Feeling Krunk?


My dog Badger modeling.

The word Krunk, used for a line of souvenirs from YG Entertainment, has a lot of meanings depending on where you are. (Cool, drunk, to get started etc.) There are a few instances in kpop songs and MV’s where an English word is used and I have to wonder if they really know what it means in other places. This can also apply with something as common as a word or phrase having a different meaning in England as opposed to the US. (A muffler in England is a scarf, in the US it is the thing that silences the loud sound of a car engine.)

Unfortunately I never thought to write down all the questionable word uses, but might start a list from now on. I also love some of the non English speakers pronunciation of unfamiliar words. The classic’s being B.A.P.’s Himchan singing “the loof, the loof is on fiyah” or Zico from Block B singing the word “focus” but it sounding like fu*k us!

Someone else has made a great compilation on YouTube.

Which leads me back to non English speakers mispronouncing words. Elle was in Costa Rica white water rafting with a guide who kept yelling “fu*k us, fu*k us” to the paddlers. Thinking perhaps the guide thought that they were going to die, some of the paddlers started to panic, until they realized he was just wanting them to focus on the next stretch of the river. Giggling ensued, and the guide was really baffled as to why every time they came to a rough spot and he wanted them to focus everyone would burst out laughing.

Although it sounds like I am making fun of people who have trouble with speaking English I would like to point out that I respect their efforts in trying, and that in most cases it comes across as cute and endearing. On the other hand my foreign language attempts are usually crushingly embarrassing. We always try and learn basic phrases for every country we travel to, at the very least hello, thank you, toilet, please, etc and usually pick up some phrases along the way. The hardest one so far was saying “cheers” while out drinking in Budapest. The word is “Egészségére”. So yes I laugh at other’s mistakes and I totally accept others laughing at mine, but that shouldn’t stop any of us from trying. People are usually understanding and it often allows you to make better connections with the people from the countries you are visiting. We came back from Korea having made some good friends, and Elle has friends she keeps in touch with from countries all over the world. (She is an amazing letter writer and still hand writes to her friends.)

I’m not totally sure what the real point of this post was meant to be so I’ll just leave it as is, and as Bill & Ted would say, “be Excellent to one another,” and have a great day.

A Korean Restaurant in Disguise.

While visiting the far northside of San Antonio we came across a restaurant called Sushi Express, hardly the name of a top notch Korean restaurant, but don’t be fooled by the name. Once inside there are two menus, one of which is for Korean food.

In some ways the menu is fairly standard with Pork Bulgogi, Galbi, and Bibimbap, as well as many other dishes, but those dishes are standard for a reason. When made well, as they were here, they are delicious.The portions were ample and the spice level on the Bulgogi in particular was just right. The Banchan were varied and I really enjoyed the broccoli in a light ginger sauce. My daughter, Elle had the Galbi, and other than a slight hesitation on how best to eat it with chopsticks,  ate it with great enjoyment. Elle did however make the mistake of inhaling while eating some kimchi which resulted in her basically pepper spraying the back of her throat. She managed to recover by eating copious amounts of rice and drinking water, and learned that no matter how delicious it is don’t rush to eat your kimchi. By the time we were done there was nothing left on our plates.

The staff were friendly and they all greeted us as we arrived which was very Korean. In Korea, and some other countries like France, it is the custom to greet your customer with a ‘good day’ type phrase and for the customer to return the greeting. When you travel be sure to remember to copy the greeting and farewell customs you see and you’ll look and feel far less like a tourist. Our waiter was pleasantly efficient, making sure we were well cared for and also chatting with us a little, especially after we said we had been to Korea. He was from Seoul and as we spoke we agreed that the food there was indeed amazing and then he mentioned the Seoul subway. He thought it cumbersome, because to get where he was going he had to use the subway, a bus, and then a taxi so he preferred a car. We however, thought the Seoul subway was one of the best subway systems we’d used because it got us to everywhere we wanted to be in an easy and efficient manner.(If you are worried about using the subway system in Korea don’t be, it is really quite straightforward to use, and I’ll explain more in another post.)

The owner made the rounds of all the tables checking on everything and chatting with the regulars. He obviously knew some of them as he greeted them by name. There were multiple groups at tables including a birthday party and everyone seemed happy and they were clearly enjoying their meals. I hope one day to have eaten here enough to become a regular and be part of the family atmosphere.

The restaurant is also a sushi restaurant  and the sushi selection looked good and very appetizing. But we were there for the Korean menu as we’d just booked our flights for our next trip to Korea and were celebrating.

There was a decent selection of Asian drinks including Soju, although unfortunately no Korean beer. I found this out by a rather funny conversation with our waiter. I asked if they had any Korean beer, he replied ‘beer’ and I said ‘yes, beer’ and this went back and forth until I said ‘Cass? Hite?’ and that’s when I sadly found out they didn’t have any.  He did offer the soju, although he looked at Elle and said she couldn’t have any since she was driving, which was kind of funny and sweet.

As we left everyone said goodbye and we were sorry to leave. Next visit I’m going to try out lunch because they have Bento boxes as well as Korea boxed lunches. I’ll let you know how they are.

Here’s to Happy Eating: http://www.sushiexpresssa.com/index.html




First blog post – Happy Birthday Daesung

My first post, and significantly it falls on Daesung’s birthday. In a round about way Daesung introduced me to Kpop through his participation in Family Outing, a Korean variety show which I began watching in 2009. I managed to find all the older episodes and watched from the beginning. It was an intriguing theme, with a group of celebrities heading out into the countryside to take care of the home of some village elders for 2 days and one night. The elders would leave them with some chores, and they were also responsible for preparing and cooking their own food. In any downtime they would play silly games and often get into trouble of some kind. A very young Daesung was often the butt of everyone’s jokes, but he smiled and laughed his way through every episode.

You can watch one of my favorite Daesung moments here. He appears with Yoo Jae Suk of Running Man and Infinite Challenge, Choo Sunghoon of Return of Superman and renowned martial artist, and Lee Hyori of Fin.K.L and a solo singer.

I learned quite a lot about Korea from watching, as many of the chores were things such as fishing with traditional nets, harvesting and drying persimmons, harvesting bamboo shoots, and catching eels. These chores often showed how regular country people went about their lives many times in the same ways as their ancestors. The celebrity city folk often had a tough time doing these everyday chores and hilarity ensued. The games were a mix of physical and cerebral and cheating was often an option to prevent a loss. Meals were a time of togetherness and family bickering.

Guests were regularly invited and G Dragon appeared in episodes 7 and 8. Much fuss was made of him and he was charismatic and charming. I decided to check out the group he and Daesung were in and found BigBang, one of the best Kpop groups ever. I have been a fan ever since.

My love of Kpop however, does not stop with BigBang, I actually like numerous groups, some for their music, or their singing, or their dancing, their personalities, and some even for their smiles. Not to mention that so many of them are attractive. What’s not to like?

I also watch Kdrama, use Korean beauty products, make and eat Korean food, and love many things Korean. I have only visited S.Korea once, but will be heading back in a few months, so I’ll also be talking about travel tips, and advice for first time travelers. My daughter Elle will be assisting with the travel advice as she is extremely well traveled. (27 countries and counting.)

So Happy Birthday Daesung, and thanks.