Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Baseball may be American’s national pastime, but its rank as baseball-lovingest nation is rivaled by Korea’s unchecked zeal.  Yesterday we went to our first Korean baseball game at Sajik Stadium where the Lotte Giants (our home team) faced off against the LG Twins.  

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A Little Taste of Home

Guess what we found in the basement of the Lotte Department store in Nampo, a shopping district in downtown Busan?

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The Krispy Kreme here has all the old favorites, even a HOT NOW sign.  We opted for a green tea pistachio and a mango doughnut.  Pictured below, they were both delicious.  

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Asian Political Commentary

Spotted at the Busan Museum:  Image

 

This monument was, um, erected centuries ago to “commemorate” the work of a Dongnae magistrate named Yu Sim.  You gotta love a cultural who can somehow manage to honor a politician while still calling him out for exactly what he is. 

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Mother, Mother Ocean

So, Ric’s definitely of the mountains, and I am most certainly from the coast.  Debates have raged throughout our relationship over altitude, humidity, the merits of salt air, and the beauty of the world from a mountain top.  We won’t even get started on what you call the thing you put your groceries in at the supermarket.  (For the record, it’s a CART, Westerners, not a “buggy”.)  Something we love about Busan is that it is a coastal city surrounded by mountains….the best of both worlds.

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On Hallowed Ground

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 A couple of weeks ago, we visited Beomosa Temple, located on the outskirts of Busan near the end of the Orange Line subway.  This was our first real excursion to anywhere other than work, the grocery store, or the places we had been required to go in order to get our residency paperwork established.

Beomosa is the fourth largest temple in Korea, and it houses several national treasures and religious artifacts. We were looking forward to an unforgettable day, and Beomosa didn’t disappoint.

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The Namesake

So, you’re probably wondering what exactly kimbap is.  Or at least, you should be if you don’t already know.  It is, after all, our blog’s name sake.  

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The easy way to describe kimbap is to call it Korean sushi.  However, as one of our favorite blogs, Mary Eats, says, kimbap is “more proletarian than sushi”.   Kimbap is a combination of dried seaweed (called kim or gim) and rice (bap).  It can be filled with a variety of different foods; ham, carrot, egg, bitter melon, and something that tastes vaguely of sweet pickle are the most common, but there is also bulgogi (beef), tuna, and a whole variety of other kimbaps.  

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Working It Out

One of the things we love most about our life in Busan is how active it is.  Since the buses are insanely crowded most of the time, if it’s less than twenty minutes away, we walk there. After a couple years of trekking up and down these hills with backpacks full of all our groceries, we should both have killer legs to show off when we get back to the States. 

That said, this week we got restless enough to seek out an actual workout, besides the 45 minutes or so we spend walking every day.  Busan is city of coastline and rivers, and the river nearest our house has an amazing greenway built into it that follows the river through most of the city.  

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Southern Hospitality

Damnit.  We had done it again.  Swiped our subway pass at the wrong turnstile and gotten in line to get on the right train going the wrong way.  In our defense, when you live in a city that has a subway line with Jangsan at one end and Yangsan at the other, you can occasionally hear or see things the wrong way.  

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Rainy Day Women

Rainy Day Women

Monsoon season is no laughing matter. It rained buckets today….sand buckets, garbage cans, Dumpsters….. it poured all the water in the greater Northeast Asia area down on our heads as we attempted to trek to Immigration and work and the bakery. The sidewalks flooded ankle-deep. The buses sloshed gallons of water as they zoomed by. And, if the locals aren’t playing some crazy mind game with us, it’s gonna do this for the next two weeks or so. I think I’m gonna get a bigger umbrella.

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The Grocery Store

On Saturday, we successfully took on not one but two grocery stores in our quest for passport photos and other necessities.  In this way, we learned a hard lesson.  Future Korean residents, take note:  DO NOT GO SHOPPING ON SATURDAY.  EVER.

Shopping in Korea is already really overwhelming, even though it seems like something that should be easy.  First, we have to figure out how to get to the grocery store.  For example, our HomePlus (the Tesco all-purpose grocery store in our neighborhood) is only about a ten minute walk from our house….in theory.  However, because of the way the road interchanges are set up, we have to walk two blocks past the store, cross the highway, and double back.  This took a little figuring out on our first trip and almost resulted in our getting crushed by several Korean drivers.  We are convinced they get double points for Westerners.

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