Thursday, June 30, 2011

Abundance Aid: The Washing Machine

If you are an expat in Korea you would know that one of the most random things in your officetel-home is the washing machine. It comes in Korean and is also quite difficult to figure out. As I have lived in 4 different places here, I have had 4 different kinds of washing machines. At one place I even shared the laundry facilities with the people in my building.

This post of Abundance Aid is here to give you solace and help towards these confounded contraptions.

 1. Annyoung!: Sometimes as much as we think we know what we are doing we need a little help in the translation department. In this post they give us a good helping of translation and confidence to work our Korean washing machines.
A taste:
Programmed Settings
포준 - Standard
울 - Wool
란제리 - Lingerie 
2.  Bathhouse Ballads: Who else should know about laundry than the writer of Bathhouse Ballads. In this post you get to hear about how repairing such a machine can be a daunting task. "Despite the monthly fees, any breakdown can see me waiting up to two weeks for the required attention."

3. Karori to Korea: Often times just the first sight of your behemoth washing machine can be eventful. In this post they take you through a tour of their house and also a little view of their washing machine. Check the post for more.

4. Everyday Seoul: I am taking you into deep depths of the Kblogosphere now. This post found by random means and is dated, but can give you a nice snapshot. As you know, in Korea most people don't have dryers. That means you can get glimpses of laundry drying on rooftops or in doorways. Here is such an example.

It is fun to see how a common task in life can become a telling of culture. How have you met the task of doing laundry in Korea? Have you ever found yourself watching your machine spin on for hours and hours? I know I have. ;)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Abundance Yum!: Home Cooking

Although you can go out and get great food in Korea, both domestic and foreign, most of us cook at home. Either we are making something familiar (western style) or trying other country's recipes, home cooking can be very soothing to the wearied expat.

Today's post of Abundance Yum! will bring you around the Kblogosphere to show you different folks making home cooked meals. Hopefully, this will inspire you to take out your own pots and pans and cook up something delicious in your kitchen.

1. International Cat Lady of Mystery: She claims not to be a cook, in this post, but as you read you can definitely see that she made up a lovely little dinner. It is in the Korean taste and also very helpful if you want to make a particular seaweed soup. Take a look at the post to see a simple yet satisfying meal.

2. A Geek in Korea: When you are living with someone it is common to share the cooking duties. "I cooked last night, so it's your turn." Is what you might here in such a household. Over at "Geek in Korea", he shares the cooking with his wife. In this post you get to hear about their cooking experiences but also their times getting the ingredients. As most of us know, grocery shopping in Korea can be quite grueling.

3. Wonju Wife: Sometimes cooking at home can get really creative, and it happened here in her post about the creation "Junk Spaghetti." Including all the ingredients and directions like, "olive oil to your delight", you can find a fun recipe that will function as both a delicious meal and a way to get rid of extra stuff in your fridge. I highly recommend this read as it is fun and yummy.

4. Paul Ajosshi: A post about home cooking wouldn't be complete without a mention of Paul's good eats. In this post he shares with us a concoction of fried rice, which certainly looks yum-yum!

No matter what, cooking at home is best enjoyed when sharing it with other people. That is why I encourage you to get other folks inside your shoebox-apartment and share some good old wholesome food.

If you have any favorite meals you make at home, please share them with us as I am sure people would love to get some ideas.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Abundance Buzz: Korean Baseball Games

Although I have yet to attend a baseball game in Korea I know for sure that if I went it would be a great time. How do I know? Because over time many Kbloggers have written about their wonderful experiences at a Korean baseball game.

Here for you today are a few Kbloggers who have been to a baseball game in Korea and shared about it on their blog.

1. Coco in Korea: She attended a game last year but it was pretty memorable. She gives a tip on where the best seat should be, so why not go check it out?

2. The Harrington Times: Who knew that you needed specific reasons to go see a baseball game. Well I suppose when you see one in Korea there are particular cultural reasons that make it worthwhile. Here the blogger shares with us some great pointers including, "Experiencing the kind generosity of Koreans with gifts of squid, pigs feet and warm beer -- maybe even a kiss on the cheek!" Take a peek at the post to read more.

3. The Seoul Patch: I knew I couldn't leave him out of this topic. I have seen him talk about good times at sports events in Korea. I believe he knew the magical spot to sit at during the game since his pictures prove what fun he had. Check out the post to see what the experience is like at a Korean baseball game.

4. Seoul Eats: Dan usually blabbers on about food and great restaurants but now and then he has posts about cultural experiences. One line that captures it all is, "The energy at the game is always electric."

So if you are wondering what to do this summer and want to have a good old time, why not head out to a baseball game? Hopefully I too will have my first experience one of these days.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Abundance Featured: Karori to Korea

What I love about the Kblogosphere is that you can find any sorts of people living in Korea sharing their personal experience and be reminded of how great life is here. One such fun blog to read is "Karori to Korea", where you can see posts on recently eaten food and adventures that this couple goes on.

I asked, Karori to Korea, a few mind powering questions and got some lovely responses. This ExpatAbundance feature is proud to present Karori to Korea and hopes you become interested in their site, just as I have.

The Q & A:
1. The Tri-force Question: How long have you been in Korea? What's your job? Where are you from?

They have been in Korea for 9 months now. She works at two elementary schools, "used to be three and one of them had 12 students." He works at two middle schools. They are both from Wellington, New Zealand (or he is actually). She has lived there for six years but she's from Northland originally. (I suppose this is very important towards other Kiwi's.)

2. What does your blog title, "Karori to Korea" mean?

Karori is the suburb they lived in back when they were in Wellington. Quote: "...we're suckers for alliteration."

3. Name the number one most loved item in your fridge.

His most loved item is jalapeños "mmmm" and her's is Greek yogurt which was made via some powder sent from home. (Never heard of this before but does sound interesting.)

4. Is there a particular Korean food you crave now and then?

Because the temperature is getting hotter these days she is craving mul naeng myun, "love the sour/sweet broth and the chewy noodles on a stinking hot day!" He is craving bibimbop because, "his school teases him by only serving it occasionally."

5. When you feel homesick what do you do to fight the blues?

He calls his family on Skype and cooks Indian food. They live in a small town of Buan,  Jeollabukdo which doesn't have much foreign fare to offer besides the usual chicken places, so she bakes to relieve this craving. They've got a fancy toaster oven which was worth every ship-won. However, despite living in a small town they actually are surrounded by many New Zealanders whom get together and share good times.

6. What tourist attraction in Korea brought you the most pleasure / least?

 She loves the weird stuff you can find in the Insadong / Jongno / Anguk area like a Chicken Museum and Ice Gallery. Also enjoyed are the great tea houses there, especially at the bottom of Ssamziegil. He got the most pleasure from the Haesingdang Park in Gangwon-do. As for the least favorite, he was not pleased with having to go back to Naesosa in Buan for EPIK training. "It's okay as temples go, but really, once was enough." Her least favorite place was the Nonsan Strawberry Festival where she discovered it to be a "giant mudpit" but lacking in strawberries. "Best thing about it was seeing a woman in a couples' outfit rocking a 6 inch heel on one foot and a moon boot on the other, traipsing around in the slop. "

7. Do you ever wear mismatched socks?

They both do and he wishes that people would stop staring at his feet and worrying about the "trivial stuff" in life and rather care about, "ramyeon with cheese and parks full of penis statues." However, he is usually disappointed when it comes to this. Personally, I know how cheap and cute socks can be in Korea, so it is no surprise to hear how much she spends on them. "Since we arrived, Anna has spent about 250K on socks and should go to rehab for addiction as she has a serious problem."

 As you can see they can be a barrel-of-laughs and many posts on their blog make you smile too. Why not go over and give them a warm hello. I know if I am every passing through their neck of the woods I would love to grab a cup of tea and catch up on good times.