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Korean Shopping and out to Eat

We are Americans who live in Korea.  Living in Korea, is not hard for Americans.  In this blog, I plan to write and put pictures so that Americans or others who are interested in Korea can see how we live.  We have been here for 12 years, so we have learned a lot that will help people who are interested in coming here.  We will take the readers with us as we move about in Korea and teach them how to do it if they want to do it.  Today, we went grocery shopping and out to eat, so I will tell you about our trip out.

To begin with, we live on the 9th floor of a very tall apartment building.  When we lived in Romania, we lived on the 9th floor for a while, and we thought we were very high up, and the building was 10 floors high, but the 9th floor is nothing here in Korea.  The first year we came here, we lived on the 24th floor of an apartment building in a small town, and we were not at the top.  Koreans build the tallest buildings in the world.  When they need a tall building in a place like Dubai, they bring Korean builders in because they know how to build tall buildings safely.  They have such tall buildings because the peninsula is small.  Everything is crowded in Korea, and the land space is limited.  All the apartment buildings have elevators, and it is common as in our building to have two elevators. One elevator only goes to the even numbered floors, and the other elevator only goes to the odd numbered floors.  As we get on the elevator on our floor, we notice a suit case sitting by the elevator we don’t use.  Someone has stored it there because no one will come out that door, and it isn’t in the way.  In America, we would never just leave a suitcase in the hallway like that, but it is okay in Korea.  No one will take it. If someone took it, they would consider it stealing. Children in America have a saying about things just left around, “Finders keepers, losers weepers,” but that is not a saying here. You just don’t mess with or touch anything that isn’t yours even if the owner is not there.

After we go down our elevator, you can see the signs by the elevators telling you which elevator to take from the bottom floor. You can also see advertisements written in Korean on those signs. Those are advertisements put there by real estate people who handle the apartments. You can see it below the signs telling which elevator to ride as well as under the mirror, two different real estate agents. You also see a sign that says CCTV. That means that you are on closed circuit TV. You are being watched.  These TVs are everywhere in Korea.  About 80% of your life in Korea is on film.  As we walk out, there is an office with windows. The man inside is a guard.  He stays there watching everyone coming and going. He knows what is going on. If you have trouble, you ask him for help. If you park your car wrong, he will call you up and tell you he doesn’t like how you parked your car, and you must come and park it again.  He also helps you with another problem in the parking lot I will discuss in the next paragraph.

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If the parking lot is full when you come, but you must park, you may park your car in front of other people’s cars.  If you do this, a couple of things are required.  First, all cars in Korea must have the driver’s telephone number displayed on the dashboard for people to see. If your car is causing trouble where it is, they will call you to move your car.  You just have to be patient.  If you are in bed, you jump up, throw your clothes on, and run out and move your car. Whatever you are doing, you must move because if you don’t, they become irate and mean with you if you don’t move right away.  You have the right to expect them to move right away if they are in front of your car too. You just have to learn to have patience and do it their way.  If you park it the way it is in my picture, then, you must leave your car in neutral and leave the parking brake off. In the picture, you can see a broken brick.  In this particular apartment building, the parking lot slopes, so they will put these broken bricks under their tires to keep the cars from rolling.  If you come out and someone has parked in front of you like that, all you do is move the brick and push the car out of the way.  If it is too hard to push, this is when you can go back and ask the guard to help you push the car.

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Now that we are outside, I decided to take a picture for you to show you just how big our apartment building is.  I kept backing off and backing off in the parking lot to get a good shot of it from the bottom to the top, but I just didn’t have the space to back up and get the top and bottom at the same time. This tells you these buildings are huge.  They don’t have earthquakes like in Japan. Japan doesn’t have much land space, but they can’t build buildings like this because of their earth quakes. Here in Korea, the biggest natural problem they have is the typhoon, and it is good to be in one of these buildings during a typhoon.  The wind can’t touch these buildings because they are made of concrete, and they are huge.  If it floods, and you live up on the second or higher floor, you are in business. No water will get in your house.  However, we had to learn something about living on the first floor the hard way because in the last apartment we lived in, we wanted the bottom floor.  The bottom floor is cheaper, and not many people want to live there.  When it floods, the water comes in.  When the snow begins melting, the water comes in.  When it is hot and rainy outside, the apartment on the bottom floor may start getting black mold on the walls.  The drainage system is not good in these apartments, and if you are on the bottom floor, you may have water standing in your bathroom floor. It is normal to spray the bathroom floors in Korea to clean them because they are completely tiled with a drain in the middle of the floor. In fact, if there is no bathtub, often, there is just a shower nozzle coming out of the sink for your to shower with, and you flood your bathroom when you shower.  Water in Korean bathroom floors is normal.  However, when we lived in Romania, living on the bottom floor of the apartment building was good because it meant that you would never have water problems, but here in Korea, living on the bottom floor says you will have too much water that will give you problems.

If you look at the outside of the building, you will see that every apartment has an enclosed balcony.  The balcony is not heated like the rest of the house, but it will be enclosed, and Koreans use these either to grow plants, to hang clothes to dry, or for storage.  In many apartments, they put the washing machine on the balcony.  If you also look on the outside of the building, you will see metal units attached to the outside of the balconies.  Those are air conditioners.  They don’t have central air in Korea, but they do have wall air conditioners, and in some cases, free standing air conditioners that stand in the corner of a room. They call these “air con.”  If you use the whole word, they will have no idea what you are talking about.  Many Koreans have air conditioning, but not everyone uses it because the air conditioners are electric.  If your electric bill gets too high, the electric company doubles it to discourage you from using so much electricity, so many people who have air conditioners will hardly use them even though it can get very steamy here in summer.

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As we get in our car to go, you will see that I have an SM3.  An SM3 is a Renault built by Samsung. In the beginning, I didn’t drive a car.  Many Koreans and foreigners use public transportation which is really good here. Public transportation is cheap and efficient in Korea.  In America, only the poorest people ride a bus to work, but it is not that way here. Often, even people who have cars opt out to use public transportation on a daily basis and save their cars just for family outings and things like that because the public transportation here is really good.  There are buses, subways, and taxis.  They are all cheap, and I will do another blog teaching you how to use them.  I used them in the beginning, and they are healthy.  Everyone usually loses weight when they first come to Korea because they are used to going everywhere in a car, but when you are walking to the bus stop or the subway station, you lose weight.  At one point, an American called me and sold me his second hand car. I was thinking like an American back then. The car was cheap, it ran, and it would make our lives more convenient, so I bought it.

It was better to have a car, but I ran into some problems. First, Korea is complicated to get around in with a car.  When we were going with the subways and buses, it was easy to know where to go, but I was always lost with my car. I was always calling my friends, telling them where I was and asking how to get home or to where I was going.  I had to learn that everyone who drives in Korea needs a GPS, a navigation system or they will get lost.  I bought a GPS from the same guy who sold me the car that was in English. That was a mistake.  The way the Koreans spell things in English makes no sense to Americans in the beginning until we get used to it, and I was always confused about where I was with that GPS.  Finally, the transmission went out on that old car, and a Korean friend of mine decided she was going to take over and teach me how it should be done in Korea.  Koreans don’t buy second hand cars. They buy new ones. They also buy the newest technology.  Everything must be up to date in Korea. I told her I wanted something cheap, and she told me she could get me a good new car that was cheap on gas with cheap car payments. I told her I also wanted a small car because there are many very crowded roads in Korea, and a smaller car would be easier to get around in. She wouldn’t even consider showing me a car as small as I wanted because she said they were dangerous.  She took me to a new car show room and insisted I had to buy one of those cars, and she wasn’t going to help me find anything else.  She actually guided me in a good way,  I now have a car that is cheap on gas, has cheap car payments, has a good GPS, and has a backup camera.  A backup camera is a must in Korea. The parking spots are smaller in Korea than in America, and having a backup camera helps you park.  Trying to go into a parking space frontwards at times is just impossible, but you can back up into it with a back up camera easily.  With the new car, I had a special service that I could call whenever I had car trouble. I will explain the car services in another blog, but she guided me right.  Now, we head out shopping in our SM3.

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The place we are going is EMart, the Korean WalMart.  It is like a super WalMart with everything available in one store. There are other stores like it in Korea, but usually EMart is the cheapest.  At times, we go to Home Plus or Lotte Mart. They are comparable to EMart, but not quite as cheap, but you can find things there that are not at EMart.  Home Plus has a lot of imports from England because it is actually owned by a British company.  WalMart was in Korea the first year we came, but EMart bought them out.  Like our apartment building, EMart is several stories high.  Instead of a big parking lot, there is a parking garage.  These stores and parking garages are not just in Seoul, but in every small town too.  We end up on the fourth floor of the parking garage because everything before that is crowded. Today is actually Saturday, so the store is more crowded. If we come through the week, there are less cars and less people because everyone is as work through the week, but today, everyone is out.

Like in our apartment building, we must start at the elevators.  I took a picture of something for you to see that is on every elevator in Korea.  They are warning signs not to touch the door of the elevator or lean on the door because you could fall and get hurt.  As we get in the elevator, you will here either nerocabnida or olacabnida in a sweet Korean lady’s voice.  “nerocabnida” means “going down,” and “olacabnida” means “going up.”  We actually begin by going down to the third floor.  There is usually a food court on the third floor of this particular EMart, but they have blocked most of it off.  This is something normal in Korea. Usually, in this food court, you get the choice of Burger King, Baskin Robbins, and any number of traditional Korean restaurants, but they have blocked the Korean restaurants off. I took a picture of the sign explaining it will be open again in June.  We are often disappointed when they do this. They just randomly close off a place you have been going for a long time and enjoying.  The business isn’t bad, but they like to upgrade everything in Korea.  As with my car, they like everything new.  Over at the mall, there was a wonderful restaurant called “Burger Hunter” where they had big luscious burgers and homemade potato chips, and we often when there with our Korean friends, but one day, they blocked it off. We had no idea what would be there or why they would block off such a popular restaurant. When they were done, they replaced it with a corn dog restaurant and a Mexican restaurant.  We go to those restaurants occasionally, but we miss our hamburger restaurant.  As for this food court, they still have Baskin Robbins because Baskin Robbins is very, very popular everywhere, all over Korea. It is is every little town, and sometimes on every street corner.  Koreans love ice cream. We also find Burger King.  Burger King and McDonalds both are popular in Korea.

We decided to eat at Burger King.  When you order at Burger King or McDonalds, you have a choice of how to order now.  You can either talk to the person at the cash register who speaks just enough English to take your order if you can’t speak Korean (However, we have been here for 12 years, so we speak to them in Korean), or you can use one of the new machines. I took a picture of the ordering machines for you, but I haven’t messed with them and never use them to order although many people do.  After you have ordered, they give you a piece of paper with a number, and they have a board where you wait for your number to come up, and then your order is ready.

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After you eat, you are expected to recycle.  There is a trash can, but there are also places to dump your ice, put your cups, and put your lids and straws.  Recycling in a really big thing in Korea. This culture thinks that if you are a good person, you will recycle.  My son in law recycles in front of our apartment building once a week. I did it in the beginning when we first came because they encouraged me to do it, bu my son in law has taken over, and I let him. In one of my blogs, I will show you the way they recycle at the apartment buildings.

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As we leave the food court, we pass an Italian restaurant.  It has a display case with models of the food. This is normal both in Korea and Japan. When the food court was open, they had models of the food with prices.  You chose which one you wanted, then went to the lady and told her which one you wanted. You paid for it, then she gave you a number, and you sat down and waited, looking at all the Korean restaurants knowing your number would come up on the sign board on top of one of them, and then when your number came up, you would go to that restaurant to get your food. It works the same in all the food courts here, but if there is Burger King, McDonalds, Baskin Robbins, or something like that, they are separate even though they are part of the food court.

We keep walking and go past clothing and jewelry.  As I said, this place is like a super WalMart and has everything. To get to the food because we are grocery shopping, we must go to another floor, so we take a moving sidewalk down.  At the bottom, we see the pharmacy, the “yakgook.” Yakgooks are everywhere, and it is very convenient to get Tylenol, band aids, etc., and to fill prescriptions in Korea. Next to the Yakgook, you also see a place where you can buy glasses, like a super WalMart. However, there is something I took a picture of for you that you can find here that you can’t find in American WalMarts that is very convenient.  If you lose weight or someone gives you clothes that just don’t fit, or just whatever reason, your clothes don’t fit, you can bring them to a place like this. They are all over the place.  They fix your clothes for you, and it is cheaper than buying new clothes.

We go on toward the place where the food is with our shopping cart on the next moving sidewalk.  There are many, many things available.  I took a picture of the candy isle. There is also soda pop. There is a bakery where you can buy all kinds of nice bread, cakes, pizza, muffins, bagels, croissants, etc.  We continue. You can buy already cooked, dried rice in small plastic bowls. When you take these home, all you have to do is open them up, add a few drops of water, cover them again, and put them in the microwave for a little, and you will have a nice hot bowl of rice.  My son in law says he doesn’t even add water to his.  To go along with these, there are several other things that you could just heat and eat to make your busy life easier.  These are just many packages of different dishes. My son especially liked me to buy the curry rice packages for him when he was here. My son in law likes the meat ball packages, the steak packages, etc.  On the opposite side from all this, there is cereal, all kinds like in America. We also recently got toaster pop ups, and that makes my daughter happy.

We go on through the store. We go past the coffee and tea isle where they have all kinds.  We come to the isle where they sell peanut butter, jelly, and even marshmallow cream.  On this isle, we can usually find imported canned goods of all kinds like canned fruit or pinto beans.  We can also find lots and lots of cans of tuna.  We don’t continue to the next isles because we really don’t need what is there, but in case you are wondering, there is sugar, flour, mayonnaise, ketchup, pancake syrup, cooking oil, etc. There is no shortening, but if we want solid shortening, we use butter.  We are headed for the butter and cheese isle where there are all kinds of cheeses from all over the world as well as all kinds of butter.  Next, we pick up milk, and you can get low fat milk. You don’t have to drink it with the fat in it if you don’t want to.

We continue on and see all kinds of exotic things. They have meat prepared for you to buy and cook yourself, but I have no idea what it is. When we get to the regular meat isle, we always look for chicken, pork, and hamburger. These are always much cheaper at EMart than in a place like Home Plus. Chicken is always there. Pork is always there, but hamburger is not always there. Even if hamburger is there, it may be so expensive that we won’t touch it.  If it is Korean beef, they price it off the charts crazy.  If they import it from Australia, it is half the price of Korean beef.  We never buy the Korean beef, but always the Australian beef.  At times, the beef is so expensive, but we still want the kinds of dishes that take ground meat. I have used ground pork in those circumstances. When you make spaghetti and meatballs for example, you really can’t tell a big difference between beef or pork because you have put your condiments, bread crumbs, and eggs in the meatballs and then covered them with spaghetti sauce.  The taste isn’t so different that it isn’t doable.  By the way, you can buy already made spaghetti sauce in jars.  We have tried the Korean brands as well as the imported brands, and we like the imported brands best, but we can’t get them in EMart. We have to go to Home Plus to get them. You can also use the ground pork for taco meat.  You can buy tortillas here as well as long horn or cheddar cheese which means you can make tacos, but usually, they will have to be made with flour tortillas instead of corn because corn tortillas are only found in import shops here, but you can find flour tortillas in EMart and Home Plus. Sometimes at Home Plus, you can buy packages of spices already mixed together for tacos or fajitas. If you want refried beans in your fajitas, you will have to learn to make them from scratch before you come.

After we leave the meat isle, we go on and see all kids of exotic things the Koreans eat.  We took some pictures for you to see.  We don’t know how to fix any of this stuff.  We go on to the vegetable and fruits.  There are all kinds of things to see here.  There are things we would consider normal, and some you may have never seen.  My daughter begins snapping pictures.  In one of the pictures, you can see plantains, cooking bananas.  When we lived in Nigeria, we used to buy these.  You slice them up and fry them in butter and put salt on them, and they are a great snack.  She also takes a picture of chamwee, or as some Koreans say chamway.  These are just two pronunciations we have heard for the same thing. They are small yellow melons.  I have never seen them in any other country, but they are good.  There is also a picture here of the Korean pears. They are big and round unlike American pears. They also keep for weeks on end in the fridge like apples unlike American pears.  They don’t bruise or go bad and soft quickly like American pears, and they are delicious.  There is also a shot of what Americans would call tangerines, but the Koreans call them kyul.  They are extremely popular here. They come from Jeju Island, the Korean Hawaii, an island to the complete south of the peninsula.  Many Koreans go there on vacation, and they bring these back with them.  These little tangerines are everywhere. Everyone has them. Everyone eats them.  When I get on a bus with other professors or with students to go somewhere, someone is always passing out kyul, their small tangerines. After class, often, students bring me a kyul as a gift like they bring apples to American teachers.  Kyul are just extremely, extremely popular in Korea.

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Across from the fruits and vegetables, there is a special section.  These are supposed to be fruits and vegetables grown in a healthier way than the regular fruits and vegetables, organic, and they are more expensive.

After we leave the fruits and vegetables, we go past some more Korean delicacies. There is a picture here of ginseng. Koreans love ginseng.  They even put it in candy.  You can get on a bus and smell ginseng products around you, especially if there are old people.  Korea is the ginseng capital of the world.  They believe it is extremely healthy.  They were pushing it on me so much when I first got here, that I looked it up on the internet, and it doesn’t have as many special things about it that the Koreans think it does according to what I read, but it doesn’t stop them from propagating it, believing in it, and using a lot of it.  There are also pictures here of dried fish.  From what I understand,  you are supposed fry these, but I haven’t ever seen it done or know how to do it myself.

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We also go past the paper products and the soap isles. We stop and take a picture of the soft plastic bag like laundry soap containers.  You can buy the regular packages here like in the States, but they also make these packages for you to use as refills for your heavy plastic bottle of detergent to make it cheaper.

Next, we head back upstairs on the moving sidewalk.  We check out at the checkout stand.  The store is crowded, so many people are checking out.  At the checkout stand, the woman will say to you “punktul dirilkayo?”  She is asking if you want a shopping bag.  You can answer in English if you say, “yeah” because that means “yes” in Korean.  If you want more than one, you will have to tell her, but she won’t speak English at all, so this is the first place you will probably have no choice but learn the Korean numbers.  In many situations, you won’t need Korean, but to check out, it is much easier if you learn just a little.  As for us, on this day, we don’t need shopping bags because we bought some with us. We have to pay for shopping bags in Korea.  I took a picture of our shopping bags.  The strawberry has a shopping bag inside, and many people carry these with them.  If you look at the blue ones, there are pictures on them.  They show you can shop and use them for trash bags.  You can only buy trash bags at the cash registers in Korea.  They have separate trash bags also that can’t be used as shopping bags, but they can’t be bought at EMart. You can buy bigger trash bags if you go to a local “super” which is what they call a small shop close to your house, but you will have to know how to ask for them.  You say “tsuregi punctul juseyo” which means please give me a trash bag.  They come in all different sizes, and you can either buy one or a package, and in the beginning, you will think they are expensive.  However, you won’t have to pay for a trash service. We actually use our bags that double as shopping bags for our trash bags. You have to buy the bags in your neighborhood or they won’t like it.  Every apartment building has a place where you deposit your trash in these special bags, and it is picked up once a week like the recycling.

Now, we are back in our car and leaving the parking garage. There are so many cars, there is a traffic jam coming out of the parking garage, and we just have to be patient. We are all waiting perched on a slope. It is hard to perch your car on a slope during a traffic jam. One false move, and you have hit another car.  Finally, we get to the bottom, and there is a little booth.  Luckily, at EMart, they don’t charge you to park, although, when they first put these booths in, they did, but now, they just count how long you were there and how many cars have been in the parking lot. However, if you go to a big fancy department store like Hyundai Department Store in Mokdong, you will have to collect every receipt you receive.  You must prove to them you have been shopping and not just using their parking garage for something else because parking can become a really big deal in Korea. If you have bought enough, you will not have to pay to get out of the parking garage at Hyundai Department Store, but if you have not bought enough for the amount of time you have been inside, then you must pay to get out.  I have actually found a way around all this nonsense.  When we go over there, the first temptation is to park on the pink floor of the parking garage because it has flowers, statues, etc., and everything is painted in pink for women to park there, but I don’t.  I go all the way to the bottom of the parking garage, in the deepest basement.  Very few cars go down there, so when it is time to leave, they may not have posted anyone at the gate and won’t have anyone there to charge you anything as you go out if you are lucky.

Our shopping trip is finished, and we head back for our apartment building.  When I get home, I plan on blogging before I forget what we did. On the way home, we talk about all the other things we do or can do in Korea that foreigners will enjoy reading about, so this isn’t the end of my blogging, just one blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If You Find Yourself in a Small Town in Korea, How Can You Find Something Good To Eat?

I was asked a question similar to this in my in box, but with the actually named the small town. The truth is, there is one simple rule to finding something good to eat in S. Korea, and I will also tell you what kinds of things you can find there, so you will know what you are looking at.

You can find small restaurants on streets like this, but not one of the mega stores with a food court, a grocery store, and a department store like E-Mart, Lotte Mart, and Homeplus.//Photo by Ethan Brooke on Pexels.com

The simple rule to finding a good place to eat whether you are in a small town or a big one in Korea is look for one of the big stores: E-Mart, Lotte Mart, or Homeplus. In a place like that, you will find a food court. Korean food courts are really good and affordable. In every small town, you can find one or maybe more of these kinds of stores. If you want to ask where the food court is, it is easy because they use the English word for Food court and just mispronounce it a bit. The don’t have an “f” in Korean, so they may say “pood” instead of “food.”

You can also find American fast food places at times in these Korean Food Courts.//Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

You will find all kinds of different kinds of restaurants at the food court. You will also find a glass case with models of all the food that is served there. Usually, the price is beside the model. Sometimes you order directly from the restaurant counter, and sometimes there is a lady sitting at a cash register where you have to give her the number that is beside the food model, and she sends the order in for you, and you pay her. Usually, if they have a Burger King, McDonald’s , Popeye’s or some place like that, you will order directly at the restaurant.

Sengkatsu is battered, deep fat fried fish, and it is good.///Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

In the glass case, the kinds of models you will see are things like tonkatsu, sengkatsu, omu rice, doc mandu gooksoo, etc. Those are the dishes you would probably like. Sometimes beside the tonkatsu, they have written “yetnal” that simple means it is the kind they have been eating forever. Tonkatsu is battered and deep fat fried pork cutlet usually with a sauce on it, and it is very good. Along with it, they will probably serve rice, a small bowl of soup, a salad, and kimchee or yellow pickles. The tonkatsu is very good, and foreigners usually really like it. The Koreans consider it so mild that the kids would like it. The yellow pickles are delicious. The salad is usually cabbage and will have salad dressing on it, and each place uses a different kind of salad dressing. Some put Sesame dressing. Some put Thousand Island dressing. Sengkatsu is the same thing as tonkatsu only it is battered deep fat fried fish, and it is good.

If you go to a Korean coffee shop, you can find cheese cake and other nice deserts.///Photo by Wendy Wei on Pexels.com

If you go for omu rice, it is red rice inside a large omelet. I know many foreigners who like this. I knew a guy who used to order it almost everyday. I actually really like the doc mandoo gooksoo. Doc mandoo gooksoo is soup. It may have pieces of roast beef floating in the soup. It also has mandoo. The Koreans will tell you mandoo are dumplings, but they aren’t. They are like a stuffed noodle when they are in the soup. Inside, you will find ground pork, soy sauce, green onions, and small bits of rice noodles. The doc are rice cakes. There are no sugar in them. Rice has been ground into flour, then they use water and form it into cakes, and they are floating in doc mandoo gooksoo. Gooksoo simply means soup.

This is curried rice. You might also find this at the food courts. The curry might be slightly spicy, but it is downright delicious!//Photo by Buenosia Carol on Pexels.com

You can also find just mandoo at these food courts. Sometimes the mandoo has been steamed, and sometimes it has been fried. When I order this, I always ordered an extra bowl of rice on the side because it doesn’t come with rice. However, mandoo is very good.

If you order the mandoo, you may also want to order an extra bowl of rice to go with it. This isn’t Korean food. I only put it there for the bowl of rice.//Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

There will be models of other things there. Be careful of the things that are too red, and be careful of the kimchee. The Koreans are very proud of their kimchee, but it may be a shock to you when you first try it. Kimchee is sour cabbage doused big time in chili pepper and garlic. They overdo it on the chili pepper, so be careful. I was at a food court with a Korean friend once, and he ordered a soup that was completely red with chili pepper, and while he was eating, it was so spicy that he turned red in the face and began sweating from so many spices. I learned to avoid the stuff that had so much chili powder for my stomach’s sake. However, when my son came, he thought trying all the overly spicy dishes was part of the fun of Korea, but I had to live there everyday, and I couldn’t be hurting my stomach everyday just for adventure or I would be sick all the time.

If you eat Songeopsal, it is either beef or pork that you cook at the table on the grill yourself. You then wrap it up in a piece of lettuce and add either garlic or a sauce to it to eat it. They bring the raw meat to the table, and you cut it into smaller pices with a pair of scissors and cook it the way you want it cooked.//Photo by Matheus Gomes on Pexels.com

There are other kinds of restaurants too. Often, you can find small restaurants that serve the tonkatsu or mandoo. I used to go to a small restaurant chain often called Tomato. It had the tonkatsu and the omu rice among other things. You can find the Tomato restaurants in many places, but I am not really sure how widespread they are, but you can find either E-Mart, Lotte Mart, or Homeplus in every town, so you will be able to go to the food court and choose what kind of food you want. Sometimes there are other kinds of restaurants outside the food court in those places too. Some of them have Shabu Shabu places or Songyeopsal. Both are good. With Shabu Shabu, you cook your own meat and vegetables in a big pot in the middle of the table, and with Songyeopsal, you cook your meat on a grill that is on the table. If you see a restaurant with chimneys over the table, you know it is Songyeopsal. Both Shabu Shabu and Songyeopsal are really worth eating. They are a bit more expensive than the food court type foods. Another thing you can find in every town, even small towns, is Baskin Robbins if you want ice cream. Baskin Robbins may also be in the food courts. If you go to the grocery store section of those big stores, you may also find what the Koreans call twigum, but the Japanese call tempura which is delicious battered deep fat friend shrimp and vegetables. You can also find pizza.

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Out of My Bondage (Afara de Robie Meu)

Buna Ziua. Ce mai face? (How are you?) Sper ca tot merge bine con tine. (I hope everything is going well with you.) Cel mai mult de oameni nu inteleg ca pacate pot sa deveni stepanul lor. (Most people don’t understand that sin can become their master.) Daca faci ceva si simpt ca nu poti sa opresti cum daca bei prea mult, daca sa manaca prea mult, sau nu poti sa te controleaza si nu striga la cele alte, acel lucru sunt stepanul tau. (If you do something and feel that you can’t stop like if you drink too much, if you eat too much, or if you can’t control yourself and not scream at others, those things are your master.) Daca vrei sa faci lucru bun, dar nu o faci, e pacatele. (If you want to do good things, but don’t do them, it is sin.) Si aceea e domnul tau. (And that is your Lord.) Daca facem ceva rau, si daca nu pot sa oprim sa facem acel rau lucru, pacat a devenit domnul si noi am deveni sclavele de acel pacate, sclavele de Satan. (If we do something bad, and if we can’t stop doing the bad thing, sin has become our master and we have become slaves to that sin, slaves to Satan.) Cand noi devein crestini, schimbam vietile nostril, si incercam sa nu facem pacate. (When we become Christians, we change our lives, and we try not to sin.) Lasam Dumnezeu sa ne ajuta. (We let God help us.) Mergem pe cale pe care Jesus a facut pentru noi. (We go on the path that Jesus made for us.)

Out of My Bondage

Afara de Robie Meu

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Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night

Afara de robie meu, necaz, si noapte

Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!

Iesu, eu vin! Iesu, eu vin!

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

Into thy freedom, gladness and light

La libertatea ta, bucurie si lumina

Jesus, I come to thee!

Iesu, eu fin la tine!

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Out of my sickness into thy health

Afara de boala mea la sanitatea ta

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Out of my want and into thy wealth,

Afara de saracire meu si la belsung tau,

Out of my sin and into thyself,

Afara de pacatele meu si la tine insusi,

Jesus, I come to thee!

Iesus, eu vin la tine!

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Out of my shameful failure and loss,

Afara de incapacitate meu rusinos si pierdere,

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Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!

Iesu, eu vin! Iesu, eu vin!

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Into the glorious gain of thy cross

La castig glorios de crucea ta

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Jesus, I come to thee!

Ieus, eu vin la tine!

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Out of earth’s sorrows into thy balm,

Afara de suparare pamantul lui la balsam tau,

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Out of earth’s storms and into thy calm,

Afara de furtunele pamantul lui si la calmul tau,

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Out of distress to jubilant psalm,

Afara de necazuri la pslamul foarte bucuros,

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Jesus, I come to thee!

Iesus, eu vin la tine!

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Out of unrest and arrogant pride,

Afara deneliniste si mandrie arogant,

Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!

Iesu, eu vin! Iesu, eu vin!

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Into thy blessed will to abide

La vointa ta binecuvantat sa locuiesc

Jesus, I come to thee!

Iesus, eu vin la tine!

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Out of myself to dwell in thy love,

Afara de mine insusi sa locuiesc in iubirea ta,

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Out of despair to raptures above,

Afara de nefericire complete la extaz de sus,

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Upward for aye on wings like a dove,

Indreptat din sus spunand da pe aripele cum un porumbel

Jesus, I come to thee!

Iesu, eu vin la tine!

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,

Afara de frica si spaima de mormantul,

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Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!

Iesus, eu vin! Iesus, eu vin!

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Into the joy and pleasures, thine own,

La bucuria si placerele, al tau,

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Jesus, I come to thee!

Iesus, eu vin la tine!

Photo by Jose Aragones on Pexels.com

Out of the depths of ruin untold,

Afara de adancimele de ruina nu spus,

Photo by Al Butler on Pexels.com

Into the flock thy love doth enfold,

la turma de iubirea ta sunt inclus,

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Ever thy glorious face to behold,

Intotdeauna fata ta glorios sa vad,

Photo by Juhasz Imre on Pexels.com

Jesus, I come to thee!

Iesus, eu vin la tine!


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I’m Not Ashamed to Own My Lord (No Soy Avergonzado hablar Acerca de Mi Senor)

Buenos Dias. Espero que se siente bien hoy. (I hope you are feeling well today.) Tengo un cancion hoy que de verdad puedo decir ‘estas palabras sin vacilacion. (I have a song today that for sure I can say these words without hesitation.) Mucha gente en ‘esto mundo saben que he hablado con mucha gente en todo el mundo acerca de Dios. (Many people in this world know that I have talked with a lot of people in the whole world about God.) No soy avergonzado hablar acerca de Dios para nada. (I am not ashamed to talked about God at all.) Jesus hizo tan mucho para nosotros, y que ‘el hizo es asombroso! (Jesus did so much for us, and what he did is amazing!)

I’m Not Ashamed to Own My Lord

No Soy Avergonzado Hablar Acerca De Mi Senor

I’m not ashamed to own my Lord

No soy avergonzado hablar acerca de mi Senior

And to defend his name

Y defender su nombre

Maintain the honor of his word

Mantener el hnor de su palabra

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The glory of his cross.

La gloria de su cruz.

Firm as his throne his promise stands

Su promesa solida es seguro como su trono

And he can well secure

Y ‘el puede asegurar bien

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What I’ve committed to his hands

Que me he compromido a su manos

‘Til the decisive hour.

Hasta la hora decisiva

Then will he own my worthless name

Entonces ‘el va decir mi nombre sin nungun valor

Before his father’s face

Delante de la cada de su padre

And in the new Jerusalem

Y en el nuevo Jerusalem

Appoint for me a place.

Fijar para mi un lugar

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An Important Concept to Consider About Confucian Cultures

I have lived both in Japan and in S. Korea. There was an extremely important concept in both places that helps the cultures function better, keeps the crime rate low, and keeps the morals high. In Confucian cultures, they feel responsible for one another. It is not “every man for himself” like so many cultures in the west. They feel the responsibility to take care of one another and make sure they know how to function and how to do things personally. They don’t wait for the government to do it. The older ones are never told to “but out,” but their instructions are appreciated, and the younger ones bow to the older ones and become more humble. In Japan, the older one is called a simpai, and the younger one is called a kohai. In Korea, the older one is called a songbae, and the younger one is called a hubae. It is the same concept. Here are definitions of what these are and what they do, and these would be concepts worth adopting in other countries.

This is the lowest Japanese bow. It is giving the person she is bowing to the utmost respect. The most respect is usually given to the teachers or professors, but there are people higher than even them like the emperor. Usually, they bow at the waste for a professor, so she must be bowing to someone very important.// Photo by Malibi 75 on Pexels.com

The simpai, or the songbae is the older one. When I was in Japan, I had a simpai. Many of my students in Korea had songbaes or were a songbae themselves. My Korean son in law has a songbae. When he sees him, he treats him like his best friend, but that is not what he calls him. Even at my age, when I am in Japan, the person who considered himself my simpai still feels responsible for me. The simpai or the songbae is older than the kohai or the hubae. They are not their teacher. Often times, they are an older student or perhaps an older co-worker. They have done what the kohai or hubae has done before. They may only be a year older, but they understand what the younger one is going through. When I first went to Japan, an American professor made himself responsible for the new American students, and the Japanese considered him our simpai. He knew what it was like to be new in Japan. He knew we wouldn’t understand many things. He knew that we needed to be taught not to make cultural mistakes. He taught us to take our shoes off. He taught us to bow. He taught us what to say and not to say, and when to say certain things. He helped us find somewhere to live. He translated for us. He just flat helped us in any way he could. He wasn’t paid to be kind to us, but he was. He helped us find our way in Japan. Once, even after I wasn’t a student anymore, he heard I was in trouble in the southern part of Japan, and he wired me money, and refused to take any money in repayment. The last time I saw him a few years ago, he insisted on driving me where I needed to go and told me he was responsible for me any time I was in Japan. I was lucky because he was not only following the Japanese custom, but he was also a Christian, and truly cared about people.

Koreans also bow, but not as often or as low as the Japanese bow.//Photo by O-seop Sim on Pexels.com

In Japan and in Korea, the kohai or the hubae give respect to their simpai or songbae. They know they are there to help them, and they listen to what they say. I have taken an enormous amount of advice from my simpai who still lives in Japan. He seemed to have things all together, so I took notes and tried to do things the way he did them when I didn’t quite know which way to go. The simpai or the songbae actually feel responsible to make sure things turn out well for their kohai or hubae in the same way many Christians take care of one another. However, this simpai or songbae and kohai or hubae is not a Christian concept. It is a Confucian concept. You don’t have to be a Christian to do it.

When my kids were growing up, my oldest son felt very responsible to try to keep his little sister out of trouble. If we have simpais or songbae, then we still have someone older than us who tries to keep us out of trouble.//Photo by Ana Francisconi on Pexels.com

When I was growing up, I didn’t have an older brother, only an older sister who wanted me to get lost, two younger brothers, and a younger sister who I took care of. I always had it in my head that if I had an older brother, he would protect me and give me good advice. When we are growing up especially, we need people like that around us. In Japan and Korea, they have someone like that even if they have no brothers or sisters. In Japan or Korea, whoever is the oldest is in charge. That means the ultimate person in charge in a family is grandpa, and in Korea, they also have the grandmothers who are extremely strong. Strong mothers and grandmothers are called ajumas, and you better not cross them in Korea! If everyone is trying to keep the younger ones out of trouble and understanding that those who are older have done it before and know, so they listen to them, it will make a lower crime rate and a higher morality. You don’t have to be a Christian to take care of others. You don’t have to be a Christian to understand that someone older than you that has walked where you are walking will know how to avoid the pitfalls. I happen to like Christianity and believe in it, but in Japan and Korea, you don’t have to be a Christian to be a simpai, songbae, kohai, or hubae. You just have to have been through it and understand how to give good advice to the person coming after you or to understand that older people know what they are talking about. This is a concept worth adopting. Most of us would all love an older brother to give us good advice and protect us. Now a days, one of my younger brothers tries to look out for me, and I truly appreciate it. America would be a much better place if we would all look out for one another.

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I Cannot Find the Way Alone (Nu Pot sa Gasesc Calea Singura)

Buna Ziua! Ma bucur atat de mult sa am o sansa sa folosec limba romana. (I am so happy to have a chance to use Romanian.) Sunt dor de Romania. (I miss Romania.) Ieri, cineva a vorbit cu mine despre o serviciu, si acolo pot sa intalnesc mult oameni din mult tarele. (Yesterday, someone talked to me about a job, and there I can meet a lot of people from many countries.) Am auzit ca chair si oameni din Romania merg acolo. (I have heard that even Romanians go there.) Daca pot sa gasesc cineva pe care pot sa vorbesc limba romana cu ei, voi fi foarte fericita. (If I can find someone with which to speak Romanian, I will be very happy.) Si ieri, am fost la biserica aici, si ei au cantat mult cantele pe care nu am auzit inaitnte, si as vreau sa impart unul dintre ei. (And yesterday, I went to church here, and they sang a lot of songs that I had never heard before, and I would like to share one of them.)

I Cannot Find the Way Alone

Nu Pot sa Gasesc Calea Singura,

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As I journey through this vale of sorrow,

Cand calatoresc prin este vale de necaz

Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

The way seems so strange and unknown;

Calea se pare atat de ciudat si neconoscut;

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Lord, I need a helping hand

Domnul, am nevoie de o mana ajutorand

Photo by Leonardo Gonzalez on Pexels.com

For I cannot find the way alone.

Pentruca nu pot sa gasesc calea singura.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

I cannot find the way without thee;

Nu pot sa gasesc calea fara tine;

Dear Lord, look down from thy throne

Draga Domnul, Uitati jos din tronul tau

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And make thy light to shine about me

Si faci lumina ta sa straluceste in jural meu

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For I cannot find the way alone.

Pentruca nu pot sa gasesc calea singura.

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When the raging storms of life confound me,

Cand furtunele manaos de viata ma confunda,

Dear Lord, will thee keep me thine alone;

Draga Domnul, te rog sa ma pastrezi al tau;

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Let me feel thy precious arms around me

Lasa ma sa simpt pretios bratule tau in jural de mine

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For I cannot find the way alone.

Pentruca nu pot sa gasesc calea singura.

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Before the Throne of God Above (Delante del Trono de Dios Aribba)

Buenos Dias. Como estas? (How are you?) Espero que estas bien. (I hope you are fine.) Ahora es lunes por la manana. (It Is Monday morning.) Ayer, domingo, fui a la iglesia, y alli’ ellos cantamos muchos canciones que son nuevo para mi. (Yesterday was Sunday, and I went to church, and there they sang a lot of songs that are new to me.) Hoy decide’ compartir uno de los canciones. (Today, I decided to share one of those songs

Before the Throne of God Above

Delante del Trono de Dios Arriba

Before the throne of God above

Delante del trono de Dios arriba

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I have a strong, perfect plea

Tengo una suplica fuerte y perfecta

A great high priest whose name is love

un sumo sacerdote, y se llaman amor

Who ever lives and pleads for me

‘El siempre vide y defende para mi

My name is graven on his hand

Mi nombre es grabado sobre su mano

My name is written on his heart

Mi nombre es escrito sobre su corazon

I know that while in Heaven he stands

Se’ eso mientras en Cielo ‘el se queda

No tongue can bid me thence depart

No lengua puede me intrebe irme de alli’

No tongue can bid me thence depart

No lengua puede me intrebe irme de alli’

When Satan tempts me to dispair

Cuando Satan me tenta despertar

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And tells me of the guilt within

Y me dice acerca de la culpa al dentro

Upward I look and see him there

Miro arriba y lo veo alli’

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Who made an end to all my sin

Quien hizo el fin a todo mi pecadores

Photo by Alem Sánchez on Pexels.com

Because the sinless savior died

Porque el Salvador sin pecadores murio’

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

My sinful soul is counted free

Mi alma lleno con pecados es liber

For God the just is satisfied

Para Dios el justo es satisfecho

To look on him and pardon me

Mirar a ‘el y me pardonar

To look on him and pardon me.

Mirar a ‘el y me pardonar

Behold him there the risen lamb

Mira ‘el alli’, el cordero recusitado

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My perfect spotless righteousness

Mi recititud perfecto y inmaculado

The great unchangeable I am

El grande sin cambiante yo exista

The king of glory and of grace

El rey de gloria y de gracia

One with Himself I cannot die

Uno con ‘el mismo no puede morir

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My soul is purchased by his blood

Mi alma es comprador por su sangre

My life is hid with Christ on high

Mi vida es escondido con Cristo arriba

With Christ my savior and my God

Con Cristo my salvador y mi Dios

With Christ my savior and my God

Con Cristo me salvador y mi Dios

One with himself I cannot die

Un con ‘el mismo no puedo morir

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My soul is purchased by his blood

Mi alma es comprador por su sangre

My life is hid with Christ on high

Mi vida es escondido con Cristo arriba

With Christ my savior and my God

Con Cristo mi salvador y mi Dios

With Christ my savior and my God

Con Cristo mi salvador y mi Dios

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죽이까지 사랑하신 주 (Give Love Until Death)

안녕 하세요. (Hello) 나의 소망이 모든 진구들이 괘엔찬아요. (I hope everyone is okay.) 오늘이 일요이 이예요. (Today is Sunday.) 교회에 갔어요. (I went to church today.) 한국인들과 미국인들이 때때로 깉은 교회의 노래룰 노래 해요.(Sometimes Koreans and Americans sing the same church songs.) 하지만, 오늘은 교회에 모들 노래를 한국에 노래 하지 않았어요.(However, the songs we sang today at church I didn’t sing in Korea.) 나의 생각이 한국에 노래는노무 낡은 노래 이예요. (I think in Korea, the songs are very old.) 오늘 한번또 한국 의 노래의 책에서 보내고 십아요. (Today again, I want to send you a song from the Korean song book.)

죽이까지 사랑하신 주

Give Love Until Death

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죽이까지 사랑하신 주

Give love until death.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

그보다더큰사랑없 네

There is not a love bigger than this.

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내 가 너희들에게 새계 명 을주노니 나

I will give you all the world.

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너희들을 사랑하듯시로 사랑 하라.

Love the people, love one another.

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네가나를따르면 나의 친구되리니 나

If I give to you, you will become my friend

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너희들을 하듯 서러 사랑 하라.

You all should love one another.