Monday, July 8, 2019

Here and There

A few pics I haven't really had enough for a post about. For years I have not quite managed to get the "money shot" at an FC Seoul game, the dramatic fireworks from the home end at kick-off.

Koreans have a bicameral mind about developing their sports programs: academics seem to be the only goal of education, but then you encounter these "under-18" soccer programs. The entire floor below me when I lived at Sinjeong station was occupied by the Yangcheon-gu Under-18s who lived there with their coaches and also had their own bus.

Not sure if this their ultimate goal, or just a dig at a certain Cheeto-in-chief:

Found in Asian public toilets, top in Seoul, the bottom in Beijing:

That says "dung bread", a poo-shaped chocolate confectionery in Insa-dong:

Yep, it says Khaosan Road (after the one in Bangkok), which I once described as bushy-tailed backpacker Nirvana, world-weary expat hell, but is just a pocha/hof in Sadang area.

One of my favorite things, an automated book-lending kiosk in Beijing!

Two final shots: lastly, some awesome Korean BBQ in my old neighborhood at Hyochang Park with my old Yong-in and everywhere buddy Max and his friend Andrew. And a great burger with shredded pork and a choco shake from a restaurant at Terminal 2 called Shake Shack:

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Shanghai: Quick Take

Expo Museum
I previously visited Shanghai for the World's Fair or Expo 2010, and thought it would be cool to "re-visit" it on my latest trip, by way of the museum celebrating that Expo and all others. The museum is quite extensive, and has a compleat history of the World's Fair phenomenon, from the first one, the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace in 1851, through the Brussels Expo, the first post-war World's Fair in 1958 (my personal favorite), and Seattle with its Space Needle in 1962:

Although the Crystal Palace burned down in 1937 (witnessed by my late friend Tim Layne as a mere lad), it started the association between the Fairs and architecture, from the Eiffel Tower to the Brussels Atomium, and the Trylon and Perisphere of New York 1939 (I'm not sure why these posters came off with the green tinge, so … sorry):

As you ascend the levels, you enter an area of artifacts and memorabilia:

I also attended the World's Fair 2012 in Yeosu, Korea (and blogged it here):

Natural History Museum
Shanghai has a number of great museums and the Natural History Museum is one of the best of its type I've seen:

Like any good Nat Hist museum, it has a wide selection of well-taxidermed creatures, and some imagined ones like the Maiasaurus ...

… as well as archeological specimens:

Finally, a couple of takes from the extensive human origins galleries, with a still from a very well-done video:

The Bund
The Bund is a remnant of the European colonialist exploitation of China after Britain won the Opium Wars in the 1860s, and TB and I made our way there on Saturday night for dinner.

We settled on this place, and had some fritters, okra, duck and pork ribs. Yummy, and not too expensive for Shanghai!

Stay tuned, and Happy Travels!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Beijing, 2019-18: Food

As I have mentioned before, I have always loved what we call Chinese food in America. After having been to China five times, I still think I'd be fine with that food, but I do know that that food doesn't hold a candle to real Chinese food in real China!

Here's just a start with some amazing dim sum:

Less formal food, let's call it street food, is a common breakfast kind of food, like buns (aka bao), filled pancakes, porridge (aka jo) and fried eggs. I had these each morning during this visit, and I have to say the split stuffed bread was most awesome:

I have eaten lots of different kinds of foods in China, but TB introduced me to a new one on this trip, and I wonder if it is my favorite ever! I love lamb, and we are familiar with lamb skewers in Korea. However, this massive lamb shank, beautifully seasoned and deliciously pre-cooked for the table-top barbeque is incredible:

This particular restaurant offered a beer in a massive (difficult to open) aluminum container with an earthy, non-pasteurized flavor.

Not too far from the hotel TB puts me up in is an amazing open air food service plaza--served by the three or four restaurants that surround it. And he's the one who knows what to order, especially the duck/goose/that bird there.

Yunnan food is another of my favorite foods, especially hot pot 火锅. In this restaurant, there is a mild hot pot, and a spicy one. Mix up your dipping sauce, and then dunk the food items in whichever side you want to cook it in. Yummy.

Ah, Yunnan food:

Just for a point, there is an expat community in Beijing, including the Bookworm, the Pub (with our burgers pictured) and a number of craft breweries, including Slow Boat!

Ginny and I took a very good cooking class from a place called Beijinger Kitchen, in a hutong area, though I could be quite happy without the "market" visit, since it was a glorified quickie mart. The instruction, however, was excellent!

Some finished product: