7/15/2010

Summer "Sarang"


Sarang means love in Korean and I think it's an appropriate title for this post...it seems to be EVERYWHERE! Damn horny kids! Just kidding...but I spent last week attending my best friend's wedding in NJ! How beautiful and elegant it was...and I definitely cried like a baby at seeing the first of my besties tie the knot. **sigh** Too many childhood memories to recount. It's kind of funny, but out of our friends, I think she and I were the only ones who never really visualized or talked about our "dream weddings". Some little girls have colors picked out by middle school! I've always had trouble picturing what my wedding would look like, but now I'm almost certain I'll be on a sleepy beach somewhere, barefoot, tanned, and curly afro blowing in the wind. Very intimate, short ceremony so I can get onto dancing and partying. Yup, that sounds nice. :)

Anyway, here are pics from the lovely affair - hopefully none of me crying!

**the bride getting ready**

**bridesmaids in bathrobes!**

**our flowers**

**a toast before the ceremony**

**the groom started to cry and so did i...**

**kiss kiss!**

**love these ladies!**

**my folks going down the Soul Train line - this is surprising to no one...they like to have a good time!**

**the women who raised me**


Korea is still the land of coupledom. I still don't get why men and women don't wear wedding rings when they're married. Just seems like an invitation for infidelity to me. Not that a ring will deter those who want a little kimchi on the side. But now that I'm in a relationship, I can stomach the lovebunnies easier. Sometimes. Suddenly, that hand-holding, piggy-back riding, smooching-at-stop-lights crap becomes endearing. That's right - I've been seeing someone since February and things progressed normally, at a comfortable pace for both of us. And now, things are official. The way it happened was so...normal. I told him I thought there'd be fireworks or fanfare...SOMEthing to signal such a momentous occasion, right? But nope. It was all very quiet and calm, just two people making a decision to take it to the next level. Looks like I may be something of a grown-up after all. But he happens to be Caucasian, which I don't believe comes as a surprise to anyone. Actually, it surprised me. Never thought I'd go to the other end of the spectrum because I assumed (wrongly) that a White guy just wouldn't "get" me, that he wouldn't be able to understand my "Blackness" or.....something....I thought there wouldn't be a common ground or basis for understanding. But I was wrong. I was especially nervous on our second date when I returned from a trip to Spain with my afro out (not like the one pictured above but curlier and...tamer. lol) I thought for sure he'd be turned off by it. But the first thing he said was "Wow, I love your hair" And I mumbled something about how it wasn't acting "right" that night. Over the course of 3-4 months, he saw my hair in every state imaginable - and surprisingly, loved them all. So that earned him pretty big points in my book. Accepting my hair, for whatever reason, is inherent to accepting me, as a whole woman.

Anyway, not sure why I am rambling about that. But I noticed a lot of the traffic to my blog concerns two main searches - teaching in Korea and Korean boys/black women. So obviously, there is a great interest in interracial pairings. In fact, this interest plays out in real life based on the people who stare, sometimes blankly or curiously, when we walk down the street together. He notices it far more than I do. But I think after dating in Korea, nothing bothers me. Haha.

Until then,

J

7/07/2010

My Quest for "Kogi" (Meat)

The last time I was in Korea, I lost a lot of weight. I'm not sure if it was due to my weird work schedule, my psycho gym schedule, or a mild touch of depression, but I was super skinny. I could even wear skinny jeans. Now, my skinny jeans are screaming a bit. I seem to crave meat now....A LOT. If you've never had Korean BBQ, you should. And if you're a vegetarian, it's worth breaking your habit for a day. But my obsession with kogi goes far beyond the normal oh-let's-have-some-on-the-weekends type of thinking. I want grilled meat almost everyday. Because I have a smidgen of dignity left, I don't indulge myself everyday but I want to. I cannot figure out why I just cannot control myself and I worry about returning to the States and not having daily access and wafts of grilled goodness. I've grown to love all kinds of Korean grilled meat, like cha-dol-beh-gi, thinly sliced beef, looks like bacon and tastes like heaven...I especially like this type of meat because it cooks quickly and thereby gets to my mouth faster, too.

**Cha-dol-beh-gi**

**Mok-sal**

Then there is mok-sal, the neck (and hence meatier) portion of the pig. Sam-gyup-sal is quite popular but it's too fatty in my opinion. I like lean kogi. :)

**I thought eating grilled meat the night of the Korea/Uruguay game would help the Red Devils win - it did not. But I ate well anyway!**

**with my "dong-seng" (little brother), eating grilled meat in Hongdae**

**Roomie Regina showing off the goods...**



**Regina's friend from Sweden prepared some traditional summer meal with lots of fish, alcohol, eggs, and tomato/mozzarella....hello food coma!**

**traditional Korean meal at Korea House, a government owned historical restaurant**

**Having some beers near Apgujeong**

**Enjoying some cheesy chicken deliciousness at a spot in Hongdae...the beer cups were actually old US military cups...kinda neat**



**Eating BBQ chicken (tak-galbi) with English teachers**

So yes, my quest for grilled kogi in Korea continues. I actually think it is more the total experience that I love - the smells flowing from the window, sitting down and seeing the grill (mouth starts watering), setting the table (with metal chopsticks, napkin, and spoon), looking at the menu to select the types of meat, ordering alcohol, etc. Everything just relaxes me and my mind equates grilled meat (and I guess food in general) with relaxation. Weird huh? Oh well, my jeans will just keep on screaming because I'm not giving up my kogi. :)

I also saw some interesting advertisements on the subway for plastic surgery. I must admit, simplicity sells. But something just seems....wrong about these? Plastic surgery is rampant in Korea so I cannot say I am surprised at all, but many of the surgeries, to me, are to "westernize" their features (like the eyes and facial structure). And honestly, I love Asian features so I guess I don't understand the obsession with changing that. I dunno, you be the judge.

**Change your breast**

**Change your facial bone**

**And my favorite - change your eyes**

Until then,
J