Thursday, May 28, 2009

Not a princess...

I had an incident this morning which reminded me very much of that children's story about the princess and the pea. Just in case you don't remember, the quick and dirty version is that the mother of the prince only wanted the best for his son, and said that if his bride to be was a true princess then she should not be able to sleep if there was a pea under her mattress. They piled up ten mattresses with a single pea beneath them and despite the initial skepticism of the mother-in-law to be, the princess wasn't able to sleep a wink.

Poor girl...

This morning I had a similar experience, although to my knowledge it was under the influence of no prospective mother-in-laws. When I woke up this morning, I noticed that there was not a pea, but a pea sized pebble between me and my mattress. I had slept all night, none-the-wiser, even though there was nothing between myself and my pea the the pyjamas I was wearing. If a true princess loses a night of sleep because of a pea under ten mattresses... what does that make me?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The gaping hole...

The gaping hole in my tooth is now gone!

As some of you know, the filling that once had a place in one of my rear molars departed some months ago, and it has been a little while that I've been dealing with quite a large hole in the back of my mouth! Since coming to Korea I had either been unable to, or too busy to find a dentist but I went on Monday and everything is all fixed up!

The dentist's office is really nice, and the people there all seem to speak a little bit of English, which is great. I'm really lucky to have found such a good dentist.

Going to the dentist in Korea, or to any doctor for that matter can be quiet interesting though... more information to come...

UPDATE: (May29) Directly from the dentist's office. I feel like I must be an important person, giving vital information about an important event, seeing as I am live-blogging my trip to the dentist's office! Alas, it is still only a dentist visit. Today I am getting a porcelain crown on the tooth where the gaping hole once was. They have to tweak something which should take 1/2 hour or so, and I'm cooling my heals in the waiting room until the crown is ready. I'm pretty excited to have a fully functioning tooth in my mouth, seeing as it's been so long.

The waiting room here is pretty snazzy for a waiting room, but I'm not surprised. Korea is very big on outward appearances, and the waiting room/reception area is the first impression you get of any doctor or dentist, so I can see how that would be especially important in Korea. It's a pretty big room with a really nice couch and elaborate fish tank on one side, then the desk area in the middle and on the other side of the room there are some chairs and even three courtesy computers so you can do what you have to do while you wait. I guess that's no surprise either seeing as Korean always seem to be working, but its awfully convenient. And of course it's the reason that I'm able to live blog to you right now! Whoo hoo!

In other dental news I have two more cavities! Yikes! One I knew that I had, and its pretty little, but the other one was hiding itself very well, and I had no idea it was there until I came to the dentist for the first time last week. Fortunately its tiny, and barely a cavity at all, but I'm still glad to know about it now so I can nip it in the bud.

My dentist is pretty great. His name is Dr. Kim and he really seems to know what he's up to. The funny this is, that there are five dentists here and they all have the last name Kim.

"So Laura, did you see Dr. Kim today, or did you see Dr. Kim?"

Hahaha... I'm soooo hilarious. Kim is such a common name in Korea that none of the doctors here are even related, they just all have the same name. It is easily one of the most common names in Korea along with Lee and Park. More common than any name I can think of at home even comes close to. In each of my classes of 10 students I have at least one Kim, often two or more. It's amazing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Mandu are a Korean dish that I have really fallen in love with since I arrived in Korea. They are a filled dumpling which are delicious, healthful (depending on how you cook them) and have I mentioned... delicious? Common fillings include meat, veggies, kimchi and noodles.

Mandu are very difficult to make by hand so I buy frozen ones at the local grocery store, but once they are made they are quite easy to prepare. There are one of two ways that you can do this. The first, and healthiest way is by steaming them, in which case they look like this:

The second, and most delicious, although much less healthy way is to fry them in a pan with oil, this makes them a little more crispy, which I really enjoy. They look like this:

Both types are usually served with a dipping sauce made of soy sauce and vinegar.

There are also different shapes of mandu, and of course different possible delicious fillings that can go inside the shell. My favourite type of filling is kimchi, which is a sure sign that I've already been living in Korea a little too long! haha

On a side note, you will be happy to know that the turtle is no longer nameless. This post is dedicated to him, as this delicious Korean dish is his namesake. I am proud to announce the turtle's new name: Mandu

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Two weeks: Update!

It has been two weeks since I posted anything, and I know, much longer since I have posted anything of significance, but I'm back again, and here to stay for a little while at least!

The problem is, that even in Korea you can set into a daily routine where nothing really seems blog worthy anymore. The last two weeks have been pretty much consumed with end of the term activities (aka: report cards) and recovering (aka: moping) from the departure of my best friend on May 6th. I have recovered for the most part though from both the departure and the report cards and hope to resume blogging on a semi-regular basis if I can think of anything to tell you about.

This is where you come in!

I know that you have read posts where something is only mentioned in passing, or maybe you've heard things about Korea or Korean culture from other people and you want to know about them. Please comment on this post, or on any other, about what you would like to hear about next. Naturally there are still many topics left untouched, but once your every day life has become every-day, things don't stand out as much as they used to and you stop considering them interesting.

Your challenge if you choose to accept it...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hate Math?

Then Korea has the toothpaste for you!

At my local department store, HomePlus:
Free tube of toothpaste when you purchase 6 bottles of soju!

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