29 January 2008

Good Eats: Chinese Noodles in Chungmuro

If you're looking for a puppy, Chungmuro is the place to go. Take subway Line #3 to Chungmuro, take exit 3, and you'll find a line of puppy mills, I mean, puppy shops, including the store were Paris Hilton picked up a Pomeranian.

While in Chungmuro, we stopped for some old school Chinese noodles.

28 January 2008

Good Eats: French Food in Jeongja (video)

Free at last. Free at last...sort of. The Winter Intensives session is not completely over, but I now have time to dwell on more important matters like posting photos of food, making music videos, and speculating over Heath Ledger's death (R.I.P).

In celebration of my newly regained freedom, Cyndi, Patrick, and I went to check out the fancy schmancy restaurants in Jeongja-dong. Jeongja is a particularly affluent neighborhood in Bundang, and is the place to go for over-priced, yet satisfactory foreign food. This area of Jeongja, which I will hereby refer to as "Restaurant Row," strangely reminds me of Disneyland. It's like stepping into another country.

We decided to check out a French restaurant called "Aix en provence." I was a little apprehensive going in, because Aix en provence vaguely reminded me of Minto. Fortunately, it was levels above Minto (though, that's not saying much). I'm not familiar with French cuisine, but the menu didn't seem very French. I didn't even see any French Onion Soup or ratatouille.

The salad was sloppy and the steak was covered in an overly sweet sauce, but the food overall was tasty, if not authentically French. (I should note that the steak was decent, but not as good as Patrick made it out to be. Patrick is a good actor).

I captured our dinner on video, and am posting the footage for your viewing pleasure.

I think that I'll try to make these Good Eats Videos a regular Annalog feature, but that all depends on my schedule and level of laziness.

17 January 2008

Teacher Annalog: Write a Scary Story

Most Korean students are currently off from school. In America, most families would consider this a vacation period. Unfortunately, in Korea, winter break simply means more hours spent in hagwons, academies specializing in SAT prep, math, science, English, etc.

I normally teach junior high and high school students, but this month, I have the opportunity to teach an intensive reading and writing course for elementary school students (fifth and sixth graders). They may not be fluent in English, but they make up for their lack of proficiency with their exuberance and attentiveness. They can be quite a handful, but they never cease to amuse me.

I won't have much time for leisurely posts for the next two months, but I thought I'd ocassionally post a sample of their writing, because kids truly do say the darnedest things.

Their writing may not always be grammatically correct, or for that matter, coherent, but is often surprisingly insightful.

Topic: Tell me a scary story or describe a scary incident that happened to you. Include an example of simile or personification.

"The Mummy"*
I'm afraid of my mummy because when her get angry she always control me to clean my room. If I clean quickly she tell me again to clean the bathroom. Sometimes she yell and hit me so I afraid of my mother and my father afraid her too. When my mother was sick, but my father don't care her so she is going angry and she ran out of my home.

Teacher Annalog's comments: Take note, student. It's best that you learn this lesson at a young age. You should never upset Mother, especially when she feels like crud.

"It's a Hard Knock Life"
When I was in second grade I was playing at the friend's house. We was playing gameboy. I didn't know the time was 11 p.m. because I was so concentrated playing gameboy. So outside was as dark as dark chocolate. I was walking away home and I was resting at slide in playground. 10 minutes later 3 mens were coming me. The mans were big as hulk and tall as giraffe. They came to me and said "give me money" so I ran fast as cheeta and yelled big as I could. The trees were whispering to me "run faster." At the place were the place divides in to 2 ways I got to get free by them chasing me. I told to my parents that there is gangster here. that was my bad day in my life.

Teacher Annalog's comments: You are strong and agile like a Denzel Washington. May the winds continue to guide you with their whispered wisdom.

"Like Scary Man"
I'm afraid about dog because of really dangerous accident. When I was nine years old, I get a big hurt from dog. I want to forget that accident. Let me tell you detail.
I was buying a good for grandmother and the dog was coming to me. So I ran away from him. Dog sounds like very scary man. This is the reason why I afraid about dog.

Teacher Annalog's comments: This totally happened to me, except I was with my grandmother... and we were trying to steal mangoes from my neighbor's yard... and the dog was scary like Britney, post K-Fed.

"The Bat"
I am afraid of my mom. Especially when I late from the promise. She is very scary. Once time I played with my friends and I came really late to home because of playing. The home was silent when I got into home. It was like a desert with no one but myself. And I wanted to just cover this up so I slowly went into my room suddenly the silent word of mom made me scary. I wanted to escape from my mom as fast as I can. But my mom came with an aluminum bat. That day was a very hurted day with a bat.

Teacher Annalog's comments: Do not be disheartened. Many a brave man has been defeated by the "silent word of mom." Even the most formidable soldier could not help but acquiesce to the wordless gaze of an angry mother... or an aluminum bat.

*I took the liberty of creating titles for each of the featured pieces.

07 January 2008

Winter Fashion Extravaganza

Having grown up in a tropical climate, I've always yearned for the opportunity to wear winter apparel. (I always thought that earmuffs were an accessory. I never realized that they were a necessity!)

Unfortunately, the saying is true; be careful what you wish for. I'm still struggling to adjust to the biting cold, but I certainly appreciate the opportunity to buy more winter coats! (The coat that I brought from California barely even sufficed for autumn in Korea).

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit how many coats I've purchased within the last month. The assortment of coats can be quite overwhelming. All but one of the coats that I purchased in Korea cost less than $100 (Can you guess which one was more than $100?).

TIP: All winter coats go on sale in early January, so this is the best time to shop for trendy winter gear.

These trendy coats may not be the best long term investment, but they certainly enable a nice variety in your winter wardrobe.

(Oh, man. I can only imagine what it's going to cost to mail all of these coats home).

Cyndi and I decided to ANTM it up, and share some of our new coats with y'all. Check out the photos below.

STACY: The first two coats are actually for you. Let me know if you want any additional coats.

The Librarian

Sexy Ninja (Military Style)

The 어머나

Sporty Devil Zip-Up

Short Skirt, Long, Cap-Sleeved Jacket

Checkered Cutie

In the Navy

Church Coat

Waldo's Coat

The Coat that's in Dire Need of Dry Cleaning

The Spottie Dottie (Stacy: The bunny hat is also for you. Man, I am one thoughtful sister!)

The Blue Bath Robe with Flair

The "Does this Make Me Look Japanese?" Coat

01 January 2008

The Subway Nightmare Before Christmas

I refuse to spend New Year's Eve in Seoul. I spent Christmas in Seoul, and it was way too crowded. Check out the video at the end of the post to see what I mean. Also, I'm tired. I spent most of my day (and evening) teaching. I know, poor me.

I can't believe it's already the new year. I didn't even get a chance to tell you about our Christmas festivities!

Since Tim and Daniel Henney were busy, Cyndi and I spent Christmas day with the lovely Ms. Bo. We buffeted it up Itaewon at a place called Toque Diner. Toque featured a nice Christmas "brunch," which included mashed potatoes and turkey. It wasn't as awesome as deep fried turkey, but the spread satisfied my turkey craving.

I'm starting to feel like all holidays in Korea are whittled down to be some variation of Valentine's Day. Back home, Christmas was about spending the holidays with all your loved ones. From what I've observed, Christmas in Seoul is not so much about family, as it is about romancing your significant other.

Thanks a lot, Motherland, for making single twenty-somethings feel like losers on Christmas Day :)

After our filling turkey brunch, we headed over to City Hall, which is apparently the place to be on Christmas. Unfortunately, thousands upon thousands of folks had the same idea.

I'm not claustrophobic, but I was a bit frightened when we started to make our way through the subway station. You'll just have to watch the following video to witness the chaos for yourself. As a born-and-raised American, the word "lawsuit" kept running through my head as I tried to prevent myself from being trampled by old ladies and giddy sixteen-year-olds.