Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Weekend 17 of 52.

Nanta, Baseball Game: Doosan Bears vs. Kia Tigers

Nanta, like Fanta-Stick, is a live performance that incorporates drumming, humor, and various antics that are essentially Korean. Unlike Fanta-Stick, though, Nanta is about cooking and there are no ghosts. Four chefs have only an hour to create an extensive menu of wedding foods, and they are easily sidetracked by their own rhythmic knife skills, some flirting, and an in-group rivalry. There's lots of flamboyant vegetable chopping followed by clumsy cartoony clean up scenes that ultimately result in men stuck in trash cans or unfortunate backside broom accidents. There's even full audience participation, during which an ajumma on our left was called out for consistently clapping at the wrong time. It was all hilarious and confounding.

On Sunday, we went out to Jamsil for a baseball game. Korean baseball is very similar to American baseball, but Korean baseball fans are quite different. They all have inflatable thunder sticks used for corporate noisemaking and choreographed cheering. Each batter for the home team had an accompanying video package and theme song, and we joined in on the chanting for home runs ("Kim Hyun-Soo Home Run!"). Each successful hit or completed play was met with an explosion of acclamation. It made for a lot of excitement.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Weekend 16 of 52.

The 63 Building, including the 63 SeaWorld Aquarium, the Wax Museum, SkyArt, and Fanta-Stick

We spent our third weekend in a row on Yeouido Island, this time conquering the 63 Building. It was built in the 80s for the Olympics and was the tallest building in Asia at the time. By now it's not even South Korea's tallest building, but I bet it's the goldest. There are several great tourist activities inside the building, and World Cup season proffered us a sizable discount. We decided to do four of the five activities, foregoing an IMAX movie.

The SeaWorld Aquarium, probably intended to be confused with the theme park, was right next to the ticket booth, so we did that first. It might have been just the lesser crowd-density or the proximity to the animals, but we enjoyed this aquarium significantly more than we enjoyed the one in Busan. We saw the hugest turtle, the Tyrant of the aquarium. We mistook seals for funny looking manatees. There was synchronized swimming. And some fish nibbled on our fingers!

From there, we headed underground to the Wax Museum. Neither of us had been to a wax museum previously, so it was fun and photo-oppy. And then we shot up to the 60th floor for a foggy view of the city at the SkyArt art gallery.

We were meeting Korrine and friends for dinner and the evening show, Fanta-Stick, but we were done with all of our perusals a couple hours early, so we killed time at the resident coffee shop, Beans 'n Berries. Dan had patbingsu, a seasonal Korean dessert with ice cream and fruit and shaved ice. And then he had a sleep.

And then we saw Fanta-Stick, a show similar to Stomp, but with traditional Korean instruments, a ghost story, and, I learned later, the song scoring system used in Korean karaoke rooms (called Noraebangs). It was very entertaining, and someone from our group, Chris, went up on stage and drummed around and got a gift bag with wine. Korrine herself excelled at audience participation and gave a comforting hug to a morose character who paid her in lollipops. I thought they did a good job incorporating things I've noticed about modern Korean culture, including the constant spontaneous Paper, Rock, Scissors matches and the ever more pervasive throat clearing. Afterward Dan got to pose with the cast, and it is the most perfect picture of Dan's life.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bacon Doughnuts.

We ate doughnuts earlier this week. They had bacon sprinkles. It made the most sense. So far, I recommend this recipe for yeast doughnuts and this recipe for cake doughnuts.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Weekend 15 of 52.

Mario Party 8, Yoido Full Gospel Church, W18000 Sushi Buffet, Yeouido Park, Lemonways

This was our first bust of a weekend. Dan had to work almost all day Saturday, and our plans for Sunday fell through because our destination, a Doctor Fish Cafe in Hongdae, didn't exist anymore. Even still, we managed to play Mario Party 8 with Korrine and Dave, watch Korea take its first World Cup win (and hear the nationwide cheers from our open window), visit the largest (by member mass, not land mass) Protestant church in all the world, eat sushi from boats, and drink lemonaid from a street side cart.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Weekend 14 of 52.


We, with Korrine and Dave, spent the whole of our Saturday traveling to and enjoying Everland, a Kings Island style theme park. And we enjoyed it, but I can't think of any special anecdotes to share, so I will just share the pictures.