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Friday, December 08, 2006


I saw the above while walking around this morning in search of a plug-adapter thing. Now, the Korean language, as mentioned in my first post, is an alphabet just like ours, so each letter has a sound, meaning that they can pretty easily transfer our words to their script without changing too much (the same way that we can take the sounds of, say, 김치, and rewrite them with our letters, kimchi). The word was written on an apartment building under construction, I think, and is meant to be read, "city vista," as in having a view of the city. However, you only read it like that if you already know what it's meant to say, because usually, the 시 makes a "she" sound. So, reading it for the first time, trying to pronounce it in Korean instead of in English, you get "shitty vista." Great name for an apartment complex.

What else...I spent around 2 hours wandering around trying to discern which stores might possibly have electronics. Every once in a while, I would enter ones and say things like "저는 미국사람이라서 고 필요 있어요", which is "cho-nun miguk-saram-iraso ko p'iryo issoyo", or "i american person-since-i-am thing needed is." Then I pointed to my computer cable, explained that I didn't speak korean well, and then repeated the same point every time they tried to say something to me other than "없어요", opsoyo, we don't have it. After about four failed attempts (though I guess they were relatively successful in terms of managing to communicate), I was hungry and either more linguistically confident or simply unable to worry about it, and so I went to a lady in a little plastic stall and tried to ask how much the corndog looking think was. It was only 50 cents, so I sprung for it. She then picked it up and coated it with granulated sugar for me. That was my first hint that maybe it wasn't a corndog. Then I bet into it and got only dough, so I started thinking it was just a larger version of those chinese doughnuts you can get at buffets. Completely wrong. On the next bite I hit gold and discovered that it was indeed a corndog, but with an absurdly thick/fatty/delicious layer of batter surrounding a miniscule dog. I'm willing to bet that any diarrhea I experience this trip will probably be due to this sort of American-style food and not to the dainty little 김밥 (kimbap, sushi) that I talked about last post.

Anyhow the dog has now settled and I've regained some energy, so I think I'll resume my meanderings.


megatronnnn said...

ew Mike. I'm definitely not coming to Korea if the only food I can eat is fatty fried slabs of unidentifiable meat dipped in sugar. Do they have TJs in Korea??

Mike said...

Who said that the desert-corndog is the only food? It's pretty easy to find live squid and octopi as well. I hear that it's quite a rush to try to choke them down while their little suction-cup latch on to your throat in a feeble attempt to evade landing in your stomach juices.

Anonymous said...

Haha, sounds like a feast for a real man...or a 5 foot Korean woman. You know, whichever. And I'm getting the feeling that American food there is like Korean food here, a mere facsimile at best and a bad case of Montezuma's Revenge the rest of the time. Sounds to me like you'd better stick to the california rolls (kimbap), unless you're ready for a Mike's bathroom version of "shitty vista."

Adam said...

order your thing online...