Saturday, April 23, 2005

postal scrotum

Mark writes:

Hi Kevin,

Glad to hear your job/Osaka flight, et al, is working out (although I find Fukuoka to be cheaper and cooler than Osaka, imho).

Anyhow, I think the first Bul Dalk place in Korea was the Hong Cho Bul Dalk place in Hongdae (it was certainly one of the first). It has been around for a couple of years. I remember when it was the only place in Hongdae... Now I think there are 12 such places here. Maybe more. All over the damn place. People have even started opening Bul Sam (Samgyeopsal) and other meats restaurants.

Btw, most health clubs are 80,000 won these days. Or so. 60-80K, anyhow. Prices are up up up.

Oh, also imho, I think Imwangsan is a much cooler climb than Namsan. Better scenery and much quieter. Bukhansan has some great peaks on the west side, too.

Have you ever had Japanese Sochu? While in Japan, I highly recommend going to a Haitai (pojangmacha) and having a big glass of sucho on the rocks... I think it is how Soju was supposed to be, 100 years ago. Crisp and clean. Very yummy. If only you drank.

Blah blah blah. Have a good one.


re: health clubs

Yeah, many are that expensive, but even in Kangnam it's not uncommon to find clubs that charge you W120,000 for a 3-month membership, or W50,000 on a month-by-month basis. I was surprised to hear about such cheap gyms in Kangnam, of all places, but a couple teachers from EC found gyms like that. The gym I went to in 2003 was also charging W40,000 a month. True, it was pretty small, and not doing great business. Maybe the larger gyms all charge steeper rates. Certainly the gyms frequented by people like Lee Hyori aren't cheap.

re: bul-tak

Thanks for the correction re: the history of the asshole-exploding chicken.

re: going to Fukuoka as opposed to Osaka

The problem is that the Fukuoka consulate doesn't do same-day processing, if my spies are correct. I can't afford to take two days off, and the cheaper airfare is offset by (1) Japanese departure tax for people staying more than one day in Japan, and (2) hotel/capsule fee. In the end, it's a difference of a few dollars and a few hours, but I'd rather get the pain over with quickly.

re: mountains

I'll have to explore those when I have a chance on the weekends. There's so much of Korea I haven't seen, and that includes plenty of locations in and near Seoul.

re: Japanese alcohol

I haven't sipped anything Japanese. The extent of my sippage is beer, wine (white and red), champagne, whisky, and a swig of cooking sherry, which was salty as hell. Oh, yeah-- I did sip some lemon soju once, and thought the stuff was crap. But that probably has less to do with soju's "soju-ness" (soju-ality?) than with a general distaste for alcoholic beverages.


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