Seoul Station

I was in the Seoul Station area this weekend, to apply for my visa to China. Some interesting things:

 

The fertility center displaying their cryovats, right across from the entrance to the China Visa Center. There’s a joke in here somewhere …

 

And then I walked across the Seoullo 7017 skygarden, to get to Seoul Station from Seoul Square. I was surprised at the amount of homeless people outside Seoul Station. I’d been outside the old Seoul Station once or twice before, and it was deserted then. Now I’m wondering, did I go at an odd time before, because surely I must have noticed … ? No? I don’t know.

The reason I went to Seoul Station was to go to the 하이마트 electronics center inside Lotte Mart. Annoyingly, I’m in the market for a laptop. I hate laptops. FYI, their prices are so much higher than buying online, in addition to displaying a limited and slightly outdated selection. I had a bit of a tech-head chat with one of the sales guys hanging around the laptop section, and it turns out that the sales staff do not get any sort of commission! They are solely there to assist. I thought that was nice. And then he had to go and say, “Wow, it’s so interesting talking to you; most women are not interested in these kinds of things.”

 

And a piano at the skygarden. I tested it out and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was in tune! The outdoor weather can’t be great conditions for a piano, though.

Adventures in cooking Malaysian food

I’m not Muslim, but all the talk in Malaysia about param (apparently a new thing … pasar ramadan) has me hungry for all the food I used to eat there.

Here’s a snapshot of my adventures in making kuih lapis here in Korea. The only ingredients I had to special-order online was tapioca flour. I also bought a small bottle of pandan extract when I went to Malaysia earlier this year, and I used that. I don’t know if it’s possible to buy pandan extract or (frozen?) pandan leaves in Korea. Somewhere online, I’m sure.

I followed this kuih lapis recipe, including the reduction of sugar to 280 g. Tastes just right! 400 g of sugar must be a bit crazy. I think I added a 1.5 teaspoons of pandan extract.

First of all, rainbow kuih lapis! I have a food coloring set, but it only has red, blue, yellow, and green. And because my K-12 education never once mentioned color wheels, I had to pull up a photo of a color wheel online, to figure out what combination of colors to mix. Haha! Don’t worry, I’m not that helpless. I only needed it to figure out the red/blue balance of indigo and violet. It’s not easy for some of us, okay!?

And after that, I repeatedly had to recite ROY G BIV in reverse, because the first layer I poured in was V.

The rainbow kuih lapis looked great and tasted authentic, but the layers wouldn’t peel! My mother later told me that between steamings, the pot lid should be removed (while continuing to boil) for a minute or so until the layer has visibly set. Pour in next layer, cover with lid.

 

I had some leftovers because my pan was only a 6 inch round pan. So, I decided to use the typical Korean 떡 (tteok) rice cake colors of white, pink, and green. It actually looks quite Malaysian, too.

And I did remove the pot lid between steamings, and yes, it’s now possible to peel off the separate layers. I’m ready to open for business! (or not…)

And then I attempted chicken rendang, except that I used maybe too much turmeric (super yellow!), and I didn’t have any lengkuas or serai. I didn’t have any cili padi, so I dumped in some bottled sos cili padi – same thing, no? As for kerisik, hey, I have shredded coconut. Just pan-fry it in a dry pan until it browns, right?

After eating it, I realized I actually made a standard curry, not rendang. Haha! Don’t know why that didn’t occur to me earlier.

Mac and cheese burger

For this past week, I didn’t have any food ready for breakfast at home. So, before going to work, I ended up dropping by 7-11 to buy whatever 2,000 won burger struck my fancy.

This one’s the “Mac and Deep Cheese Burger”, which tasted vaguely jalapeno cheese-esque. There was way too much sauce and it got kind of gross towards the end. I skipped lunch because I still felt full and kind of grossed out.

Post-health exam lunch

Another year, another annual health exam for my job contract. I went at around 3 pm, after an early breakfast and no lunch. 8 hour fast! I then stopped by a nearby restaurant for 돈가스 (don-kas-s) for 6,000 won. So many side dishes! I felt a bit guilty for being a solo table getting all these side dishes. But! I wasn’t the only solo table, so I guess it’s okay.

I don’t really care for all that sauce. Maybe I should ask for no sauce next time, but then again dish modifications are an only-in-America thing. I think?

Cat teeth scaling

Captain – my second cat – has been having awfully smelly breath for a while now. When I first adopted him from the shelter, he was already full-grown, had lived in several places, and already had a teeth plaque problem. The vet said a scaling wasn’t necessary just yet. Anyway, this week I decided that alright, let’s get this stinky breath FIXED. A different vet at the same clinic agreed that yes, it was time for a scaling, and also some periodontal disease meds.

I showed up at my reservation time of 11:30 am, and Captain went off for his blood draw. I stayed at the clinic for about 15 minutes, waiting for the bloodwork to be done. Everything was a go, except for the creatinine levels, which was at 1.9, when the recommended range was 0.8-1.8. Not too high, so it’s fine. But I’m going to have to figure out how to get him to drink more water. I’ve already been mixing in lots of water in his wet food? Ugh, I don’t know. So I signed the authorization papers for anesthesia and scaling (this was surprisingly in English, perfect English!), and was told to come pick him up anytime after 5 pm.

The process is much cheaper than in the US. It cost me 77,000 won for the actual scaling. And 55,000 won for the bloodwork.

Earlier that day, I had just gotten a vaccination for myself. 170,000 won! A bit of a pricey day for both the human and one of her animals.

Thanksgiving dinner, I guess

I feel like autumn hasn’t really ended just yet, because the leaves are still turning, and haven’t even fully dropped off yet. First snow has come and gone. It’s cold at night, so I guess it’s time to bring out the bak kut teh mix and chicken. And of course, I’m currently nursing a cold, even though I was a responsible little adult and got my flu shot!

Delivery sushi and other midweek adventures

It’s been a sushi week for me. Why? I don’t know. I just wanted to. Delivery sushi seems like an iffy idea, but it’s really not. I had kaiten sushi on Monday, and was still dreaming about it on Wednesday, so I ordered delivery sushi! It was cheaper to have it delivered, and a lot more variety and side dishes. In the picture, you can see some miso soup, some corn or cream of chicken soup (I don’t know?), a salad, and some assorted fried food … I split this up between dinner and breakfast, and it was amazing.

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