Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pig cheek?

I realize that a large portion of my blog entries have to do with questionable cuisine choices; this entry is no different. That's all part and parcel of living in or traveling to new and different countries. In Australia, some people eat kangaroo. In Vietnam, I saw cat on the menu. Here in Korea, I've sampled dog stew. Now I know that it's easy to judge my choices based on America's conception of which animals are "politically correct" to eat, but to some people, eating deer or hot dogs/brats is disgusting. I do have my own "line", just as everyone should. No matter how open minded culturally I try to be, I still couldn't bring myself to eat live octopus. I guess there's just something about it being alive in my mouth that I couldn't bear.

Anyway, I was invited to another strange sounding dinner--one of pig cheek. I guess in America we are "specific" with naming certain parts of animals as well: pork loin, chicken breast, thigh, rump roast, etc...but I guess I just never considered eating an animal's cheek. It creates quite a visual, doesn't it? Anyway, it was good. I wouldn't have known the difference between that and any other part of the pig. It was a good night out with two fun Korean workmates, Seung Han and In Seo.

Korean restaurants definitely follow the "Function over form" rule. Some Koreans think that the shittier the interior of the restaurant, the better the food will be. I read that there's something about remodeling that's bad luck.
Throwing the pig cheek on the grill
Look closely! It's Seung Han's picture! He was on the wall at a local bar--he must be a regular.

Dr. Fish

There's a new fad in Asia called Dr. Fish. Dr. Fish is a cafe with shallow, warm-water foot pools containing hundreds of tiny minnow-like fish imported from China. For some strange reason, these hungry creatures like to nibble the dead skin off of people's feet! Ewww! Doesn't sound like a good dinner to me. But my curiosity was piqued, so I had to go check it out. It was only $2 for 15 minutes of foot-soaking and fish-nibbling. It felt SO weird! Like ticklish but almost too much stimulation. My friend Kelly and I couldn't stop laughing and it was difficult for us to keep our feet in the water. I soldiered through it and I'm pleased to say that my feet are smoother than ever.

The Land of Oz

So it's been awhile. I've had motivation issues. Anyway, as many of you know, I was in beautiful Australia for an entire month the end of December through the end of January. We drove from Melbourne up the east coast to Cairns. 3387 kms (2104 miles). To sum up: a country of open roads,bright blue skies, stunning beaches, marsupials, and barbies (BBQs). I'll let the pictures tell the story. You'll have to overlook a slight contradiction in the photos-- first, I'm petting a beautiful kangaroo and then I'm eating one. I'm a complicated gal.

Me and Roo (Before)
Probably a poor choice of photo order
The next logical step...kangaroo steak on the barbie. Delicious. (After)
Our Wicked campervan. Ours was "Smokin' Angels". We slept in there.
Geoff and I on the Bondi-Coogee beach walk
Saltwater pool (they call it a "rock pool"--built into the ocean) overlooking Bondi Beach, Sydney

Nivea and I at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Brisbane. And no, I didn't eat her.

Yarra Valley Vineyards
Rolling hills of Yarra Valley (near Melbourne)
Me and 90 mile beach (it was deserted...unbelievable)
Overlooking Bondi Beach in Sydney
The infamous Sydney Opera House. View from a ferry on the way to Manly Beach.

It was an awesome trip. I'm a pretty lucky girl.