Friday, September 30, 2011


Thank God It's a 3-Day Weekend!  It couldn't have come at a better time.  

This morning my sweet husband brought me breakfast in bed :)

Soon we'll be off to Jinju for its annual Lantern Festival.  Pics to come!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The beginning of work and my new motto

My first official work week got off to an interesting start.  I'm still getting used to where the classrooms are, when I need to be in which one, and what I'll teach when I get there.  Trying to remember the names of every student in twelve different classes is about as easy as it sounds.  Picking up where the last teacher left off in the same amount of textbooks has also been a challenge, especially since everyone paces and organizes things differently.  I could continue the pity party.... but I won't.

Meanwhile Ryan was thrown into the head native teacher position this week, so he has also had to adjust to a new set of expectations and obligations.  Not only that, but after asking to change to a (slightly) larger apartment within our building that has a better view, we were given the ok, and asked to move by tomorrow.  Things have been a little hectic around here to say the least.  However, today was better than yesterday (for the most part), and tomorrow will be better than today.  

The good news is, we have a 3-day weekend right around the corner!  Until then, note my new motto.
I'm also very thankful for wine and mindless TV shows at the end of a long day.  And it's a good thing I found these in the foreign food section last week.

Here's hoping tomorrow is a good day!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mediterranean Meal

{Are you tired of food posts yet?  My apologies, but when you live in the land of kimchi and rice it can be be pretty exciting when you find some delicious foreign food.}

Last Saturday we had a date night.  After deciding we wanted to take a break from Korean food, Ryan and I evaluated our other options.  Italian food and fried chicken restaurants are prevalent in Busan's busy areas, and at least one Mexican joint has opened since we were last here.  Wanting a change, we headed to one of city's busy university areas and chose a more rare Mediterranean restaurant that came highly recommended.

Spicy lentil soup was served with hobz (a sesame seed bread) to start the meal.

I had a savory falafel wrap served with crinkle cut fries as my main course.
My expression as Ryan's food arrived....

He ordered hwashy, a pita stuffed with lamb and vegetables.  

Delicious hot tea and creamy sutlac (rice pudding) were served for dessert.

We were also able to pick up dry garbonzo beans at the restaurant to make our own hummus.  Thank you mini food processor for making the trip with us to Asia. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rice Cooker Banana Bread

After browsing the internet last week, I came across the idea of using a rice cooker as an "oven."  Apartments here don't have ovens, and bakeries are plentiful.  Although we did buy a small toaster oven last year, it really wasn't large enough or powerful enough to make cookies, brownies, etc.  As I continued looking into it, I came across countless web pages on the rice cooker topic, mostly aimed at college dorm dwellers.  I didn't let that offend me.  We live in a small apartment and don't have an oven.  It certainly does resemble a dorm.  Sigh.

As soon as I found this recipe and noticed the softening bananas on our counter, I decided to give it a try.

Armed with the variety of ingredients I would need (including the butter which cost me eight dollars) I began the process.

I mashed the bananas, added and mixed the appropriate flours, powders and sugars, and spooned the batter rice cooker.

Fifteen minutes later the rice cooker popped up, announcing its first cycle was complete.  I peered in and observed that the batter had risen, but it didn't look anywhere near done.  The second cycle returned the same result.  

After about THREE MORE HOURS it still wasn't done baking, but did resemble and smell like, a baked good.  I took this as a good sign.  I left the rice cooker on warm overnight and in the morning, I had banana bread!

I thought it was delicious. :)  Ryan may or may not agree with me.  

Maybe I should add this book to my wish list... or at least get a toaster oven on there.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Visit and a Change

Yesterday I visited our old school.   The students (as well as teachers) were pretty surprised to see me, since last spring we explained to them that Ryan Teacher and Norah Teacher were moving back to America and not coming back.  Well kids, things change.  You might as well learn that fact at a young age. 

Once they got over their initial surprise however, it was hard to say goodbye.  Again.
We missed you Ryan Teacher!
Being around the little ones definitely got me excited to get back in the classroom and start getting to know my new students.  My days as a “housewife” are numbered.  It was fun while it lasted.  I will miss mornings at the nearby coffee shop and afternoons soaking up the sun at the beach, returning home only when it’s time to start dinner for the husband.  But that’s not real life, or the reason I came back to Busan.

I’m excited to see what next week will bring.  Pictures of our new school and kiddies to come!

Friday, September 16, 2011

On the Sushi Train

There were a variety of things we missed about Busan, one being its restaurants.

We initially discovered the conveyor belt sushi joint on our visit to Japan, then realized we’d been using its logo (cartoon turtles that our former co-workers dubbed “alien children”) as a landmark to decide where to transfer from the bus to the subway back in Busan.  When we returned from our trip, we were delighted to find that the restaurant in Korea was in fact the same as the one we’d discovered in Japan.

Kappa Sushi is fast, delicious, and cheap.  You take what you want from the conveyor belt or place an order via a table-side screen.  Soon your request speedily arrives by bullet train.  What more could you want?  (I’m aware that I sound like an unofficial spokesperson, but it really is that good).

Last week when I wasn’t feeling creative enough to see what can be made from black beans, veggies, yogurt and tofu, I suggested we go to Kappa Sushi for dinner.

And it was just as delicious as we remembered.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sweet Treat

Coffee poured over shaved ice with cornflakes, sweet beans, and some kind of jelly candy, then topped with ice cream and chocolate syrup.  Yummy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our Vacation Weekend

Things have been pretty boring for me around here (I shouldn't complain, I've been working out, reading books, organizing our apartment and taking naps... not too shabby) with Ryan at work, so it was nice to have four days off with him for the Chuseok holiday.  

Over the weekend we revisited one of our favorite Korean restaurants, spent a night out with new co-workers, and an evening catching up with old ones.  We watched the rain pour down for two straight days from the windows of our cozy (another word for small) apartment and entertained ourselves with TV shows and movies, including this must-see.  When the sun decided to shine again we headed to the beach for the next two days, where we relaxed and swam before fall creeps up on us all too soon.

Korean food for dinner

 Gwangali Beach

Hauendae Beach

Indian food for dinner

What a lovely four days off with my honey.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Happy Chuseok Day!

Monday, September 12th is the official Chuseok Day this year.  Google recognizes the holiday with a spread of traditional Chuseok food, including songpyeon.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Happy Chuseok!  The celebration of Korea’s fall harvest is here again.  At this time most Koreans return to their home towns to pay respect to ancestors and dine with their families.
a Chuseok feast
In my free time (there’s been a lot lately since I haven’t yet begun working) I’ve been wandering around various shops, browsing and window-shopping.  Gift baskets full of everything from Spam to beauty products are wrapped up in bows, just waiting to be gifted to friends, family members, and co-workers in honor of the holiday.

Ryan has Monday and Tuesday off from school due to Chuseok, so we’re just beginning our four-day weekend!  Last year we celebrated with our students, then spent the vacation in Japan.  This year will be less eventful.  We plan to stay in town, see old friends, go for a hike and spend some time at the beach.  We hope you enjoy your weekend as well!