Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Last Couple of Weekends

Note: I wrote this at least a week ago, but for some reason I didn't publish it.

The last couple of weekends have been rather eventful for us. Although there are no pictures, we did some cool stuff and had quite a bit of fun. We also have gotten really, really worn out.

The weekend before last (September 19) we went out of town. PapaFish went all the way to Camp Casey - a good 1.5~2hr subway ride from our place in Seoul - to play board games n' such with some guys. He had fun, but it was a long day.

TheFry and I opted out of this kind of gaming, and so we went to hike Soyosan instead. I was winded after about 20 minutes of climbing up the hill.

Soyosan was a little disappointing. To its credit, it had been largely destroyed during the Korean War and it looked as if there was a lot of renovation still going on. Nonetheless, there were plenty of piles of random crap on construction sites, intermingled with lovely statues, buildings and scenery in general.

The waterfalls are made to look much more impressive in the marketing, but they were still graceful and sweet.

The temple had been recently reconstructed, and included a gift shop. I understand that it's customary to sell candles and incense and other things necessary to make offerings at holy places in such locations, but there was plenty of jewelry and cellphone accesories alos, which was quite disappointing (along with the coffee vending machines, and big black plastic sewage pipe running down out of the waterfall into the cave of worshippers).

Furthermore, hiking a mountain on a weekend is like asking for advice from every Korean grandmother in town. There was plenty of advice to go around, mostly to keep TheFry from getting crooked teeth and a cold. I didn't mention that he already had a cold that weekend, and no one seemed to notice or care, either. They also didn't seem to care that I understood very little of what they were saying, but the power of miming pushed through.

I was thinking of going there later in October because they supposedy are having a red maple leaf festival, but I don't think I'll make it. It's not worth the 3,000won to go inside the park - the outside is just as lovely, as far as maple trees goes - but traveling that long and tiring journey with a toddler in tow just to see the outside of a park whilst getting parenting advice from strangers in a language I don't fully understand doesn't sound like a relaxing time at the park for me. I think we'll stick closer to home, and hopefully by then we'll have a camera to share pictures of all the wonderful fall goodness.

This last weekend (September 26~27) we had a full weekend of events. On Saturday we went to Myeong-dong and Dongdaemun (and wound up walking through Namdaemun in between destinations) on a hunt for yarn so I can make myself a fall sweater. I've shrunk my other fall sweater, and my post partum self is just not fitting anything I own properly anymore. I'm too cheap to buy clothes in Itaewon, so I'm going to be making my own sweaters and such come fall and winter. Since I hardly have time to get this stuff done anymore, I thought I'd start now.

I ended up buying yarn in Dongdaemun. I remember thinking to myself (and actually saying out loud once) that there was no decent selection of yarns in Dongdaemun. That's probably at least partially due to the fact that I have a tendency to show up at the wrong time on the wrong day(s), which can really happen to anyone. Also it is partially due to the fact that a number of shops only display their thinnest, thread-like yarns on the outside, keeping their wooly yarn of delicious heavenly goodness on the inside for serious browsers. It also seemed, the first couple of times I went there, at least, that the kinds of items people like to make are those fishnet-esque sweaters and caps with tiny yarns and tiny tiny hooks...I'm just not interested in that.

This time, it must have been the right day, the right time, and I actually carried with me a recommendation list of stalls to go to. I picked up 1000 grams of super-soft yarn (I think it was wool, but I'm not sure) for 24,000 won (sold in 500 gram increments). I know for a fact that you can buy yarn even cheaper than that at Dongdaemun; last time I bought 500grams for 6,000 won each, which is comparable to Wal-Mart! I think that kind of yarn only comes in fruity bright colors (I bought royal blue and a lighter shade of blue) but if you're doing something fun then it's worth it.

There were also a fair amount of stalls that had boxes of miscellaneous yarns for 1,000~1500 won apiece outside their stores. I thought about sifting through some of those but I decided I'd spent enough time already.

Last night (Sunday) we went to the Grand Finale of the Seoul Drum Festival in Seoul Forest Park. It was an interesting show. The announcements were made in both Korean and English, to our surprise. There was a fusion group combining Korean traditional drumming and Peruvian music, a group from Mexico that mostly danced, and several other groups fusioning traditional Korean drumming techniques and modern music. It was interesting, but we could have done with out the techno beats in the background. Furthermore, every time the audience applauded, TheFry started freaking out and crying. It would have been sad, but after the 10th time or so, he wasn't crying anymore, he was just screaming, as if that's how he felt he was supposed to react. It was hilarious.

The weekend was long and exhausting, but we got to do some free stuff, so it was not all in vain.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One-Year Photos!

Today we got TheFry's One-Year Photos taken!

We took them ourselves at Igloo Self-Photo Studio. PapaFish actually took all the pictures, and I was on distraction duty. The studio lent us a DSLR, lighting, props, and a large choice of outfits, and we did the rest ourselves!

We took over 200 photos in one hour, and got to keep all of them on a CD. There were many outfits available for free, but we chose to use mostly our own clothing. We did pay an extra 5,000 won for TheFry to wear hanbok (Korean traditional clothing). In the end, the total bill came to just over 50,000 won, around $50 U.S.

Of course not all the photos were spectacular, but at least half of them were very, very good. Here are the best photographs from each set we took:

The first set was a bakery. TheFry loved the bread and all the other props. He looks the happiest in these sets because, well, he's not as tired and hungry as he would be an hour later!

The second set had this really cute mini telephone booth. He loved standing by it but his face was always "behind bars". There were some cute shots, but this was probably the best one. He's got that signature smirk on his face - the same one he wears when he's about to pull a plug from the wall!

He didn't like this set much. This was basically the last time we could get him to sit down on anything for the rest of the hour, and that's only because we bribed him with grapes. Puppy tagged along for shoot.

The clouds was one of his favorite sets. It was soft and bright and he could sit down comfortably with his back propped up against something stable. There were a number of classic shots taken with this set but this is my favorite, because he's being himself.

My favorite set was the toy car. This is my favorite picture: dude in a red convertible, wearing a scarf, windswept hair, and a dog along for the ride!

At first he was wearing a cute little red hat, but he hates hats, so he figured out how to rip it off and throw it to the floor. Then the person who was running the studio thought it would be a great idea for him to wear this:

This is by far my absolute favorite picture out of the whole set. It has so much personality, so much emotion. I laugh a little every time I see it. It never gets old.

Finally, it was time for TheFry to get dressed up in Hanbok, Korea's traditional costume. The first birthday is actually a huge deal in Korea, with a formal party and the baby wears hanbok.

This hanbok features cherry blossoms and it is definitely for boys. Pink is a very stylish color in Korea for both men and women, and pink on boys' and men's Hanbok is in fashion right now.

This is probably my favorite photo for photographic value of the whole set:

And I really, really love this one also:

After the shoot, one of the photographers thought it would be a great idea for us to do a family shot. I had no idea this was coming. I had skipped a shower and makeup application because we had been running late, I was sweating profusely, and I had been puked on in transit to the studio. Nonetheless, we managed to take a decent one:

And another one which was a little more honest:

After getting TheFry back in his more comfortable clothes, we took a pretty good one:

We couldn't have managed all this without the assistance of some terrific friends who translated the directions on how to use the camera, assisted us with getting TheFry's attention during the shoot, changing clothes, cleanup, and taking a few pictures of their own! In the end, I would call it a success.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Toddler's Breakfast

(excuse the crappy resolution...these were taken with my webcam; it's all I've got for now)

As I type this blog post, TheFry is shoving bites of breakfast in his mouth one right after the other.

He is eating a scrambled egg and a piece of bread smeared with persimmon jam.

He does not wait until chewing up one bite to cram more in.

If it's in front of him, he will undoubtedly reach for it and shove it in his little face.

That cute little face! (yes, that IS a washing machine under the gas range [it's a two-top, ugh...] in our kitchen)

This season--the end of summer, that is--is the season for all kinds of ripe fruit. Persimmons are some of the cheapest fruits to come by, with a pack of 6 costing 3,000 won (or less, depending on which neighborhood you live in. We live in a fairly wealthy part of town, thus the more expensive...everything!).

You can usually choose between ripe-enough-to-eat persimmons and ripe-enough-to-be-disgusting persimmons. We bought a pack of the latter.

(thank you Google Image Search)

These persimmons can barely be eaten. They cannot be sliced. Once you peel them, a few clumps of fruit fall apart in a stringy, gooey mess.

Furthermore, the persimmon is not the sweet, tart fruit that spoils us in North America. They are barely sweet (even though they are very ripe), and their flavor is reminiscent of pumpkin.

So what do you do with a fruit that you can't eat straight-up? You make jam, of course!Our big challenge was to find some kind of thickener. I believed that Pectin would be impossible to track down in any location within walking distance from us, and I was correct! I even joked with PapaFish that we might just have to boil a chicken and scrape off the gelatin if we couldn't find anything else. (eww)

We did find gelatin in with the German food at our local HomePlus. However, gelatin does not behave like pectin exactly. Even when the jam cooled, it still seemed runny, so we added more gelatin. In the end, the jam hardened, and it was as stiff as jelly candy.

So we added more persimmons!

At last, we had wonderful persimmon jam, and now that the fruit is sweet and able to be smeared on the most delicious dainties, we can rest well.

On a side note: PapaFish has been working like a madman in the kitchen the past couple of weeks. He single-handedly made the persimmon jam. Additionally, he has prepared kimchi with both radish and cabbage.

Next week, for TheFry's first birthday, we will be making spaghetti and probably having another cake adventure. More details to come!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Baking a Cake without an oven...

...or a rice cooker, toaster oven, microwave, crock pot, etc...

Whether you use a cake mix or you make the recipe yourself, here is what I did:

1. Take a pot and pour in a little bit of water (1~2 cups).

2. Insert a metal steamer (one of those ones that folds up really small and then expands). It should be expanded as far as it can go. You are going to do this double-boiler style.

3. Grease and flour a cake pan that is small enough to fit in the pot. I used one of those disposable foil pans that you usually make banana bread or poundcake in.

4. After greasing/flouring the pan and pouring in the batter, cover the pan with aluminum foil, shiny-side-down.

5. Place the covered pan in the pot and cover the pot. Cook on high for the first 5 minutes, then turn the heat to low so that the water keeps simmering. Cook until done (it took me about 45~50 minutes) - when a toothpick (or a chopstick!) inserted in the middle comes out clean.

6. Remove from the pot, cool, and remove the cake.

As for a recipe? Well, I kind of winged it so the ingredients aren't exactly right, but here's what I did:

1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1.5 cups cake flour, 1/2 cup sugar (or more if you like a sweeter cake), 2 teaspoons baking powder, and a dash of salt.

2. In a separate, smaller bowl, beat 2 eggs, 1/2 cups milk, 1/4 cups vegetable oil (or margarine or butter), and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (we didn't have this, but it was definitely missing in the flavor of the cake later on).

3. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture all at once and mix just until it is moist. If the batter is too thick and doughy, add a little more milk.

4. Pour in a greased and floured cake pan and cook as above!

We hope to try a chocolate cake for TheFry's first birthday next week. I also want to try and make some frosting or some kind of filling. This week, PapaFish made persimmon jam, but it is still a work in progress as it got a little too...hard. Maybe when that problem is fixed, I will make a layer cake with persimmon jam and chocolate frosting.

Until then, eat and enjoy!

Friday, September 11, 2009


TheFry has started sharing things.

Sometimes he shares things he likes, such as his pacifier. He will pull it out of his mouth, and with a big grin and a few meaningless utterances he will shove it in your face. As soon as it gets to your mouth, he giggles, and then you can give it back to him successfully. The process is repeated several times until he gets bored.

Usually, however, he shares things he doesn't care for too much. For instance, as breakfast is drawing to a close, he suddenly becomes extremely generous with his eggs. He still manages to stuff his face with crackers, though.

I still can't decide if that glint that shines in his eye before opening drawers, doors, and reaching for electrical cords is pure naughtiness or just delight at my funny reaction. All I know is that my son is irresistably cute.

One and a half Teeth

TheFry is using his one and a half teeth to bite everything he puts in his mouth in half. He was doing okay with eggs, but not so well with crackers.

I needed to vacuum the floor, anyway.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Alien Adventures, Part 2: I Can Has National Health Insurance!

We've done it: we've got health insurance!

Not that it was unaffordable without it (less than $20 for a visit and less than $10 for prescription antibiotics), but we are glad to have it now. It will definitely make upcoming vaccines more affordable, and also regular visits should be a fraction of what we've paid before.

This was quite a process, however. Here is how you register your F3 dependents with National Health Insurance in Korea:

Step 1: Visit the National Health Insurance (NHIC) website and find your gu's local NHIC office.

Step 2: If you need directions to your local gu office, the NHIC website also has the number for a call center where you can speak with an NHIC representative in English. That number is 02)390-2000.

Step 3: Once you have directions for your local gu office, prepare all the documents you'll need to get your dependants registered. Everyone needs to have their Alien Registration Cards (ARCs) and passports. Also, you need documents that prove your relationship to your dependents, such as marriage and birth certificates. Also bring the English Call Center number with you because you might need it to communicate with the office staff if you do not speak Korean.

Step 4: Show up at your local gu office, take a number and wait. There will be forms out that other people will be filling out, but if you can't decipher that level of Korean and nobody in the office speaks English (as was the case with us in Yangcheon-gu), just wait. You will have to communicate with the clerks via the English Call Center.

Step 5: Upon the request of the clerks, present your documents and wait. They might communicate with you via call center or they might just figure it out. Whatever the case, you should in the end be presented with a small paper booklet with your names written in Hangeul. We received one booklet for all three of us.

I found the people at the call center to be particularly helpful, so if you're ever in a bind with this, I'd call that number straight away. This whole process was something I knew little about to begin with and couldn't find any information about on the net (with a lazy amount of searching, to be honest), so I hope you find this useful!

Jjajang Baby!

This is one of those posts I just really didn't want to write without pictures. However, it's just too good to pass up.

Recently, TheFry has decided he will not go to bed before midnight. This is probably partly due to the fact that MamaFish gets home from work at about 10:30 at night, and he likes to wait up for her. Therefore, in order to retain some semblance of sanity, the Fish family goes for a walk around the neighborhood every night at 11:00.

There are many things to see on this walk. Sometimes we go to HomePlus Express and buy groceries or an ice cream bar. Sometimes we get ice cream at McDonald's. Sometimes we even get ice cream at the Family Mart in any of the buildings nearest us.

There is also a park near our place called Paris Park. It is complete with fountains, basketball courts, a therapeutic walkway (sharp rocks! ouch!!) and exercise machines, bench presses, and a running path. We usually stop by so PapaFish can bench press and MamaFish can take a stroll with TheFry.

The past couple of nights, however, we've been stopping by a certain noodle tent. The noodle tent opens up at night right outside of the building where MamaFish teaches. It sells two kinds of noodles: udon and jjajang.

The tent is actually more than just a tent. It is a truck that has been converted to a restaurant. The truck's sides fold down and the truck bed and tailgate are covered with a kind of linoleum that looks like wood. The tent is set up and attached to the truck, and it houses a few plastic tables and stools.

In the truck bed there is a gas tank and hooked up to the gas tank are four large burners that are used to boil water and keep the sauce and broth hot.

I'm not sure about the actual mixing of the dough, but the noodles are cut fresh right in front of you, then boiled on the spot. When we go, we order jjajangmyeon, which is a kind of noodle served with black sauce. The sauce is salty and savory and about the consistency of country gravy.

TheFry loves jjajangmyeon! And by loves I mean he screams at me until I feed him the next bite. Of course all the passersby exclaim how cute he is, how he eats like a doll, and that he eats so well. I can't help but wonder, though, what they think of his constant yelling.

When we eat out with TheFry, it usually goes like this: MamaFish holds TheFry in her lap and feeds him for 3/4 of the meal. When PapaFish is down to his last few noodles, he cuts them up, takes TheFry onto his own lap, and feeds him while MamaFish can enjoy the rest of her dish! This usually works out pretty well, and everyone is happy in the end.

At the end of the night, TheFry crashes on his little makeshift bed, his face still covered with brown sauce, and he falls into a deep sleep rather quickly. Am I introducing him to bad eating habits? Perhaps so, but I don't think we've made this a habit quite yet. Still, we love jjajangmyeon!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Alien Adventures, Part 1: F-3 Visa - Dependent Visa for Family Members

Yaayyyy! We got 'em!

After a lot of stress in the spring over what to do about PapaFish and TheFry's visa status while in Korea, and finding next to no information on the great-wide Internets about it, I kind of blindly leapt towards Korea with very little information and hints about how to get things done. Well, we figured it out, and it wasn't that bad. The worst that happened is that we originally went to the wrong floor of the immigration office, only to be redirected after 15 minutes of waiting.

So, do YOU have dependents that are following you to Korea but not working? Here's whatcha do:

1. Apply for a C-3 tourist visa. I think ours cost about $45 apiece. They are valid for 90 days. You shouldn't need to give them proof of return airfare to get it.

2. Come to Korea, get your Alien Registration Card (ARC). Do this as soon as possible.

3. When you get your ARC, leap for joy, cry a few tears of merriment, kiss it, and plan an excursion to Immigration early the next morning.

4. Go to immigration...and early. The earlier, the better. If your local office opens at 9, expect there to be at least 30 people in there waiting by 10. Often, it is more. We had to make 2 trips to immigration just to hand in our applications so you have been warned.

When you go to your local immigration office, bring your ARC and the passports for everyone in your family who needs their C-3 switched over. This includes the wee babes. Also, bring proof of relation, such as a copy of a birth certificate or marriage certificate. Ours did not have to be noticed or apostilled, and they made the copies right there for us. Also bring at least 1 passport-sized photo for everyone who will be applying. Make sure you know your address and phone number. Also bring money - the application fee for us was 60,000 won per applicant. It might be a good idea to pack some snacks and drinks - you could be waiting for quite a while.

5. Purchase "Revenue Stamps". At the Seoul Immigration Office in Mokdong, these can be purchased in the basement. The stamps will be pasted to the application because 0the immigration officer upstairs on the first floor will not have a cash register.

6. When you fill out the application, select "4" - "Change the status of sojourn". Fill out the app, paste the revenue stamps and passport-sized photo on with a glue stick (provided for you), take a number and wait your turn. Wait and wait and wait. Eat and hydrate and entertain yourself in the meantime.

7. When your number is called, hand your stuff over to the immigration officer. They will take your applications and make copies of all your documents (your ARC, marriage/birth/etc. certificates, and so on) and take the passports of the applicants (my husband and son in my case).

8. They will give you a receipt and a date/time you can return to pick up your passport. At that time, go in the same room, take a number (it will be a different category than when you originally applied; for example, in Mokdong, press button "4" on the number machine. This is for Pickup Only). When it's your turn, they will return the passports with the new visa stamps and also issue ARC cards for the applicants. Then you can do a little Irish Jig of Happines!

9. Eat Samgyupsal for breakfast on your way back home. You deserve it!

Our next little Alien Adventure: Obtaining National Health Insurance!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Things I Love about Korea!

I go to work every afternoon at 2:30. That means that the time I get to spend with my family is in the morning, when I am refreshed and happy (I'm a morning person if you didn't know). In my previous life, I worked eight hours at a job that drained me completely, so that by the time I got home - even if I hadn't had to think or move around or really do much of anything at work that day - I was totally exhausted and wanting to be alone or just veg out and watch TV and eat. Mostly, I just wanted to eat. TheFry would be either taking a nap or just waking up when I got home from work. When he woke up, he would be happy for a little while, then he would want to eat. We would eat food. I would put him in the living room so I could clean the kitchen. I would put on a half hour baby video so I could crochet for a few minutes. Then we would go for a half-hour walk together. Sometimes we would watch Korean dramas on the Internet together, but other times we would play. TheFry would take a long bath, have a bottle, and go down to bed. I would spend a few hours watching TV and crocheting. It was rather bleak.

Now I get up with TheFry. PapaFish gets up when breakfast has been prepared and we all eat breakfast together. Sometimes we go out for a walk in the morning. There is a park near our apartment that has a huge pool with a ton of fountains. Also there is a bunch of exercise equipment at the park, from bench presses to rowing machines. There is a "therapy walkway" which is a path of different sized rocks arranged in various patterns; you take off your shoes and walk on the path, and it's like getting a massage or acupuncture in your feet. It feels wonderful afterwards.

Sometimes we just go to HomePlus - our local grocery store. It has 3 floors. It's like Super Wal-Mart and Macy's combined and on crack at the same time. There's a huge food court and all three of us can share a meal there for about 5 bucks. It's cool to just go and look and see what they have, to plan out the things we might buy to improve the living conditions of our apartment, or to just dream of what we could make the place like. But the food court is reason enough for us to pay HomePlus a visit on a weekday morning.

Sometimes we just hang out at home. TheFry takes a morning nap. I crochet. We watch NCIS back-to-back for about 2 or 3 episodes. I go to work a little early to use internet or to prepare for the day.

I get off work at 10pm. After work, Seoul is even more alive than it was before. The park fountains aren't going anymore, but the park is full of people playing basketball and hanging out with friends. On Thursday, we went for a walk to a playground that was in a nook between several high-rise apartment buildings. There must have been about 10,000 people living in that small portion of the neighborhood, but it was completely quiet. There were no loud cars, loud music, loud people being obnoxious. It was THURSDAY, and it was almost midnight. We played on the see-saw, swang on the swings and slid down the slides.

There are many things here that are different than back in the United States, but we have found that we are adapting rather easily. TheFry has also been doing very well. He loves the attention he gets and he loves going out people-watching in the middle of the night. We love going to grab an ice cream bar for the rough equivalent of $0.40 and walking around the neighborhood. There is always something new to find, always somewhere new to eat. It is going to be a really fun, exciting year.

Sippy Cup Wars

TheFry will be 1 year old 19 days. He will stop drinking formula (YAAAAAYYYYYY!!!) and he will no longer be using a bottle...

...or so we hope. You see, he's getting to that age when "training" is difficult. He has developed preferences.

Until about a week or two ago, he had a clear preference for the bottle. I would offer him a sippy cup at lunch time and he would scream and push it away vehemently. I was desperate, wondering what I should do - should I force him to change his ways against his will, or should I go easy on him? He is still a baby, after all.

In the end, I decided switching to a sippy cup was the best thing. I didn't foresee it getting any easier in the future. Also, I deduced that it would make everyone happier in the short-term long run. Within a month or two, he would be able to hold his own cup, he would be able to eat his own meals, and MamaFish and PapaFish could finally get back some of the sanity they had before TheFry was born.

Even though he is accepting a sippy cup at mealtimes these days (we still give him a bottle at bedtime), he REFUSES to hold the cup himself. If I set the cup in front of him, he will literally scream and swat it away onto the floor. He will watch it as it falls to the ground, spilling formula everywhere, and then he will turn and see the desperate fury on MamaFish's face and smile, with that one little white tooth poking out, laughing at me.

Apparently, however, he will hold the cup for PapaFish. PapaFish has been christened as the fish bowl's disciplinarian - TheFry definitely takes him more seriously than he does me. I'm glad. I don't want to be the disciplinarian.

Hopefully, TheFry will be drinking from (and holding) his own cup three times a day by his first birthday. We have almost three weeks left. I'm wondering how weaning him off that final bottle will go...


TheFry cut his first tooth a couple of weeks ago. I am so happy. I was starting to wonder if they would ever come out. My mother told me that I got my first tooth at 15 months, and I was not happy about the prospect of that happening with TheFry (for whatever reason - I don't know...). Anyway, the second one has been pushing its way through this week, which is externally evident in his endlessly crabby mood. Our solution:

(Thank you via google image search!)

Kimbap Cheonguk means "Kimbap Heaven". Kimbap is like a sushi roll, only it's not sushi (technically). You can put anything in kimbap (and I mean anything). But really, Kimbap Cheonguk serves Korean comfort food to the masses. It is one of many such chain restaurants in Korea.

Most importantly, however, kimbap is not the only thing they serve! Their menu is huge and full of such cheap local quick foods. Here is what we have eaten in the past week:

chumeokbap - a big rice ball filled with such things as tuna salad, bulgogi, kimchi, or whatever inside. Then the ball is rolled in shredded dried seaweed laver (yummy!) and sprinkled with sesame seeds. It is fantastic! And, seeing as how it's about a dollar to buy one of these, I often purchase one for dinner while I am at work.

tangsu mandu - fried dumplings in a kind of sweet-and-sour sauce that resembles ketchup. I suspect that the sauce is probably mostly ketchup. Anyway, it's yummy.

kogi mandu - steamed dumplings with meat in them. We bought a huge package of frozen ones at the grocery store and TheFry loves them!

curry tonkatsu - Tonkatsu is a pork cutlet, tenderized and breaded with panko breadcrums, then fried to yummy perfection. Usually it is served with the aptly named "katsu sauce" - something like barbecue sauce - but you ca also order it with curry. Ordering something with curry in Korea means you will get a mild curry-esque sauce, not really all that spicy, and it will be loaded with potatoes and carrots. Also, because tonkatsu is a Japanese-style dish, the meal is served with all kinds of side dishes that you get with any kind of Japanese-style dish in Korea: corn kernels with mayonnaise, cole slaw with thousand island dressing, etc.

veggie kimbap - kimbap with vegetables, mayo, processed ham and imitation crab. Being a vegetarian in Korea would be extremely difficult.

So why do we do all this? Because walking around in public with TheFry and feeding him restaurant food is the easiest way to placate him when he's angry at the world. He loves the attention he gets from the general public (as long as MamaFish or PapaFish are holding him), he loves tonkatsu and he loves eating in restaurants. He is a connoisseur of sorts, refusing to eat plain rice (I must mix broth with it instead) or eggs (unless they are salted) amongst other things. He has eclectic tastes for an 11-month-old. His father is proud of him.

All Moved In...

5 weeks ago, the fish bowl was officially relocated to Seoul, South Korea. It is certainly cliche of me (and those of you who know me in real life know precisely how much I loathe cliches), but I'm gonna say it anyway: It seems like just yesterday we were 5 weeks away from Seoul, I was in a job that was going nowhere, we were fretting over dropping the bomb on people when we told them of our plans, etc. Well, we've been here 5 weeks, and the only way I can see us loving it more is if we hadn't lost our digital camera on the trip over.

So I'll be posting a few things here and there, but I feel like blogging without photos to share is akin to showing up to class without any shoes on. I still would have plenty of things to share, but I would feel slightly naked.