Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cooking class, shopping malls, and Seoul Tower

This last Friday after class, Kim and I went to a cooking show with some of our friends from Metro Academy.  The entire presentation was in Korean, but they did provide us with a list of ingredients written out in English.  Also, one of the instructors that went along with us speaks pretty fluent English so he tried his best to translate.  The entrée being prepared was Bulgogi Cream Sauce Lasagna with pickled cucumbers.

The beautiful woman in the front right is the wonderful Kim Johnson.  Behind her is our classmate from the Netherlands, Stephan and behind him is another instructor at Metro whose voice you can hear in the video translating. In the back left is another student in Metro who is from China. And sitting in front of her is our teacher.


Here are the cooking instructions written out in Korean.

And they were nice enough to provide us with the ingredients list in English.

Here's a visual of the ingredients.

If you click on the play button, you'll see a video of the demonstration in Korean. If you listen closely, you can hear the instructor in the background translating for us. I still have no idea how to make the dish. (Sorry, the videos are a little slow)

This is a picture of the final product. Basically beef lasagna with cream sauce. A little too cheesy for my taste.


And this was the pickled cucumber side dish that she also made. Pickled vegetables are a staple in almost every Korean meal.

Afterwards, we took a peek in the kitchen where the meals were prepared. The show is put on by a culinary school and these are some of the students who prepared the meal.

Later that afternoon, Kim and I decided to take a trip to the COEX mall.  Inside COEX is the Hyundai Department store.  This store was kind of random, but extremely impressive.   The store is an upscale one consisting of 6 floors with the first one being a supermarket.  This place made Trader Joes and Whole Foods look like an Aldi’s.  There seemed to be 20-25 counters with chefs at each one preparing fresh food that is packaged for sale.  There are also sales reps at each station trying to sell their product.  One thing that I have noticed about Korea is that their service industry puts the United States to shame.  Upscale or not, the workers at almost every store that we have been to have gone out of their way to make sure that we were taken care of.  The rest of the floors consisted of the usual clothes & accessories, home furnishings and electronics.

Here's a picture of Kim outside the Hundai department store.

This picture really has no significance, I just thought it was a cool look at the city. Also, notice that it snowed... this is the first time we've seen this in Seoul.


On Saturday, we decided to take a trip to another mall in Seoul called Lotte.  This mall was not as upscale as COEX but the inside of it was amazing.  The mall includes an ice rink, a amusement park, a shooting range and a swimming pool.  Below are some pictures and videos that we took.

Build-A-Bear has made it to Asia! With A-B being bought out, there aren't too many big corporations left that St. Louis can take pride in.

If you click on the video, there is a video of kids learning to speed skate in the middle of the mall. There were also figure skating lessons on the other side of the rink.

The point of the trip was to purchase a Nintendo Wii. Kim is already being dominated on a consistent basis.

Saturday night, Mr. Kim took us to Seoul Tower.  The tower is located on top of a small mountain located in the middle of Seoul.  Below are some pictures of our evening.

This was our destination.


And this was our means of transportation.

Here's a video from inside the cart. They really crammed us in there. If you turn up the volume and listen to all the voices, it can give you a little bit of a sense of what it's like living in a country where no one speaks English.

This is the view of the tower once we reached the top of the mountain.

There were sculptures like this suspended above us at the top of the mountain. I've seen pictures of this before and I'm not sure if these are the same one or if these are spread around Seoul.

There was also a teddy bear museum, here is Kim in front of the Christmas Display. The tree is made up entirely of teddy bears.

This is a random picture, but Kim was chasing down this girl because she was wearing her high school's uniform skirt as a fashion statement. 

This is a common view of what it's been like going places with Mr. Kim. He tends to walk about 2-3 feet in front of us, never turning around to see if we're behind him.

This is a view from the top of the tower. You can get a panoramic view of Seoul from there. Our views were limited due to the cloudy conditions. It was also getting late, so the sun was setting.

There was a restaurant at the top of the tower that Father treated us to. It consisted of an entree as well as a buffet of assorted Korean dishes. The view was incredible as the whole building is glass and overlooks the city.

Here we are getting ready to eat.

These are the entrees. We were kind of hungry and forgot to take a picture before we dug in.

It is Sunday night here in Seoul and the two of us are studying for our vocabulary test on Monday.  I cannot even remember the last time that I had to study for a test but I do not miss it at all.  I believe Mr. Kim is heading back to China tomorrow and I am not sure when he will be back.  Sang Kwun and Emily are arriving later this week and we are looking forward to celebrating the Korean New Years with them next Monday.  Supposedly the holiday is the biggest event of the year so I am sure that Kim and I will haves loads to blog about.   


Sara said...

Kim - don't dispair, I got a Wii for Christmas and my 8-year-old nephew dominates me and then throws it in my face. Little does he know, I've made it my life's mission to beat him at something - even if it is just bowling!! Take care!

Lindsey said...

too cheesy?!?!?! that's impossible!

also, mark, it's on. . .when you get back it's the Kerber's vs. the Johnson's at Wii bowling. . . you will BOTH be dominated!

sounds like you are having a great time. we miss you back here!!