Talkin’ robot-speak blues

These days my voice sounds like a mix between Forrest Gump and a robot. If I’m not careful my voice will remain like this permanently.

This is the result of having taught English as a foreign language for six months now. Speaking like a normal person will invariably confuse the students, so for them I’ve learned to SLOOOOOW it down. But with my return to the States looming and a possible venture back into journalism, I’m worried I won’t be able to undo it.

It’s gotten to a point where even my thinking voice speaks like this — which, for the sake of example, sounds like something like this:

"Thee fo-toe-graph sits on top of thee man-tool."

Translation: The photograph sits on top of the mantle.

I worry also that when I return and see an Asian face, I’ll revert to this voice, in an Alzheimer’s-esque fit, thinking I’m back in Korea.

The “Asian face” will inevitably find this patronizing, and I could find myself going the way of Alexandra Wallace.

Dear Leaders

Dear Leaders

Thailand countdown: four days. Given my current credit card dilemma that may force me to carry only cash in Thailand, I am a little paranoid about being mugged, robbed, pick-pocketed, what have you. So I decided to ask my coworker, who has been there an astounding 13 times, if he thought Thailand was dangerous at all. This is what he said:
"No! Just some gays — because Thailand is very hot."
Hmm, yes. I see the correlation.

Thailand countdown: four days. Given my current credit card dilemma that may force me to carry only cash in Thailand, I am a little paranoid about being mugged, robbed, pick-pocketed, what have you. So I decided to ask my coworker, who has been there an astounding 13 times, if he thought Thailand was dangerous at all. This is what he said:

"No! Just some gays — because Thailand is very hot."

Hmm, yes. I see the correlation.

While we are on the subject of ramen, here is an interesting read on the idolatry of the noodles in Japan.
Henceforth, I think this blog will be a ramen blog.
Photo via the New York Times.

While we are on the subject of ramen, here is an interesting read on the idolatry of the noodles in Japan.

Henceforth, I think this blog will be a ramen blog.

Photo via the New York Times.

(Source: The New York Times)

Tags: ramen japan

I have subsisted for the last few days or so on a diet of mostly Shin Ramyun, better known as ramen noodles in the States (and I presume in other English speaking countries as well). But Shin Ramyun ain’t that putrid, vile noodle soup you forced yourself to eat when times were rough in college. Simply put, it’s legit.
I had a Korean-American roommate who would chow down on this all the time (The Korean noodle product is exported to 80 different countries, according to Wikipedia). At first I thought, “What is the deal with these noodles?” Well, let’s just say if coming to Korea has been revelational, it’s because of Shin Ramyun. Or should I say … Shin Ram YUM?
In closing, I leave you with a Ramyun-inspired haiku I wrote culled from the nutritional facts on the back of the package:
Nutrition serving
Calories: 180
Daily value

I have subsisted for the last few days or so on a diet of mostly Shin Ramyun, better known as ramen noodles in the States (and I presume in other English speaking countries as well). But Shin Ramyun ain’t that putrid, vile noodle soup you forced yourself to eat when times were rough in college. Simply put, it’s legit.

I had a Korean-American roommate who would chow down on this all the time (The Korean noodle product is exported to 80 different countries, according to Wikipedia). At first I thought, “What is the deal with these noodles?” Well, let’s just say if coming to Korea has been revelational, it’s because of Shin Ramyun. Or should I say … Shin Ram YUM?

In closing, I leave you with a Ramyun-inspired haiku I wrote culled from the nutritional facts on the back of the package:

Nutrition serving

Calories: 180

Daily value

I can has cheezburger?

"The Fresco Burger" from Jacoby’s Burger in Haebangchon. This is the Eiffel tower of hamburgers in Seoul. You have a moist and richly favored hamburger patty topped with mozzarella cheese, bacon, tomato sauce and a tower of onion rings. It is a beautiful thing to behold and a tad difficult to eat. The crunchy onion rings with the tar tar sauce, plush garlic beef patty, and mozzarella cheese fuses beautifully. After your burger you will be smiling with a halo of shiny beef grease around your mouth. Oh, and you can customize your burger just the way you want. Price: 10,000 won Phone: (02) 3785-0433 Where: Haebangchon

Via Seoul Eats.

I can has cheezburger?

"The Fresco Burger" from Jacoby’s Burger in Haebangchon. This is the Eiffel tower of hamburgers in Seoul. You have a moist and richly favored hamburger patty topped with mozzarella cheese, bacon, tomato sauce and a tower of onion rings. It is a beautiful thing to behold and a tad difficult to eat. The crunchy onion rings with the tar tar sauce, plush garlic beef patty, and mozzarella cheese fuses beautifully. After your burger you will be smiling with a halo of shiny beef grease around your mouth. Oh, and you can customize your burger just the way you want. 
Price: 10,000 won 
Phone: (02) 3785-0433 
Where: Haebangchon

Via Seoul Eats.

All right. I admit it — It’s cold. And the more the weather dips into subzero temperatures, the more I look forward to chillin’ bayside in places like this. Thailand in three weeks!

All right. I admit it — It’s cold. And the more the weather dips into subzero temperatures, the more I look forward to chillin’ bayside in places like this. Thailand in three weeks!

Photo via the Associated Press. Quote via Yonhap News Agency.

South Korea lit up a giant Christmas tree on top of a border hill near North Korea Tuesday amid concern that Pyongyang might attempt to strike down the glowing structure that it denounces as psychological warfare against the isolated nation.

Photo via the Associated Press. Quote via Yonhap News Agency.

South Korea lit up a giant Christmas tree on top of a border hill near North Korea Tuesday amid concern that Pyongyang might attempt to strike down the glowing structure that it denounces as psychological warfare against the isolated nation.

 
Photo via MilitaryPhotos.Net??? Excerpt via The Washington Post.

 
"If North Korea really attacks, we’re not going to line up," another said. "We’re just going to run."
For at least a few minutes Wednesday, South Koreans everywhere - in border towns and beach towns, offices and schools - play-acted a worst-case scenario. As part of the largest South Korean civil defense drill in 35 years, a dozen fighter jets flew low over the cities of Seoul and Pusan, staging a mock attack.
When air-raid sirens went off at 2 p.m., police tried their best to stop traffic nationwide. Workers, shoppers and tourists were directed into subway stations. Many, including Kim’s students, tried their best to grasp a threat that only recently had ceased to feel abstract.

Photo via MilitaryPhotos.Net??? Excerpt via The Washington Post.

"If North Korea really attacks, we’re not going to line up," another said. "We’re just going to run."

For at least a few minutes Wednesday, South Koreans everywhere - in border towns and beach towns, offices and schools - play-acted a worst-case scenario. As part of the largest South Korean civil defense drill in 35 years, a dozen fighter jets flew low over the cities of Seoul and Pusan, staging a mock attack.

When air-raid sirens went off at 2 p.m., police tried their best to stop traffic nationwide. Workers, shoppers and tourists were directed into subway stations. Many, including Kim’s students, tried their best to grasp a threat that only recently had ceased to feel abstract.

In light of the artillery fire on Yeonpyeong Island that killed four South Koreans, the past couple weeks have unearthed some important insight from people I will only identify as — and this will sound a little bloated — Koreans with whom we have working relations.
One person has expressed their disagreement with Pres. Lee Myung Bak’s policies against North Korea and called him a “warhawk.” In a way, this comment almost validates the propagandistic claims of the North Korean media that the South is in fact the provocateur here, depending on how you look at it. This person said that under previous administrations, there would not be nearly as many military drills as there are under Lee. In a separate discussion, he told me that South Koreans see the North as their cousins and that in soccer matches, while they root vehemently against the Japanese national team, they often cheer on the team that represents their number one political foe, North Korea.

In light of the artillery fire on Yeonpyeong Island that killed four South Koreans, the past couple weeks have unearthed some important insight from people I will only identify as — and this will sound a little bloated — Koreans with whom we have working relations.

One person has expressed their disagreement with Pres. Lee Myung Bak’s policies against North Korea and called him a “warhawk.” In a way, this comment almost validates the propagandistic claims of the North Korean media that the South is in fact the provocateur here, depending on how you look at it. This person said that under previous administrations, there would not be nearly as many military drills as there are under Lee. In a separate discussion, he told me that South Koreans see the North as their cousins and that in soccer matches, while they root vehemently against the Japanese national team, they often cheer on the team that represents their number one political foe, North Korea.