation spot to any of our friends 
One recommendation / complaint we have is the lack of trash cans. When at Haeundae enjoying the ocean and the other beautiful sites, it's very distracting to have to hold onto our trash until we reach a coffee shop or some other place of business. 
I understand that Busan is a very environmentally conscious city, so I wanted to recommend Green Sort trash cans as used in the Atlanta International airport. 
These trash cans automatically sorts and compresses trash into easily recyclable packets. 
Having trash cans like these along Haeundae Beach would allow for ease of disposal, as well as display once again what a technologically advanced city Busan is. 
We're looking forward to our next visit already. 
Thank you,Kim and Shannon Conner.

I'd like to point out that my English seems to be getting worse since moving to Korea. It's hard to have good English when everyone around you speaks a foreign language or broken English. But the Mayor probably won't notice. He'll probably use Google Translate, which will garble it all up anyway.

I didn't LIE either, I just implied that we visited not often (tourists) as opposed to visited very often (we live here). I also realize that I'm becoming easily searchable on Google, so cross your fingers that he's not a Google wiz or a Google search of "Trash Cans" might lead him straight here.   <.<;;

Pretty good though right? Maybe I'll get something done around here. ;) j/j, but I'll let you know if I hear back from the Mayor or if Trash Cans suddenly appear along Haeundae Beach, or anywhere else for that matter!

Thanks Andy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

ABC's and 123's

What am I teaching these poor children subjected to be taught by me, someone who has not been trained in teaching small children and has not even been around small children very much?

Let me just say, thank God for Student Books/Workbooks, Sesame Street, You Tube, Google and my own respectable intelligence.

Anyone remember this guy? I didn't until I saw this video, then it all came back. And I thought to myself... "The writers of Sesame Street used to be some very high hippies... that's who influenced my childhood, awesome!"

I also found this sweet video, so cute! (I think I'm turning Korean, calling everything cute...)

Obviously, this class is counting. The next class is colors. (Sad, there's no Sesame Street Videos for colors, I'll just have to fend for myself. I'm thinking Ven Diagram project.)

Apparently I'm doing a pretty good job according to the parents. So much so that their friends want me to tutor their kids too. So I've got a new class at 3:30pm Tuesdays and Fridays with 2 - 7 year old boys. Great Success!!

In other news, we had Sunny and YeonSil over last night to watch So You Think You Can Dance and then we proceeded to subject them to Borat. I feel kind-of guilty about that... but it turns out that Borat (ignoring the crudity and nudity) is actually a very interesting commentary on some different parts of America. And it's really hard to explain.

And now, Sunny and YeonSil can do awesome things, like quote: "Great Success" and "High Five!" and "I make sexy time with my mother-in-law!" Thank goodness, because it's disappointing to say a quote and realize no one around you knows why you're saying it. A couple more movies and we'll be able to comfortably quote stuff.   ^.^

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kpop songs I truly love - Wonder Girls

I really couldn't say this until recently. Don't get me wrong, I could say I liked a lot of Kpop songs, but there was no love (besides loving to watch the awesome/silly videos).

This is my first song that I really love. I was first introduced to it by YeonSil singing it at the Noribang and thought it was super catchy then. I've heard it several times since then and finally looked it up. Thank you YouTube!!

This song is so catchy and fun. And the video just happens to be awesome/ridiculous. I love the "flasher" in the girls locker room being taken care of by this Wonder Girl. lol

In case you don't know what Kpop is, the concept is similar to assembled "boy bands" and "girl bands" in the US. Think N Sync and Spice Girls- uh yeah, I know Spice Girls are British, not American, try to stick with me here. But Korea puts it's own special twist on the idea and it's wildly successful all over Asia.

Some things Kpop bands have in common.
  1. Put together by a corporation. (I think)
  2. Songs tend to appeal to pre-teens/teens
  3. They commonly have dance routines in the videos that their followers can learn and imitate
  4. They typically have a couple words of English in each song, whether used correctly or not.
Wonder Girls are particularly awesome though, and in 2009, they were the first Kpop band to place in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with this song:

OMG, this is the OTHER song YeonSil sang at Noribang! (You're such a big fan YS! Well, so am I now, good job!) ^.^ Hilarious, awesome, great, catchy song!

One more awesome Wonder Girls song and I'll stop talking about them (for today):

I just found this video on YouTube, I hadn't seen/heard this song before today. So cute! so much fun and I'm done talking about this for today.

I'll probably post more Kpop music videos that I like in the future, but I'm honestly not good at reviewing, so I won't break them down or anything, I'll just tell you I like them!

I keep forgetting!
Thanks Andy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

ArtsyFartsy - part 4

It's been a slow past couple of days, not boring, just blog post boring. Maybe things are starting to feel normal here... crazy talk. Here's a reminder of all the beautiful stuff, aka, not normal.

At Yunggungsa (Yunggung temple), aka the Dragon Temple or the Temple on the Sea.

Steps going up to the Buddha of Mercy.

Yunggungsa is the only temple on the sea. And from my experiences of temples (thus far), the most beautiful.

Buddha of Mercy at Buddha's birthday celebration.

Why Yunggungsa is sometimes called the Dragon Temple.


Yunggungsa in black and white. Definitely more dramatic, but I think I like color better.


Reconstructed command tower at Geumjeongsanseong Fortress.

In an update for the tutoring I'm doing... the kiddos are feeling a lot more comfortable. How do I know? They weren't nearly as quiet this time around. lol. Also, I'm surprised at how much communication we get done with   no common language. At least I know the words for: Say, here, this, write, and bathroom (in Korean). Those are life savers. :D

Tomorrow is Korean lessons, so I better get on doing that homework. Till next time!
<3 Kim