Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cheese Neurons and Tea-fee

Since coming to Korea, I've noticed that I enjoy kimchi much less than I used to. When I was young, my sister and I used to go nuts for kimchi and basically run a victory lap around the house at the mere mention of its existence. We even used to make amateur kimchi using the wrong cabbage (western 'round' cabbage), which was technically more of a poorly-sliced chilli sauerkraut. Our youthful imaginations learned to compensate, and to us it was nearly as good as the real thing.
But because I eat the stuff everyday now, the neuron cluster responsible for kimchi enjoyment in my brain has been overstimulated and desensitized.

The opposite appears to be true for my cheese neurons. Korea is quite possibly the most cheese-deprived nation in the OECD, and it's a well known fact that an extended sojourn in Korea can increase one's cheddar hypersensitivity. Patrik from Sweden arrived in the country with a much higher dependence on all major cheese groups than me, and it was only a matter of weeks before the tell-tale signs of withdrawal set in. He was soon trekking all the way out to COEX mall from SNU station, just to buy New York Fries.
I'd never had these before, and he led me there one day. New York Fries is a Canadian franchise that sell all manner of kamjatwiggim topped with melted cheese, sour cream and whatever else your impending myocardial infarction desires.

We periodically receive banchan from lovely mother-in-law, who expresses her affection for us in kimchi kilos. It's not uncommon for us to receive more than we can consume, leading to Overstocked Fridge Syndrome.

Here's a typical spread of a mother-in-law-sponsored breakfast. Sometimes when I'm by myself, I get too lazy to make rice so I just whack some banchan in between two slices of bread.

I call it an EMW sandwich (East Meets West).

Here are the dusk silhouettes of Heather and me during one of our campus strolls. Heather wanted people to call her Ka-Hee for a while, but she seems to be less mindful of it these days. I started calling her Heather again in real life and the worst that happens is that I get tickled for punishment.

So, Heather it is.

I had to go to immigration to renew my F4 visa last week. I've now been in Korea for 4 years and my visa was renewed for another 3. Am I sick of this place yet? Well, not really. Korea has it's frustrations, but that isn't unique to any particular country. And thanks to the hard work of GOA'L a few years ago, the process for obtaining an F4 visa is refreshingly easy.

That's Heather's Yogi Bear shirt. She likes to wear different old shirts around the house. There are three main ones, which I've entitled Yogi Bear, Lonsdale and The World. It's like having a different theme for each day. I like The World best, because it has a small amount of geographical information.

After you get married, you tend to do less grinding in the hip-hop clubs and more grinding of coffee at home.

Which is great, if you like coffee.

Sometimes in the mornings I have difficulty deciding whether I want tea or coffee. Tea is higher in antioxidants, but coffee has more of a caffeine-happy kick. The optimum solution would involve the best of both worlds.
To resolve this dilemma, I often fill a mug with 3/4 hot tea, and then 1/4 coffee. I call this drink Tea-fee. It tastes a little strange, I must admit. But variety is the spice of life.

You may like to try it for yourself sometime.


MK said...

Hi. I've been following your blog for a while but I think it's my first time commenting.

coffee + tea mix :o wow..
I don't really drink coffee coz' I have a weak stomach but I sometimes mix cocoa with coffee. It's quite good :)

Anonymous said...

I think I found some cheese in the costco which is a super big American supermarket chain which originally was for shopkeepers -
mind you you, it's more Americanized stuff so if you are used to the European high quality it's not enought but I think Australia lies somewhere in between the US and Europe for its quality/variety of cheese.
The closest one might be the one in Yangje, it's better if you have a car.

Bradpetehoops said...


David said...

all adoptees should get some form of automatic citizenship. afterall, it was not a choice.

Jimmy said...

I seriously crave cheese now, which is weird because I wasn't that keen on it before we came to Korea.

On mixing foods: My students made me two ham, cheese, & jam sandwiches for me during my summer camp.

I didn't have the heart not to eat them, so I battled through. They weren't as bad as I thought they'd be.