Saturday, September 19, 2009


Today, we went grocery shopping and bowling ("polling" in Korean, it's what the subject says).  The street market was a fabulous experience.  They were very helpful to us, I'm afraid they didn't learn as much from us; I want to figure out how to remedy that.  Here's an old picture to remind you what the market looks like:

It was very busy today (so was Lotte Mart when we went there for spices and sauces later).  It's so busy because Chuseok ( 추석 ) is coming up on October 3rd.  People are out stocking up on food to feed their extended families (a lot like our Thanksgiving only they give gifts on this day).  The prices at the street market are about half of what we were paying at Home or Lotte Mart.  From now on, we'll get all of our produce at the traditional market.

Some key phrases we learned (written as phonetically as possible):

How much is this?   ---   Olma-eyo? 
Discount, please.   ---   Gaka, chuseyo.
More, please.   ---   Pa, chuseyo.
One more, please.   ---   Hana man the, chuseyo.
What is this?   ---  I da m/boy-eyo? (the sound is a cross between the m and b.  Rosetta Stone actually taught me how to say this).

After our street market adventure, we went bowling (it turned out to be regular 10-pin... I don't know about this 9-pin Korean bowling people talk about on the internet).  The alley we went to is near Jecheon Station.  It's on the second floor of a building.  The place itself waws nice, but there was a lot of garbage and a bit of a construction mess to make your way through before you got into the building.  Upon arrival, we learn that Michelle is actually on a bowling team.  Despite all of Michelle's good natured attempts to help me, I still proved terrible at real life bowling.  Ian and I should really stick to Wii bowling.  THe first game he bowled a 79 and I bowled a 51.  The second game I beat him 74 to 55.  Michelle bowled a 127 the second game and Iris scores stayed in the high 70s.  It was shameful, but very fun.  They found our "blow it up" fist bump to be amusing and I'm pretty sure I saw them attempt their own.

Ian's awesome shirt did not improve his game.

Michelle has excellent form and a snazzy colored ball that she actually owns.

I have terrible form.

Iris has given up on her throw before the ball hits any pins (you can still see the ball).

Ian throws the ball way before the line.  He throws it so hard it hits the lane with a "THUMP!" every time.  The girls always reacted to his throws with a vague "Ohhh!"

Iris and I are super cool.  Iris is married and has a super cute 3 year old little girl.  I'm glad we met another young married person.  It's pretty unusual to marry in Korea before your mid to late twenties.  The photo with both of us throwing the "V for victory" (Asians don't see it as "peace") is too blurry to post.  Oh, and Koreans don't smile much in photos.  These people do like us, I promise!

Party shot of the four of us.  Ian's head is floating (as usual) and I'm giving my best Little Foot impression for some unknown reason.

Bowling shoes in Korea are not nearly as stylish as the ones in the States.  Mine were a little too big and Ian's were WAY too small.  Our Korean shoe sizes are around 100 (Ian) and 40 (me).

I took some pictures of our fridge (after shopping today).  I wanted to show you all that we have food.  Many of you have asked how we eat here, and some of you have seemed a little concerned.  We're getting better at shopping in Korea and knowing what we need.  No longer are we eating primarily soup, but we are trying to balance feeling full and eating heathfully (as in, not eating two whole cups of rice in one sitting).^^  <------ Korean internet smiley.

Our sad freezer.  Frozen french fries on top and bananas (for pancakes) on the bottom.

The door of our fridge.  Top:  butter, jam and mustard.  Second: garlic cloves and rice cake candies.  Third: soymilk, Coke Light (absolutely necessary!), dressings and condiments.  Bottom:  juice (it's juice that made like soymilk is, so it's a bit thicker and bottles of filtered water.

The package of rice cake candies.  They're covered in coconut and sliced jujubes (apparently, they're not just a candy in the states, in real life they're a Chinese date!).  Inside each is a red bean.  They are pretty yummy, but not as flavorful as the Western palate is used to.

Our fridge!  Top: veggies and fruit. Second: extra batter (like tempura and pancakes), tubu (that's Korean for tofu [which is Japanese]), and eggs.  We go through a surprising amount of eggs. Third: potatoes, sweet potatoes and bellflower root.  There are more fruit and vegetables in the crispers and on top of the fridge.

Cupboard #1.  On top there is ramen, noodles, "oatmeal," flour, pancake mix, peanut butter and brown sugar. On the bottom shelf is all the junk food that we've been acquiring.  We only bought the crackers.  The rest was given to us.

Cupboard #2!  Rice and cereal.  Underneath is our "spice cabinet."

Now you know way more about our eating habits then you needed or probably wanted.

Tomorrow is my 23rd birthday!  We bought a cake tonight from a little shop in our neighborhood.  It looks like its some sort of chocolate/coconut combination, so it should be great.

I'll be sure to tell you all about our celebratings tomorrow.

One for the road:

Delicious rice candy! Nom nom nom.


  1. Happy pre-birthday! Mmm, cake. I hope it is super chocolatey, or at least really tasteful to your western palate.
    I especially like your key phrase of "What is this?"

  2. Looks like you had a lot of fun, and are making friends. Love the outdoor market, maybe I can peddle my wares there. If you keep this up you will be speaking Koren well in no time.

  3. Mom, you keep writing "Koren" on accident. It cracks Ian and I up. I don't see many candles around. Mostly just the cheapies sold at random stores.

    "What is this?" is surprisingly necessary! :)

  4. Glad to see the cupboards aren't bare and that you can get fresh food for half what you were paying before. Now practice your price haggling phrases before the next trip.

    And we took Ian bowling when he was growing up. What's with this 55 and 79 stuff? And throwing the bowl before the line? Ha! I bet I could beat you.

    Thank goodness Cari got you Rosetta Stone because I'm trying to sound out a m/b combo sound and it can't possibly be as disgusting as I'm making it sound.