Thursday, August 16, 2007

Alice Cooper waves goodbye to Summer

"People, people, please" the harried and exasperated voice says over the chatter of unthrilled youths dropping unopened notebooks on not new wooden-topped desks with pen-carved graffiti and professions of love or hate.

"Time to settle, people" continues the voice in something just above a drone, to heedless ears.

Final bell rings and feet shuffle into something of a disorderly order, reluctant to admit that they're exactly where they are. Smiles fade as talk ebbs; smirks and grimaces take over in their place.

It is no longer "School's Out for Summer", and Alice Cooper and the current group of students covering every grade from preschool on into graduate school bemoan the return of teachers, books, and dirty looks.

Of course, for Alice at least, there is the golf course -- as his days of metriculation ended a few back. For everyone else it's a return to business as usual, whether that is scraping by just above flunking out or fighting for A's.

For many parents however - it's the beginning of nine months of vacation....

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Beef Bulgogi

Beef = bul
gogi = something kind of like a dim sum but fried.

beef bulgogi = redundant.

But that's how Koreans let us know we're not ordering dog.

ke = dog

Ever heard of kegogi? I've heard it called "meat on stick". But it would more likely be described as "dog meat appetizer". I never saw any in Korea, by the way, at any of the local restaurants I visited, nor sold by street vendors. And yes, I did see dogs in Korea. They were all adored family pets. No, I did not see any stray dogs. Nor stray cats. Nor mice, rats, birds... seems the only infestation in the cities were the people. And no, there's nothing to be read into that sentence.

I grew up land-locked, so I was impressed by the fish for sale in the local markets. I've never been to Fisherman's Warf or any other port fish market, so I won't even begin to compare. But I will give a brief listing of some of what I saw (and could identify):

sea bass
eels (squirming in buckets)
dried fish heads
tuna on ice
filets of all sorts
anchovies
sardines
(dried, shrunken, fresh, frozen, alive)
squid (alive, dead)
octopus (alive, dead)
flounder (alive)
things that looked like grey penises (alive)

The list at the market was far more extensive than what I saw in the restaurants, which was another reason why I'm relieved I didn't get invited to anyone's house for dinner while I was there. Heaven only knows what I would've been introduced to! (I might have liked it, but it's such a crap shoot.)

At least I could rely on good ole, redundant beef bulgogi....

Tuesday, August 07, 2007