Stickerbar

Stickerbar

Stickerbar

Stickerbar

Stickerbar

Stickerbar

Stickerbar

Stickerbar

Stickerbar



We had raw octopus, or san nakji. The pieces were lively but not, I'd say, technically alive. Did we play with our food like little children? Yes.

On The Sidewalk

On The Sidewalk

We went to a club in Hongdae where you can dance ankle-deep in water. The whole place looks like someone realized their fantasy-club without any regard to practicalities or safety standards. The result is awesome if somewhat perilous.

Nevertheless, while I did some careful semi-dancing, a rowdy teenage bunch took to the floor, splashing with abandon and jumping recklessly on each other. No fear.

Oi

Oi

Oi

Ramen Party

I'm going to miss convenience stores with patios. They're perfect for popping in and grabbing a tallboy plus a pack of fluffy, shredded squid to have out front. They're also good for impromptu ramen-parties -- high-five!

Meatsicle

A meatsicle?



Tornado Fry

Tornado fry -- a spiral-cut whole potato, deep-fried and sprinkled with what is basically mac-and-cheese-powder.

Me & Lee Min Ho

Can't stop us.

Dirty Dancing

If I ruled the world, all movie posters would be hand-painted.

Back in January I was drinking five ginger teas a day and lying on our apartment's ondol floor wearing a toque to keep warm. These days I drape a towel over my chair so that I don't sweat into the fabric as I sit, shirtless, gazing into nowhere with perspiration trickling down my face. This slack-jawed heat-coma makes up most of my day. I enjoy it actually, even leave the A/C off.

But when this sort of masochism loses appeal, I go for:

Shikhye

Shikhye, sujeonggwa, and gam shikcho.

Shikhye is my favourite. It's a rice beverage, but there's something to it -- maybe ginger, maybe the floating rice grains -- that elevates it beyond mere sugar-water. It comes in cans and bottles, but I prefer it ladelled from a big tub, icy as a half-melted Slurpee, usually at a jimjillbang (sauna).

Sujeonggwa tastes like pure cinnamon and sugar -- it's basically liquefied cinnamon hearts. Enough of it will probably turn your insides into potpourri.

Gam shikcho is persimmon vinegar. Sounds extreme, but diluted and sweetened it becomes an exotic lemonade. Good for hangovers, supposedly.

To really drop my core temperature, I go big. I go bingsu.

Bingsu

It's shaved ice with toppings. There are variations, but I like the classic version with pat, a type of red bean. I think Chinese might call it baobing, while Filipinos will say halo-halo and bemoan the lack of kaong (sugar palm fruit), jackfruit, and ube (purple yam). Also, if you don't stir it up, the locals will probably tell you to.

Eat it. And cool it now.

Profile

We finally rented some bikes and biked along the Han River the other Sunday. The skies were stormy! We got very wet and it was very fun.

Ominous Weather

Ominous Weather

Ominous Weather

Ominous Weather

We saw Gogo Star again. Party!

Gogo Star

These guys: maybe too much party?

Party Hard

Party Hard

Party Hard

Dingey

Grimey

Dump

Dump

Dump

Dump

Dump

Dude was lifting some heavy-duty metal with his crane and just swinging it right over his partner's head. Not a hardhat in sight.

Went to the Seoul Folk Fleamarket and got myself a shiny old Walkman. The tape feature's kaput but the radio is A-OK.

Wine plus Walkman at the Cheonggyecheon? I highly recommend it.

Fleamarket

Tapes

Wine And Walkman

Goguma

Candied sweet potato in Myeong Dong, delicious!

If I were in town at the time I would probably be going to this thing.

Hear here.

Hirst

Leeum

I reckon the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul is worth a visit. The permanent collection admission fee is a touch steep by Seoul standards, but you can expect some celebrity-artist art (Damien Hirst, Matthew Barney, Andy Warhol, and more!) and some celebrity-architect architecture.

And it's close to Itaewon. Score.

Botero

Fernando Botero's art is in Seoul at the moment.

Stickers And Things

Grasshopper

A grasshopper on some fake grass at the local track.

Incheon 2014

Incheon is a candidate city for the 2014 Asian Games and we have some wicked new murals in our neighbourhood to prove it.



Some inline-skate practice at the local rink. They seemed pretty hardcore. The one guy was doing squats forever.

Listen to all those ball-bearings... glidey.

Also, I might start skating just for the outfits.

Popsicle Shark

Popsicle Shark

It's pink inside.



Hongdae Station Exit 5,
I will miss you.



South Korea's got loads of dragonflies at the moment. I chased one for a close-up with moderate success.

Walking home in the midday heat, I run into the man at the kimbap nara who so expertly rolls up my tuna-mayo, and whose daughter is my girlfriend's student. I bow hello, stop, and chat in rudimentary Korean. He gestures at the leafy greens poking out of my grocery bag and I pull them out for inspection. What are they? he arches his eyebrows at the unfamiliar produce. Hell, I don't know. My staple spinachey green is out of season and I'm trying new things. His expression suggests I've bought inedible weeds. I shrug and parade my more familiar goods from my bag -- olive oil, carrots, sweet potato -- fumbling the Korean name of each and letting him correct me.

Walking on I meet the old lady from the next building who collects recylables in her wheel barrow. Like many elderly Korean women she's hunched like Quasimodo and wrinkled like a grimace. We're familiar and greet each other warmly. I repeat the grocery show-and-tell. She seems equally interested in what I eat

I still remember when the local grocer, who'd always seemed a bit suspicious of me, learned my profession a while back. Work, what? he asked accusingly of me. Me being a grown man, casually fruit-shopping (a housewife's task!) in the middle of a work day. Computer, at home, I said and watched him have his aha-moment, his demeanor warming instantly. I wasn't some criminal or useless exploiter after all.

It occurred to me what a mystery I must have been to the local observers. Strange non-teacher foreigner, loafing about in his jeans and sneakers... but now I'm no longer so strange, just some dude eating my weird vegetables like everybody else. I've come a long way.

Older

       

Newer