Monday, November 16, 2009

Miss Independent

I think I have finally arrived into that strange world where you are an adult and can't call your dad to fix things at your place. I've never been much of a handy-woman, although my dad DID teach me how to paint a room like a pro, I can mow the lawn better than my brothers, I can check my oil, I can trim hedges, I can pressure wash, etc...all fairly simple things, but things my dad passed on. Things he didn't pass on: computer fix-it knowledge, plumbing knowledge, etc. So, when the chain to the toilet plug thingy broke yesterday and I'm a gazillion miles from my dad, what do you do???

You figure it out. I took a picture of said toilet plug thingy because I don't even know the word for it in ENGLISH much less Korean. I walked past a hardware-y kind of store and showed the man the picture. He gives me a replacement part for 1,000 won (like, 75 cents) and I'm on my way. I texted my boss to let him know of the problem, because I'm thinking there's no way I'm going to be able to put this thing together.

BUT I DID IT!!! I know this may seem like a trivial accomplishment to many of you, but I'm not a gadget girl...I don't do these things well. But, one new toilet plug thingy and 5 minutes later, I have a working toilet.

I am an independent woman.

Now, if someone will just come fix my computer for me ;)

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I haven't blogged in quite awhile and that's because I've felt overwhelmed by everything I want to share. I feel like I've gotten to do some really cool things with some really cool people and I want to write about it, but then I sit down to do it and.......nothing. So, here's my attempt to get back into it with a quick post about something completely Korean that I think is cool.

So, everyone knows that kimchi is THE signature dish of Korea. There are so many different kinds, but it's pretty much fermented cabbage and spices served as a side dish with every meal. variations include radishes, other greenery, some roots, and other things like that. Some is REALLY good (cough Brian's mom's kimchi cough) and some is so-so. You can buy it "fresh" at the store or in jars, or just go to your favorite mom and pop restaurant and keep asking for more (side dish refills are free, yo!).

This time of year (fall-ish, getting colder) is kimchi making time. I knew this but hadn't seen it happening until I walked home after lunch one day. My favorite dakgalbi restaurant had a whole group outside making kimchi. They wash the cabbage and half it, then put mounds of them in big plastic containers and sprinkle rock salt all over it to draw out the water...then they add the other root vegetables, their personal selection of spices and additives (pear juice anyone? fish sauce?) and then layer it into big plastic bins ("back then" they used big kimchi pots and left them outside) and put those into their kimchi fridges. Very cool to see, and very traditional. Pictures do a better job of letting you see the work in progress. I'll be eating this kimchi in about 6 months! Yay!Very common sight in my neighborhood, where people put their peppers out to dry. These will be used in soups, kimchi, and many other dishes. A group shot of the kimchi makers!You can see the big bins of salted cabbage on the far left, and the lady with the striped shirt is the one who owns my favorite restaurant. She and that man are shredding radish and the women in the background are cutting up what looked like green onions (but massive ones).
LOTS of cabbage and my sweet restaurant lady (I need to learn her name!)...