Best Dakkalbi Ever!

I’d been dreaming of one particular place in Daejeon since returning home, and I couldn’t wait to go there when I was on vacation in fall. That place is 맛존 (mat-jon or Mat [flavor/taste] Zone). I have never tasted better dakkalbi than there.

The first time I went there was a few years back when my friend was working there part-time in college. It became a favorite place among our group. I always get “mild” spice because even that makes my nose run. I had “hot” once with co-workers and I could barely handle it. So good though! It’s secret too. The owner makes the sauce off-site and brings it in to the restaurant. Wow!

You can get add-ons like cheese or have them make it into bokkeumbap (fried rice) with your leftovers. Plus, they have yummy pineapple makkeolli!

Mat-jon isn’t too hard to find. It’s in Gungdong (궁동) which is the area right by Chungnam University. Start from Sobija Mart, where all the taxis drop off/pick up. Walk straight for a minute or so. Turn right at the first large street by Paris Baguette. Then make a left at the next street. Mat-jon will be on the right side. Enjoy!

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Address: 대전광역시 유성구 궁동 408-14
(You’ll probably get more accurate results plugging that into Naver Maps as opposed to Google Maps)

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Daejeon International Food Exhibition

Another throwback vlog! I think these things need an acronym or something — TBVs? TVs?

Anyway, this is another one from 2012. In May there was an exhibition at Expo Park featuring international food. Actually, I didn’t get to see much of it because a) I went on the last day and b) I went only a few hours before it was closing. Oops…

Still, I managed to see some interesting things. There was a part that had beautiful displays of food eaten at the Buddhist temples. They also had information about how you can do a temple stay. I always wanted to do one, but never made plans for it. Next time I’m in Korea I want to give it a try.

There were also lovely table and food displays around the hall. In another part, they had a mock-up of a traditional Korean house with a display of food, and you could dress up in (costume) traditional clothes and take pics. I did give that one a go. ^^

There was even a place where they let you try, and, in the case of foreigners, you could make your own kimchi. It pretty much just involved applying the sauce and garlic to the cabbage, but after that they put it in a pot and let you keep it. How fun it that? I still have the pot with me, but I use it for my spare change now.

There was also a women at the Buddhist temple area doing a traditional tea ceremony (which I’ll put a video up for later). It’s very formal, but relaxing in a way. The way the people who do the ceremony are so precise about everything is kind of impressive. I’m not sure I could be so controlled. Oh, and the tea was tasty as well. 🙂

All in all, a pretty interesting way to spend on afternoon.

Thanks for reading!

Korean College Festival

Time for a throwback vlog!

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When I lived in Daejeon, I lived just 2 bus stops away from Chungnam University. It was really convenient because the area around the university is a popular place for twenty-somethings to hang out (seeing as many students live in the area). At least once a year, the university holds a festival. Actually, many Korean universities have festivals.

The main activities of these festivals are eating and drinking.

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Clubs or departments will set up tents and sell food and refreshments, namely alcohol like beer, soju, and makkeoli. One tent we went in had a 노래방/karaoke machine set up. And I loves me some karaoke!

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There will usually be a performance too. Sometimes students will perform a bit, and after a professional singer will perform as well. When I went this time, it was in 2012 and Geeks and 4Minute performed. Pretty lucky! Though I remember Gayoon was out sick, but it was still fun to see an idol group that close.

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Hip hop duo – Geeks

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It’s a nice chance to walk around with friends and relax.

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I haven’t seen anything quite like this in the States. If we did, they probably wouldn’t sell alcohol. **Note: It was all students running things so it’s not like anyone was carding people. They assumed everyone is of age.

It’s a fun! I went to one or two other festivals during my time in Korea. One time they event set up a giant closed-off tent as a club. College kids sure know how to party.

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Does your university/college do festivals or big events like this? Lemme know! I’m curious how people’s university life differs. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Coffee Time at 나만의 커피

I love coffee. I didn’t always though! Luckily if you are a coffee/cafe lover then Korea has got you covered. There’s one place in particular that I especially like – Roasting 나만의 커피 (Roasting – Only My Coffee).

It’s located in Gung-dong (궁동) which is the area right next to Chungnam University in Daejeon, and I mean *right next to*. You walk out of the parking lot on the southeast side of campus and the cafe is pretty much right there. 🙂

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Besides getting a good cup of coffee they have excellent desserts. I’m a big fan of the brownies. They’re huge with walnuts inside and dusted with powdered sugar on top. Yum!

The owner also teaches about coffee and how to make it. I believe you can do your own hand drip even without taking a class, but I’m not 100% certain.

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Bit of a line.

It gets a little busy in the daytime with all the students around, but not terribly noisy. They also have wifi should you need it.

My favorite part of the interior is the bathroom. That may sound weird, but take a peek at my video. It’s hidden behind what looks like a bookcase. I wanted to go inside, but someone had just walked in. ^^;;

Cute bear latte art

Cute bear latte art

The latte art was a bonus last time. I didn’t even know they did that (never got it before). Super cute, right?

 

Location

Location

Getting there isn’t too tricky. If you’re a CNU student you’ll be coming out of the parking lot nearish 다술아파트. Otherwise you can come from Rodeo street, turn left at GS25, walk down the road til it stops and turn right. It’s around the corner. Otherwise you can plug the address into your phone on Naver Maps or Google Maps.

Address: 대전광역시 유성구 궁동 395-4

Apartment #2 Tour

Finally! I’ve been meaning to film this since I moved in. ;>.>

I’ve been in this place for 2 years.  My first year with EPIK I lived in a decent one room. It was clean and newish, and no real problems with neighbors. I decided I wanted more space though so I found a 2 room in the same area.

It took a little work to find a new place. At the time my co-teacher couldn’t take me around so one of my Korean friends was kind enough to go with me. Basically in Korea you call up a real estate agency (known as 부동산) in the area you want to move into. You can tell them all the things you’re looking for like 1 or 2 room, fully furnished or partially furnished, your price range, etc.

I looked at about 4 places and wasn’t really feeling any of them. Then the realtor said she knew one more place. All the other places were either a little small or didn’t have all the features I wanted like a cooking range or fridge. This seemed just right. For 320,000 won a month the price seemed too good to be true. I had my friend asked them if there was  catch, but they just said “Oh we’re Christian”. So… I guess it’s thanks to Christian charity. The deposit, however, is nothing to sneeze at. It set me back 5,000,000 won (about $5,000). Granted you usually get it all back, but that’s still a lot of money!

Other than the mold problem and the upstairs neighbor who walks around like an elephant I’ve really liked it. Plus my landlord and his wife are super nice. He fixes things when I need it and every once in awhile she brings me something like fruit, rice cake, and hoddeok. I’m grateful for my 할아버지 and 할머니 (grandpa and grandma) landlord/lady.

Now I just have to get organized for moving out. Oh joy!

Yogiyo!

If there’s one great thing about Korea it’s gotta be the food delivery options. There are oh so many to choose from. Chinese? No problem. Fried chicken? Easy peasy! McDonalds? Heck yes.

Now I haven’t done much with delivery on my own because I don’t have a lot of confidence using Korean over the phone. I usually just do take-out. But then I was clued in on a site called Yogiyo. I believe it’s a play of the phrase 여기요, although they spell it 요기요. In restaurants if you want to get the server’s attention then you say “yeogiyo!” (Excuse me/over here).

Anyway Yogiyo is great because it’s all online. You do need to be able to read some Korean, but I’d say it’s fairly easy to understand. You choose your city and district/neighborhood and it’ll find restaurants in your area that’ll deliver. I’d say the difficult part is knowing the name of the dish you want in Korean, but if you’re just getting chicken or pizza than no big deal.

The nice thing is you don’t need to sign up for it either. You just put in your address and phone number, and *yay!* food!.

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Choose your city & neighborhood

Put in your address & phone number

Put in your address & phone number

Last Friday I ordered pizza from Pizza Alvolo (피자알볼로), which I actually hadn’t heard of till then.

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nomnom!

I got this in about 40 minutes and it cost me 24,000 won. Unfortunately pizza is pretty pricey in Korea. Some places are cheaper than this, but this was my option later at night.

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I got the bacon cheddar large pizza with breadsticks. The breadsticks were hot and crispy plus they came with marinara sauce. I don’t see them too often so I rather enjoyed it although they we’re fairly plain. The pizza was good too. I didn’t like the onion on it, but it wasn’t that bad. I thought the crust was whole wheat, but it was actually a kind of purplish color so I’m not sure. Still, when it’s after 10 PM and you don’t have anything to cook then I’d say this was a decent meal.

For Yogiyo you can pay cash or by card. Also, unlike in the U.S., you don’t have to tip the delivery guy. Not so great for him, but nice for us.

I really recommend using this site if you’re phone-shy like me. It takes the hassle out of things and you end up with yummy food. Win-win!

History fan sign in Daejeon

Hello and Happy New Year!

Hope everyone is doing well and staying warm. I got to go home to the Midwest for vacation, so I too got to enjoy the wonderful -50 F weather a few weeks ago. Fun, right? 😀

Anyway I’m back again with another fan sign post. I got to see History for the 2nd time. This is the 1st time that I’ve been to the same group’s fan sign more than once. I really do like this group. I’d love to see them snag a #1 someday.

The event was at the Daejeon Jung-gu Cultural Center. It was a nice theater space was comfy seating. I got there about 1 hour early, hoping to be a bit closer to the front. Turns out I should’ve been there earlier. I was #75 out of 100 fans. The other Storias knew better I guess! I passed the time getting organized and writing my Post-It note questions for each member. I’d never done that before and I was blanking on questions, but I managed to come up with stuff. It took my awhile though because I wanted the Korean is be as grammatically correct as I could. ㅠㅠ Not always easy for me…

We didn’t have to wait too long because they got there a little earlier than the start time. I really love the blue suits the had on. Last time I saw them the outfit were mint green. I much prefer these. They got the fan sign underway and we all waited our turn. Sometimes I wish I had one of those cameras with the massive lenses like other fans do. I could see the really nice close-ups they were capturing. Still, I managed to get some nice photos and video with my Sony NEX.

I was really surprised at the pacing of the event. Normally you don’t get much time to talk as the staff/managers are pushing you along. This usually has to do with a group having to keep to their schedules. In our case, though, they were being really generous with time. Most fans moved on their own at a good pace and the staff weren’t too pushy with their “move ons”.

When it was my turn I grabbed my CD and gift for Do Kyun (another 1st for me – just a note, hand cream, and chocolate). First was Yijeong. The greeting were the usual “Hello. Where are you from?” in Korean. Then we went over my post-it. It said “Yijeong is ~” A. Handsome B. Sexy C. Cute . I wanted him to pick, but he motioned for me to choose first. I circled ‘A. Handsome’. He kinda raised his eyebrows and then circled the other 2 as well. :3

Next was Jaeho. He made every attempt to speak as much English as he could. I was kind of answering 1/2 English 1/2 Korean so we were sort of awkward together haha. His post-it said “Jaeho ~ which member in History is the funniest?”. He circled Si Hyung. I wonder if he’s extra goofy when out of the public eye?

Leader Kyung Il was next. He is just too good-looking in person. I mean, damn. It’s kinda not fair! I didn’t like the bleached hair at first, but it looks nice up close. [My conversations are pretty much all the same for every person/Kpop group by the way – What’s your name? Where are you from? Are you student? etc.] Kyung Il’s note said ” Kyung Il ~ can I be your English tutor? :P” A. Yes~ 선생님! B. Nope. Of course he circles “Yes” cuz it’d be kinda cruel to say “no”. 😛

Do Kyun was after. He’s kinda my bias for the group so that’s why I only had a gift for him. He said I spoke Korean well which I denied, but it’s still nice to hear. His note read “Do Kyun ~ how about foreign girls? Do you like me? ^^” A. Not really… B. They [you’re] okay C. Yes! They’re my ideal type D. [You/They’re] Pretty. He circled C & D haha. Again it’s just fan service, but still nice to hear.

Last was Si Hyung. He asked, in English, “Hello. Where are you from?”, but Do Kyun interrupted “Hey she’s really good at Korean”. And I’m all “Nooooo *^^*”. Si Hyung tried to speak English too. He was a bit unsure (like last time), but it’s very cute. His post-it said “Si Hyung ~ if I teach you English will you teach me Korean?” and he wrote “Of course!”.

I was giddy leaving the stage. There’s usually some point during a  fan sign when I get super awkward because of speaking Korean, but I felt pretty confident when I was talking to all of them. I think it helps having seen the group before and having those post-it questions ready. It gave me a topic kinda lined up in case the conversation dropped off. Plus it doesn’t hurt when the group is so nice.

I wish I lived in Seoul since fan signs here are so few and far between. There are fans who go to each of the cities to try and get into each event. I actually talked to a Storia from Seoul who had been to all the the cities for the signing (Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, and Seoul). That takes some really dedication! Traveling, buying CDs, and all that. It’s a big investment or your time and money. But I’m content to see who I can here and enjoy it when I’m able. It’s all fun. 🙂

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ohhappydae’s photostream on Flickr.

*Please do not re-post without proper credit*