Sunday, 28 August 2011

Tesco's Swiss Style Muesli

I finally found some muesli that looked like the kind of stuff i would eat. It was in Home Plus (Tesco in Korea) and although not the finest i have eaten, it was great with some banana. We also went shopping in a giant Costco and got some honey nut loops having decided that cereal for breakfast is the best way to ensure regular calcium intake - along with the odd yoghurt here and there. We have signed up for lunches at school - they are cheap and the menus are varied - mostly western but international - always a salad in addition to something hot with rice and some fruit so essentially healthy. It's good to eat during the day, although on the few occasions we have gone out to eat on a week day evening, it has led to over-eating and discomfort. We'll stick to eating out at the weekend and review the situation at Christmas.
Our first week at school seemed to go on for ages - and getting up at 6.30 to catch the 7.30 school bus has been a shock to the system - but the routine is now established and i inevitably got up at 7.15 yesterday (Saturday).
The neighbourhood is changing around us daily - an old style street in which the are still patches of garden growing plentiful chillies had a building demolished last weekend - a lovely pottery place which i am hoping has moved to premises elsewhere. I am hoping against hope that it is not replaced with another skyward climbing edifice which will block out the sun from the lovingly tended chilli plants. Pockets of green are already rare round here. We need to get out into the larger areas towards the outskirts - up in to the hills. We're just waiting for it to cool off a bit as it has suddenly decided to warm up again - needed the air con on today - the humidity was a bit much.
Another weekend has gone by with no attempt to learn any Korean. I need to join a class. I did however manage to find a time of the week when the pool is virtually empty - only 3 to a lane - and that was great. I also got to the Jagalchi Fish market - which was extensive and as fishy as i expected it to be. It is a part of Busan which has changed little over recent years while everything around it has moved on with the relentless march of progress.
I didn't buy any fish so we didn't have any for breakfast - or octopus. Bob was relieved that a) i didn't insist he come with me and b) i didn't bring any of it back here. So cereal and muesli it is and will stay.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Stainless steel chopsticks

We have been here a week and a day and our first impressions are positive. We are glad to be here, fortunate to have a wonderful appartment and to be in the thick of things and only a short walk from E-Mart, our kind of second home.
We have eaten some interesting and delicious things - Bibimbap (chopped up veg, a raw egg and rice with hot chilli sauce - you mix it up in a hot stone bowl), Galbi (barbecued meat with accompaniments all wrapped up in lettuce leaves) as well as baked spiny fish - again with soup and range of side dishes. All of the above served with Kimchi - an acquired taste which i am acquiring but Bob is wary of. We have also eaten vietnamese food, chinese noodles, noodles in ice - which was a shock as you couldn't see the ice on the photo we pointed to in the cafe. Perfect in this hot and humid weather though, not to mention perfect for coping with hot chilli in the sauce.
Korean chopsticks given to us so far have been stainless steel - this seems to sum up Korea for me: high-tech but traditional, clean and functional, a western take on a centuries old eating implement. And they give you a spoon to eat your rice with for when you are really hungry and chopsticks can't deliver the food quickly enough.

We also bought a rice cooker - there were hundreds of models and when we asked about the cheapest the lady told us that was from China but the one next to it was made in Korea - so we did the patriotic thing and she smiled as if to tell us we had done the right thing. Bob then created a pork stir fry after i had looked up the manual for the cooker in english - the rice was cooked and the meal was delicious.
We're still not sure what they eat for breakfast in Korea but we're guessing tradition dictates it's eaten with kimchi. Not in our flat it's not...not yet at least!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Only water today.

No breakfast today as we had to be at the hospital at 9.30 for our medicals. Luckily we had eaten plentiful amounts of barbecued pork last night in a great korean restaurant. The questionnaire we had to fill in to start with was an hysterical attempt in quaint and very badly translated English to get us to admit to recent mental health problems. Then followed blood, urine, height, weight, blood pressure, hearing and eye sight checks - i had to wear very stylish pyjamas thoughout but as they had none to fit Bob, he was allowed to wear his shorts and shirt. Hilarious attempts by the petite nurse to measure our large- framed American colleague around the chest had everyone in stiches, including the nurse. We love this place!

Sunday, 7 August 2011


Cheers everyone who wished us a safe journey - it went reasonably well with a few delays and hiccups but we arrived safely. We were met by a lovely colleague who guided us and our 5 heavy cases to our stunning 26th floor appartment. We struggled manfully to stay awake til the evening - we hadn't slept much on the journey so it felt like 5 am in reality - 24 hours without sleep. We slept well but are still tired today - an afternoon nap could have gone on for several hours so we snapped out of it to come out to a cafe to post this. Shopping in the E-mart has been our principle occupation so far - it's nice and cool in there and they do good icecream! The waves are crashing on to the beach - effects of a typhoon off the coast of China, apparently - hope it stays over there!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

All packed up

From a 3 bedroomed house to 118kg in 5 suitcases. Had a bit of a shock when we thought the excess baggage on Korean Air would add £1700!