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  • jhboisselle 2:56 pm on January 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: food, ,   

    Yeosu’s Market 

    market1 This posting is from Chelsea Gannon:

    Fruits and vegetables are incredibly expensive (I have bought a single carrot for 3 dollars and seen watermelons priced at 30) so today  I decided to go to the local market rather than the standard grocery store in hopes of finding some lower prices. Not only did I find vegetables for reasonable prices (still pricy compared to the states- but no where near as mind blowingly high) I had a lot of fun exploring and talking with the ajumas.

    market6  market4 market3

    The meat section of the market was a little less enjoyable and I was nearly run over by an ajosshi pushing a cart of halved pig carcasses.


  • jhboisselle 2:47 pm on January 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: food, ,   

    양념오리한마리 (Marinated Duck) 

    This posting is on behalf of Chelsea Gannon:

    My favorite style of Korean restuarant is Barbeque, which involves using the hot griddle or grill over hot coals at your table and cooking your own order of meat. Tonight for dinner, two of my friends and I went out and ordered 800g of marinated duck for 30,000 KRW, which converts to around $27 (under $10 a person!).

    While our griddle heated up, the ajuma brought out an array of side dishes: kimchi, garlic, anchovies, cucumber kimchi, pickled sesame leaves, two kinds of sauces, rice, and lettuce leaves for wrapping.

    Pretty soon she brought out the duck.


    All of the ingredients in the final product!!


  • kimuchee 2:26 pm on December 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , different languages, food, , ,   

    Lessons Learned 

    1) Communication is an amazing thing.

    Being in a country that speaks a language with absolutely no connection to yours except a couple of loan words can be quite a frustrating experience. I took understanding a person and having a person understand me for granted. It sounds silly but the fact that you can understand me now and the ideas that I am trying to portray is a beautiful thing. But when someone finally does understand me I get this ridiculous elation. It’s like my eyes have just been opened to the fact that the human species is amazing. That there are different languages and cultures is amazing. I wish I could find words that could express this enlightenment properly but unfortunately I wasn’t gifted with the power of eloquence.

    While on this trip I’ve also had a new-found respect for those people from non-English countries that attend our school, whether it be for a semester or four years. Talking about complicated concepts in a language that you were not born with is no joke!

    2) Distance makes the Heart grow fonder.

    This has proven to be true throughout my college experience in regards to my family and has proven to be even more true in Japan where I am away from my family and friends. I have resolved to go back and really make sure to treasure those bonds that I do have and to put effort into every relationship that I engage in.

    3) Try everything, even when it makes you queasy.

    My first adventure with queasy inducing food in japan has been with natto. Natto is essentially fermented beans with soy sauce. I had been warned about the dish and had been crazy to try it ever since. Of course it was everything  they said it would be. Stinky and Cheese link. I was told then that it is and acquired taste and most Japanese young people don’t like it. Needless to say I didn’t like the food but my host family found pleasure in my willingness to try out new foods. My second adventure was with a dish called Sukiyaki. This dish consists of meat (usually thinly sliced beef) which is slowly cooked or simmered at the table, alongside tofu, cabbage, mushrooms, and other miscellaneous delicious things. It doesn’t sound bad does it? Imagine my surprise when my host family proceeded to show me how to eat it. I  could feel my eyes getting nigger as they went on to scramble a raw egg in their bowl and dip the meat and vegetables in before eating them. That had to be one of my biggest adventures and I was well rewarded for my effort! It was absolutely delicious!!! I just couldn’t think too much about the fact that I was eating raw egg or I would start to feel queasy.

    4) Traveling is beautiful.

    There are of course difficult times that you experience when traveling but for all of those experiences there are three times as much wonderful experiences. After a while you even being to appreciate the tough times because they make the wonderful times stand out even more. You meet all kinds of people as well! I can’t ever see myself getting tired of the thrill that comes from traveling.

    5) Japanese is hard.

    Of course I knew this before my trip to Japan but studying Japanese and being fluent in Japanese are two completely different things, but on this trip I have come to realize that becoming fluent in Japanese is now a goal in my life. It is something that I wish to pursue no matter what career I ultimately end up choosing. The director of JCMU told us in our opening ceremony that the way you can tell if you have become fluent in a language is if you can understand their jokes. Not only do you understand the grammar, and vocabulary, but you understand the culture behind the joke as well. This is the measurement that I wish to abide by. Until I can understand jokes in Japanese I don’t want to stop learning it!

  • globalkiwi 4:27 pm on November 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: food,   

    Traditional Korea and "Yummy" bugs! 

    SO while on vacation during Chusok here in Korea, I visited a small traditional village where I stated in a traditional Hanok: Korean housing with heated floors that we slept on and enjoyed the chestnut festival. I even got to try on a Hanbok (traditional Korean dress)!  Among the festivities, my friends and I decided to enjoy some of the traditional street food cuisine, one of them being silk worm pupae!

    It was crunchy and had a aroma that surrounded the entire area…

    I’ve been told it was Bee Larvae, but it in fact Silkworm Pupae. While it was exciting to try, I won’t be eating these again. 🙂 lol
  • appelsina7 6:51 am on November 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , food, identity, , , , ,   


    Getting places in a new city is always an adventure. Especially when you don’t speak the native language very well. Usually, in the beginning it involves writing addresses down on napkins and other scraps of paper, so that you can give it to the taxi driver without having to communicate very much. After being here for almost two months, I have become more confident of my ability to communicate an address to a taxi driver or negotiate a price with a “xe om” driver (man you pay to give you a ride on his motorbike). Getting to my internship meeting for the first time was more eventful that I would have liked, especially on an early Monday morning. I have started to enjoy trying out my broken Vietnamese with taxi drivers and on this morning in particular, my driver asked the typical initial questions like “where are you from?” but then skipped a few and went right to “Do you have a boyfriend?” I was happy that I picked up the words but surprised by the forwardness of his question. I replied that I did have a boyfriend and he asked his nationality, either Vietnamese or American. Not sure where the conversation was going at this point, I answered that he is American and the taxi driver wanted to know why he did not come with me to Vietnam? It was an unusual exchange and one that ended up sticking with me, especially after my taxi driver admitted to not knowing the way. So I led him to the street, paid and got out of the cab thinking that it would be easy to find my way. I ended up not being able to find it and I asked a well-dressed elderly man who did not know the way but asked around and taking my arm led me to the address. He was very sweet and I was excited to discover that he spoke French (he was the first Vietnamese man of the older generation who I encountered speaking French). He led me carefully through the early morning traffic, giving my arm little tugs when he thought I was going to walk in front of a moving vehicle, in my eagerness to be on the sidewalk again.

    Even at home I enjoy trying new foods and being in Vietnam has made me much more adventurous. Just the other day I tried snake and on another occasion, my roommate came home very excited about some wedding cake that her friend gave her. Curious, I watched as she unpacked two plastic bags of this sticky looking green and brow gelatin looking substance. She explained that it was wedding cake made of rice from the hai phong province; the cake is called banh phu the banh com. She ate it by pulling the dark green layer from the tan layer or the whitish layer (there were two different types of the cake). So I tried some and it tasted like mildly sweet rice jelly goo. I am not a fan and happily let my roommate devour the bags of cake.

    Themes have started to present themselves now that I have been here for two months. One of these is the problems that are created by the Vietnamese attempting to straddle their traditional culture and their desire to be modern. Stemming from their traditional belief that, “we are all one,” the Vietnamese continue to live by this idea. When Vietnam was still organized in Villages, people could not exist outside of their community. Not belonging to a village meant being homeless, not connected to any place or to any one. As a result, people in their villages demonstrated and follow the unique cultural expressions of their village. People, outside of their village, were identified by it but within their community they were recognized as individuals. People ask you where you are from so they can discover who you are, defined by the village you belong to, their communal traditions and beliefs, to whom you are attached. Today this idea causes problems. Location is still very important to the Vietnamese. One of the first things I am asked when meeting a new Vietnamese is always “where are you from?” This though, because I am a foreigner and not from a village, is not a sufficient question to be able to figure out who I am. They need more information, just like I can’t ask a Vietnamese person “where are you from?” and have Vietnam be an adequate answer to begin figuring out who they are. Just like I would not recognize the specific village/town/city they come from, unless it is one of the few I have heard of or visited, they usually do not know where Massachusetts is and never know where Hadley is. As a result, they generalize about Americans, as though we are all the same. Even if they did have an understanding of the town I come from, my town and the majority of the towns in he US are not made up of people belonging to the same political, economic or religious groups. My town does effect who I am, like my preference of rural areas rather than urban ones. I have found that Vietnamese youth, like my buddy from Ho Chi Minh City and my roommate in Hanoi, try to put me in this box labeled “American” and I do not fit with many of the qualifiers that they previously thought were characteristics of Americans. Their example comes from what they watch on MTV and gain from other internet shown, movies and the internet. I am frugal, do not enjoy going to loud and smoke filled nightclubs, or wearing minuscule clothing. I do not smoke or do drugs, and I like to enjoy my drinks instead of just drinking to get wasted. I am trying to show them a more real, diverse side of the “American” that the have created from the media. Just like they are all unique, so am I and location cannot be the only identifier one uses to figure out who someone is.

  • at5203 8:57 am on October 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , food, ,   

    First Blog 

    Hello world I sincerely apologize for the absence of my blogs. I will promise to keep posting on a weekly basis. So far my journey in Vietnam has been such a beautiful and enriching experience. Vietnam is a country deep rooted in folklore and spiritual energy. Personally I have always been attracted to the mystical and spiritual side of the world. The Vietnamese are strong believers of good fortune and good luck and that is why they have shrines in their houses and stores. The shrines are suppose to bring good luck and also avoid the presence of evil. The picture below shows as shrine inside a temple.  Most people pray to the shine and wish for good grades, good fortune, and good health. I hope my prayers for good grades have kicked in!ImageImageThis picture is the shrine inside the house of a Vietnamese buddy.  Her family’s hospitality was amazing and the food was delicious.ImageI have to warn you that before you guys judge this meal was probably one of the best that I have ever had. Although this is not a picture of a shrine it is meal eaten only at the end of the year because it is suppose to bring good luck.  However if you eat it at the beginning of the year you will receive bad luck.  Can anyone tell what it is yet? It is dog meat! Yum. 

    • DougReilly 3:30 pm on October 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Glad to see you up and running on the blog. I applaud you for being open minded and in this case, culturally relativist. The distinctions we make between pet and meal, companion and nourishment, is culturally bound and varies from culture to culture to a huge degree. I look forward to more daring and insightful posts from you! Doug

    • Tatianna Jasmine 5:29 pm on November 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Adrian!! Kudos to you for trying dog meat. While I was in Vietnam I could never get pass the idea of eating a dog. I am so glad you are being adventurous. Keep it up, i’d love to see all fo the other cool things you have been up to

  • Kristyna Bronner 10:21 am on October 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , food, fu tai market, , ,   

    Response to Challenge Four 

    The high rises around campus.

    Now that I’ve been living in Hong Kong for almost  two months, I have definitely developed a daily routine (though it’s not very structured like my routine at HWS). At least once everyday, I walk through campus to the Fu Tai shopping center, either to go to the grocery store, eat in the restaurants there, or at night for the night market noodles (by far my favorite food here). Usually, I walk through campus to get to the shopping center. I simply have to cross the street to get to the new dorm buildings. After walking by those, I have to cross the street once more to get to the shopping center. This is the fastest way to get to Fu Tai, but there is another way to get there. For this challenge, I decided to try taking the long way. I took as many pictures as I could, but at this point I’m past being “touristy” and stopping to take pictures of everything and everyone.

    Instead of crossing the street as soon as I could, I decided to go right and walk by several high rise buildings. The one closest to Lingnan is definitely the nicest: it has a gate with a security guard and a fancy light display out front. The surrounding area has more high rises. I walked past one that had men playing cards outside. Then, once I got past them I walked on a pathway between several apartment buildings passing many people on the way. This pathway led me to the back entrance of the shopping center and to the Fu Tai Market Place. Even though I have been here for a while, I had yet to go in, so I decided to change that.

    The entrance to the market.

    The market place is definitely not for the faint of heart. If you don’t want to see full ducks and chickens roasted and hanging, this is not the place for you. If you don’t want to see a cage full of live frogs or someone kill a fish and then skin it in front of you, this is not the place for you. Besides meat and fish, the market place had a lot to offer. There were several fresh fruit and vegetable stands, a bakery, and a few shops selling tea sets and incense. It makes a lot more sense to buy fresh food in the market as opposed to the supermarket in the shopping center.

    Overall, this longer path was more interesting to me. I think I might start doing it more often…just not when I’m in a rush. I’m definitely going back to the market for some fresh fruit and egg custards.

    One of the biggest perks of living in Hong Kong is the fresh produce!

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    • DougReilly 3:21 pm on October 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      What a great description and what a colorful walk! I can imagine the market…certainly far from all the meat prebutchered and neatly vacuum wrapped in plastic at Wegman’s. Imagine a cage full of frogs there! It’s funny how much distance many of us in the west put between our food and the facts of our food. Anyway, great post. What did you post the slide show with? Looks great!

    • Kristyna Bronner 6:36 am on October 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I used wordpress for the slideshow! I uploaded multiple photos at one time.

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