Monday, November 27, 2006

배꼽: belly button

I woke up dreaming about food. With growling bellies Judo and I wandered over to Platters in a hunger induced state of delirium. Platters is an American style dinner that looks like it fell right out of the 50's. I must admit that they did a pretty good job making the place look authentic. We sat down in the same booth we always do, and I ordered my usual, a mushroom swiss burger-without onions or pickles--IN KOREAN followed by my English translation.

After I ordered, Judo looks at me, smiling and says, "You're cute." This was not one of those moments, like in a movie, where the guy professes something really loving or just shows how much they like the girl. Instead this was a moment when I, once again, find myself laughing at my attempts to learn the language and/or truly accept the culture and country in which I live.

Apparently, I was cute because I said,"양파, 피골, 배꼽 주세요." Translated quite literally, I basically politely said, "Onion, pickle, belly button, please give." Of course, what I meant to say was "양파, 피골, 빼고 주세요," or "Onions, pickle remove and give please." I followed this by saying to the adorably dressed waitress, "I really don't like them," and she smiled and nodded. The problem here is in the pronunciation. There are double consonants, ㅃ, and single consonants, ㅂ. The double consonants sound "harder" and are said with more force. Regardless, she seemed to understand what I was trying to get across.

Now, what I got was a mushroom swiss burger WITH ONIONS and pickles on the side! What makes me crazy about this place is that I get the same thing almost every time I'm there, but they rarely can get it right. I thought I had expressed, quite clearly, that I didn't want onions, and why would they bother even putting the pickles on the side?

In conclusion, this is not a case of miscommunication, but rather just another example of bad service--if she didn't understand what I had intended to say, then WHERE WAS THE BELLY BUTTON (배꼽) I ORDERED?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

just another monday

Today is just another one of those mornings. Another ickie monday morning feeling rolls over me. I don't want to leave the warmth of my bed/shower/apartment... I groan and somehow, in a raspy morning voice, proclaim that Monday sucks. Today, HOWEVER, isn't Monday, but it still feels like a Monday.

The past two weeks can be summarized in two words: NON-STOP WEEKEND.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

eggy goodness

Okay, maybe this sounds gross: boiled scrabbled egg in a bubbling mini cauldron. BUT it's NOT! It's one of my absolute favorite Korean side dishes, kyeran chim! When a waiter/waitress brings over some of this goodness, I lose it and start jumping around like it's my birthday, like a monkey on crack, like... well, like they just brought over some good yummy stuff. I never thought eggs would have this incredible effect on me.

the meat you eat

I love signage. My new favorite kind: the kind that cutely, or blatantly, illustrates what you'll be eating once inside. I don't mean, for example, that they have an picture of the dish of the house on the front door, but rather, that they have a picture of a happy pig or a cow that stares at you with an empty gaze.

These piggies are so happy you came to eat samgyupsal at this restaurant they are simply tickled and dancing with joy.

This little porker is "happy" as well.

And who could resist this place with a picture like that outside? "Excuse me, I'd like to order the cow... like on the picture outside."


If I ever write a book, I'll have my mother write the forward. She just returned from Costa Rica, and I must share this one golden bit recounting her vacation:

I also read Augusten Burroughs's new book, "Possible Side Effects" while I was there. You know I am Augusten Burroughs. Well not exactly--I'm not a recovering alcoholic, chain smoking, gay man with a horrible dysfunctional childhood, but I do know where he is coming from most of the time. I am giving you the book when you come home. But here is one passage that absolutely makes me scream with is on page 103. He was talking about an ad he was working on for Junior Mints, the candy, when he worked in advertising. He was describing a time when he and a colleague figured out an ad campaign playing on the word mint as in enjoy MINT or entertain MINT: "We began laughing hysterically. We hunched over, clutching our stomachs and gasping for breath. It was as though we had been told the funniest joke in the history of the world that, for safety reasons, had not been revealed until now."

This reminds me... just a note on "mint." My friend John used the word "mint" to mean that something was, as I would put it, fabulous. After the visit from Jutta's Japanese friends I've found myself thinking "sagoy," a word they seemed to translate into "cool" or as I would put it, fabulous. My young Korean students would often proclaim "ASSA!" when something fantastic like "no homework" was announced. I wonder if I'll ever find a word to replace fabulous. I tried fantastic, marvelous, crazy... but they just don't do it for me like FABULOUS.

Monday, November 06, 2006

ding dong

One of the best parts about Korea: The Doorbell. At many hofs (a Korean version of a pub--where you can get food and beer) and restaurants you can find a button on the table that grabs the attention of the wait staff. When you need soemthing or you're ready to order, just ring the bell.


It's raining.

Cold, wet, dark. A completely unfriendly and ugly Monday morning.

oddities/recently discovered gems

green masking tape

green masking tape
Originally uploaded by superlocal.
Wake Up Andy Warhol

Work inspired by Andy:
Everything covered in tape, even the tape.

sunday with color

Here we have Rhu, Yu, and Kazumi of colorvariation with Jutta. We had a brilliant time Saturday night at the Eden party thrown at B1. I met loads of funky fabulous people and got to spend time with heaps of my Seoul favorites. Dancing, dancing, dancing. There must be lots of dancing, and there was. OH Yes, there was lots of dancing. Just what I needed.

On Sunday I met up with the queens and the colorvariation crew for brunch, the Wake Up Andy Warhol show, a quick jaunt around the palace, and then to Samcheon. I left them to check out the Basquiat show at Kukje Gallery.

Then... sleepy, so sleepy. I went home. I slept. I woke up and went for kalbi for the third time this weekend. I gave everyone a nipple (Jess named her nipple Penelope, Kazumi named his "silbah" or Silver, Rhu named her nipple Rain, and Yu came up with the best name, Whirlpool), and kissed them goodbye.