Friday, June 5, 2009

A Day in the Life of Rebekah Markovna and Thaddeus Charlesovich...

It occurred to us that we have not done a bland "daily life" post, which might be interesting, and at the very least will assure everyone that we neither starve nor even lack in the indulgences of our vices...

First: we buy water almost every day, in jugs like this:

And almost everyday, Malachi eagerly awaits the prized 'empty-bottle' toy. We let him play with it for a day or two, and then it goes into recycling. We recycle everything, by the way, which deserves a more extensive blog-post....

Next: Yes, we like Korean foods. Thaddeus tries more than I do, because he eats lunch at school everyday. Traditional Korean meals are composed of many smaller portioned 'sides,' and everyone at the table shares from the central dish and places it on his/her little plate, sampling each side. Here's some examples of recent (and common) foods we have eaten:

Thaddeus said that in many restaurants this is more noodly and less meaty. But from the place we were eating that night, it was like very marinated (very moist, very tender) roast-beef.

Now, the famous Kimchi:

Koreans eat kimchi with every meal. We don't, but we do like it - particularly the spice of it. It's fermented cabbage, but that doesn't really express much about the flavor. The taste is unique and somewhat an acquired thing, but we pretty much liked it from the start.

This is Malachi's opinion of kimchi.

The last food item of which we can provide a true-life picture is Gimbap, which is a variety of vegetables and meat wrapped inside of rice and sea-weed.

I think that the ingredients in our gimbap that day were: ham, cucumbers, carrots, eggs, and radishes. But any variety of vegetables would be ok. It's quite delectable, and the aftertaste serves as an excellent reminder to brush your teeth.

Finally, beverages. With effort, nearly any beverage to which you are addicted could be found here. We don't drink pop, but we do see coke and pepsi everywhere. Juices (orange, grape, apple, and mango!) are also available, and tasty.

Western alcohol is available and slightly less expensive than it is the U.S., but - Korean alcohol is extremely cheap. We recently tried a bottle of wine that cost 1,500 won (about $1!). Sadly, it tasted like medicine with the flu... I have high hopes for traditional Korean rasberry wine, though. It sounds good, and looks classy and is slightly more expensive - we have not tried it yet.

We have tried (tried is a tame word) their Soju. It's clear, nearly tasteless, like a very modest offspring of vodka, and extremely cheap.
A bottle is around $1, and six pack is around $4.50.

And... Coffee.

Coffee has been the bane of our Korean existence. Entire evenings have been spent searching the town for real (not instant) coffee, and, more recently for a coffee grinder. Thaddeus' brother sent us 2lbs of whole bean Starbucks coffee (for which we are truly grateful, ZACHARIUS) but we could not find anyone to grind it for our french press.

In a slightly larger radius than our immediate neighborhood, however, there are many options, including multiple Starbuckses. That will definitely be one of our weekend activities...