I'm here in Daejeon hanging out with my brother and cousin. But I just want to bring you guys up to speed on what's been going on. Basically, we've been hanging out, making fun of everything and eating.
We hung out with the cousins on Saturday: 운주, 형진, 진주, 민주, 선역. They're all younger than us. The last time I saw them, they were babies, and Seon-Yeok wasn't even born. We went to a shopping mall where parking attendants are from the 40s.
"Go go gadget Asians!!!"
However, we didn't stay long. Our cousins found the fashions to be too old. So we traveled forward in time to the present and went back to Uijeongbu. Then we went to dinner (부대찌개:Boo Dae Tchi Gae) with our other cousin. It was super-tasty!
So the deal with Boodaetchigae is this: grab a handful of kimchi, dump it in boiling water, add spam, sausage, assorted vegetables, tofu, taste, ramen noodles, glass noodles. Let that boil together for a bit and savor. Where do all these weird ingredients come from? Come on! Spam? Really? Well, back when Korea was poor (only 40 years ago!), people used to scavenge for food. A good and reliable source of this precious food was the leftovers the US Army used to throw out. In there the peasants would find the aforementioned ingredients and mix them into a stew they would have brewing at home. Thus was invented the Boodaetchigae. We had some on Saturday and it was awesome.
Sunday, after church, we played soccer. We lost the game but it was meaningless anyways.
We had a dinner date with another one of our zillions of cousins and we had made plans to meet at 종각 station. Little did we know that 20,000 (50,000 according to some estimates) other people were meeting there to protest the free trade agreement between Korea and the U.S and A. Of course when a gathering of that magnitude happens in Korea, the police are going to crash the party. And basically, that's who we ran into when we stepped out of the subway.
That picture probably only captures 1% of how intense it was. There must have been thousands of riot cops there. They all arrived in buses that they parked in such a manner to create a maze from which one cannot escape. Also, you'll have to excuse the crappy quality of the pictures. We weren't sure if we were allowed to take photographs and we didn't want to piss the phalanx of hundreds of cops that we kept running into so we took only a handful of shots and kept moving along. We did manage to snap a sweet pic of the police's sweet party mobile.
I bet you this thing pumps out some sweet techno beats
We finally hooked up with our cousin and his family and headed out to 인사동(Insa-dong). We stuffed our faces at an amazing dumpling place and then walked around the neighborhood. It was nice and quaint. It reminded me of Prince Arthur Street in Montreal minus all the annoyingly drunk McGill kids.
There was a mini-market called 쌈지(Ssamzie) which was kind of ingenious. It was a four-story open air building with slanted floors. The concept was to start at the top and slowly walk down while window shopping at the little artsy boutiques. It was a pretty smart trick that encourages people to walk by every shop.
Rick Barry would call this "The Chinese Supermarket" cause it's got a little slant to it.