Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fifty shades

I think S. Korea probably has some of the best looking green leafy vegetables I've ever seen.  Actually, green anything vegetables.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Fifty shades of

Yes, there are exceptions.  Few red cars.  Few blue cars.  Few yellow cars, except maybe taxis.  But the RULE...the rule is what you see below me.

The BEST breakfast sandwich in Seoul!

Since Paris Baguette finally wakes up around 8:30am I find myself without having eaten anything.  When that happens I just cross the street and order a wonderful $2 toasted sandwich made with ham, egg and slaw from this wonderful woman.

It's...wonderful!  And I get service with a smile.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Paris Baguette: Where's the Croissant? Heck, where's the food?

I arrive at the Paris Baguette at 7:15AM. By American standards this is already very late.  By Houston standards due to all of the heavy traffic, people hit the road as early at 5am to get to work, 7:15AM might as well be noon.

So, I am just shocked that there really is no breakfast-type foods.  Right now it's 7:30AM and a truck has arrived and the workers are wheeling out the empty cartons that brought in the pre-prepared food.

Croissants, which are baked fresh, won't hit the shelves until about 8:00am at the EARLIEST.

I'm not used to this and it sort of amazes me that Koreans put up with this.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pizza in Korea and Germany.

Friday night is Pizza Night at our house.  No matter where we are.  Houston, Dresden and even in Seoul.  Especially in Seoul.

We've settle on Dominos, but we still buy Pizza Hut Pizza.  But if I had my druthers and if I could, I would buy German pizza from Calla Pizza.

When we first moved to Dresden and decided to order pizza, it was rather daunting.  We had flyers from various places around town.  A couple of places I called and simply asked "sprechen Sie English?" was met with "nein!" and then a hang-up.  Finally, I found a pizza house that could take our order in English.  Lucky for us we discovered the ease and beauty of ordering pizza online and we never looked back.

I still have a scan of the Calla Pizza flyer we got back in 2005.  I was stunned.  American pop culture finding its way to the old East Germany in the most bizarre way:

We settled on Calla Pizza as the go-to place to order delivery.

We never ate pizza from Pizza Blitz but I loved this front cover of their menu.

Freddy Fresh had some crazy menus, too.  I'll have to see if I can find them.

In the meantime here is a rather dated Calla Pizza commercial:

And now, in Seoul, we've found Pizza Hut and other franchise parlors have taken pizza to a new level.

Here in Seoul, trying to order delivery from the website, even in English was a little daunting.  At first, we would try to order delivery from Pizza Hut, but the Seoul address system is a little Byzantine.  We just couldn't figure out how to input our address.

So Pizza Night started with me ordering pizza for pickup.  The assigned store to our area was awkward to get to by bus, so I would walk down to the street, hail a cab and have it drop me off at the Pizza Hut.  Then I would try to catch another cab to take me home.  Sometimes it was easy.  Many times it was not. This had the effect of adding another $10 to the cost of the pizza.

Some of the pizzas...well..don't look like pizzas I've ever seen.  It's like South Korea took possession of The Pizza and made it its own.  So, here is a snapshot of Korean Pizza at Pizza Hut's website:

Now, they don't all look like this. They still sell the normal stuff, too.

Another chain named "Mr. Pizza" has some rather exotic pizzas as well:

I hope you're also paying attention to the hair-raising prices.  It's pretty close to 1,000 wan to $1.  So, the large Seafood Island would cost about $38.

Again, to my relief, Mr. Pizza also has the old standby Pepperoni Pizza for whimps like me.

Here's a Dominos Pizza Commercial in Korea:

The dancing you see in the Korean commercials is a little on the rigid side.

And a Pizza Hut Korea commercial for your enjoyment:

빙그레 아카페라 CF 소지섭So, Ji-sub _ 30'

I put the title just as it appears in the Youtube video.  I'm not a lover of instant coffee, but these cannisters of coffee come in handy.  In the 7-11s and GS25 stores you can often find them in glassed warming cabinets.  So, you reach in and take out a nice, warm metal container of coffee.

What intrigues me and amazes me is the use of American or British music in a foreign commercial.

Something you will never ever see in the USA. And the government would do anything to stop it

I was in Tokyo, Japan to complete my work visa for South Korea.  I wasn't there longer than a day.  On my way to my terminal I saw this very, very intriguing banner.   The idea was amazing and so foreign since the US is now the #1 Nanny state right behind the likes of Venezuela and maybe Cuba.

Vitamin C sprayed at you from your car?  I'm not sure the idea would catch on. But would an American entrepeneur even try?  I doubt it.  He'd be afraid the heavy foot of the regulators would come crashing down on his neck.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Tokyo Train Station

You can easily get lost in this giant station.  I found myself wandering aimlessly checking out all of the stores. I finally made my way outside to see just how big it was.  I took this panoramic photo.  Now, this is just the front.  The train station is deep, very deep, too.

It looks like I goofed up the left side of the photo.  It looks like it has two towers when there is only one.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Buddhist Temple decorations

We're out for a stroll near where I work.  This is a buddhist temple nearby.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Coffee Houses of Seoul

Just crazy.  I mean crazy.  There are cafes and coffee shops everywhere.  I was told that when Starbucks moved to Seoul it created hundreds of copycats.  Thus, Seoul has got to be one of the best cities for coffee.

And the names of these places defy description.  This is one of my favorite names:

I'm sure there coffee is fine.  But the name.....well....not so good.

Snow with a view

Besides the steep hill we have to endure, the view out our front window is very nice.  It's not Winter now, but here are a couple of photos I took of the view.

If you noticed, the house in the first photo is almost at our level.  We live on the 5th floor.  And if you notice, the wall.   These walls range from a few feet to maybe 20 feet tall.

Coffee at the EPC's office

With all the crazy coffee shops all over Seoul, I was stunned to find this in our office:

Well, ok.  The tea was nice.  But instant coffee?  This is a joke, right?  We've put up with this for several months. 

Then just last week, we had a pleasant surprise:

OK, I had to buy the coffee.  And the filters.  And the measuring spoon.  But the contractor provided the coffee pot. 

When you go to the grocery stores you find out how much Seoul residents love - or rather, buy (I don't know if they really like the stuff) instant coffee.  It's a LOT.  The local market near our house has all kinds of instant coffees, but only two brands of ground coffee.