Cultural Musings · Food · Korea · Teaching


It’s been a pretty relaxing weekend here in the land of the morning calm. I went to dinner with Ally at Nolboo on Friday night.

Nolboo is a very popular restaurant on the Shinjang-dong and is known for their Kalbi Jim or Korean beef short ribs. Most of the restaurants here cook the meat at a small barbecue in the middle of your table and then bring out dozens of kimchi and salad dishes for you to eat your meat with, it’s very delicious and very different from American restaurants. Ally informed me that people usually don’t take “doggy bags” home from Korean restaurants, much to my dismay.

CMOD – Koreans eat very small portions, they drink tea and coffee from espresso cups, their dishes and rice bowls are made for toddlers and their favorite snack consists of a long lasagna-size noodle on a stick simmered in spicy broth. But, Korean restaurants serve more food at your table than you would find on a Ponderosa buffet.

This is a view of what you’re typically served. It is quite difficult to maneuver around all these dishes with chopsticks and an iced-tea length spoon (Koreans eat their rice with a spoon, everything else with chopsticks)

Saturday – Joe and I ate lunch at a great Thai restaurant near the main gate to base, called Chang Pwuck, (yeah I can’t pronounce it either) and then ran some errands. We had to go to the commissary and since we don’t have a car yet, food shopping is an all-day affair. We walk to base, a 20 minute walk through the town of Songtan and then onto base. Another 15 minute walk to the commissary where we get all our American fare for the week. After the commissary, we waited another 20 minutes for a cab to take us to our apt. with our many bags. Once we arrive at Dong Bu Apts. it’s a game we play to see how many bags we can each carry in order to make it upstairs to the 11th floor in one trip.

Here’s a pic of me coming off the elevator with groceries.

Sunday we headed to the Songbuk market (the one that runs every 4th day) and shopped around. Because it’s not a staple in their diet, Koreans love bread, they eat it for a snack and they have fake French bakeries every few blocks. While walking around the market we stopped at one of the better FFB (fake French bakeries) and got some yummy stuff for lunch.

Joe with his pizza bread, basically a soft pretzel-type pastry with pizza sauce, cheese, onions, celery and hot dogs. Weird huh? He seemed to like it.

After the market we headed to Humphreys for an all-night Super Bowl party. Being 14 hours ahead, we watched the Super Bowl at 8:30 in the morning. Thankfully the military considers the Super Bowl a holiday so Joe had the day off. We all hung out and played some poker last night at Joe’s co-worker, Mark’s dorm.

Some winners of last night’s poker games. It was a fun night, with a 13 hour countdown to the Super Bowl. Mark must have thought it was the Emmys because he changed shirts every hour for the countdown.

Here are a few samplings of Mark’s costume changes. Sorry the last two pics are so small and blurry, I had to minimize the pics as the originals were really large.

I didn’t stay up all night and Joe took a 4 hour nap before this morning’s game. The only problem with the Armed Forces Network is that we didn’t get the good commericals, we’ll have to watch them on YouTube.

Back to work for me today, Kate was sick today so I took 6 of her classes. We did “Checking Attendance” conversation today. “Let’s call roll.” “Is everyone here?” “Who’s absent?” Lalala, pretty boring but then we did a fun newspaper activity where the kids had to read American newspapers and look for nouns, verbs and adjectives. They were pleasantly surprised at how much English they could understand.


One thought on “Weekend

  1. Gotta love that hotdog pizza! From reading your blog, it seems like you guys are on a totally different planet – Thank you so much for sharing!! Your descriptions of everything are super interesting and I can only imagine what it must be like to be there!

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