Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Things I'm looking forward to doing this winter in Korea

Thankfully, I'll have a much lengthier winter break than last year. And unlike a year ago, I hopefully won't get sick as my body gets shocked by the cold Korean winter.

Here are the following things that I'm looking forward to doing:

1) Walk in from the cold to eat something hot and/or spicy

Piping-hot kalguksu. Sizzling samgyeopsal. Tongue-scorching spicy galbi-jjim. I can't wait to come in shivering from the harsh winds, melt my hands by the searing coals in the middle of the table, and guzzle down some hot hot food.

2) Take the metro across the frozen Han River

I live just on the southern banks of the Han River, so if I take the metro and want to go north, I have to cross the river. I just really like that long and uninterrupted glide from one side of the river to the other. It kind of reminds me of that part in Spirited Away when Chihiro and her friends take that train across the ocean.

3) Order jjajangmyeon (noodles in black bean sauce) when it's too cold to go outside and I'm sick of eating ramen

In case you don't know, jjajangmyeon is to Koreans what pizza is to Americans. It's the omnipresent default delivery food and eating too much of it all the time is usually a sign that you're a broke student or perhaps failing at life in some way. Jjajangmyeon is even the official food of Black Day, which is a sarcastic "holiday" for people who didn't get anything on Valentine's Day or White Day (which takes place a month after Valentine's Day and has girls giving chocolates to guys).

But regardless of its connotations, jjajangmyeon is delicious and I can't wait to eat it when I get home. I just feel a bit bad for the delivery guys who have to scooter through the snow to deliver the foods AND return later to pick up the dishes. It's too bad that it's against Korean custom to tip because these guys deserve it.

4) Get caught up on Korean TV and Korean celebrity gossip

ZOMG, did you see who was holding hands with whom out in public this weekend?! Who did you say had a secret marriage from a decade ago?! Who accused whom of plagiarizing his music?!

5) Travel somewhere else in Asia

This is obviously something I can't do in Korea, but since the break will be a lot longer this year, I'm hoping to travel somewhere else in Asia that I've never been before. I would really like to go to Vietnam because I really like Vietnamese food and I want to see the countryside. I'm not a beach person so perhaps places like Thailand and Bali aren't going to be my destination. I've been wanting to go to Hong Kong for the longest time though. So many places!

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