So yesterday Jen and I spent the day with Omma running errands. Let me explain Omma to you. She’s about 5ft tall with a head full of curly dark brown highlighted hair and red toenails. She has laughing eyes and rightly so, because it’s rare that she’s not smiling or laughing at something. Don’t get her tickled because her laugh is infectious and you’ll find yourself laughing for no reason because you don’t know Korean (I speak from experience). Any way, on this day, Omma had a doctors appointment. So Omma all dressed in gold went off to Korea University Medical Center with her children in tow. Once we arrived, Jen and Omma went to the doctors office for her check up and within twenty minutes they were back and we were having coffee, well I was having tea, as my G.I.R.D was acting up. As we were sipping our beverages, I couldn’t help but wonder and feel a little jealous of the Korean medical system — in and out in 20 minutes, unheard of in the States, but then Jen provided me with a little sense of relief. It the seems the charming Omma, charmed her way into seeing the doctor, ahead forty other patients. Omma’s got skills. I haven’t seen anything like that since Joyce Lee walked away with two fur coats on loan from the Fur & Leather Boutique — different story, different blog. But Omma is quite the firecracker. It’s hard to say no to her, which explains why she knows just about everyone in Seoul and she has this amazing way of getting people to see things her way.
So after the doctors appointment and coffee, we headed to lunch at Shingasae Department Stores’ (Korea’s Niemans) food court. In addition to prepared foods from all over the world, the food court also houses a Whole Foods-like supermarket. In my short time of knowing Omma, I learned that two things make her extremely happy, great clothes, at an even greater discount and FOOD. Omma likes to experience food and if you’re with her she loves for you to experience food as well. She always made sure I was well fed, I’ve got the added pounds to prove it. Back to lunch, Omma took us to the SushiBar for appetizers. (The SushiBar is quite unique because the dishes are made fresh and are placed on a conveyor belt and you choose what you want. The plates are priced according to color.) After appetizers we went across the hall for more Japanese food. It was quite yummy and from what I saw inexpensive.
After we ate we went to the supermarket to buy stuff for Halmonie’s room. (let’s go to the video tape.)
This wasn’t the first time hanging with Omma, as on Monday we went to lunch with Omma and the Emoes and Miss-ah Gu and afterward we did a little shopping — Omma-style. And of course on my first day here, Omma took us to her shopping haunts, but I was too tired and overwhelmed to fully appreciated –glad I’ll be coming back before I head home to the US. Anyway this time spent with Omma was priceless, I really enjoyed hanging with her. She reminds me a lot of my own mother with the glamour, the divadom and nurturing spirit, Omma made me feel like one of the family and for that I’m grateful.
Since I spent so much time on this post talking about food and of course I provided video, you should know the Korean diet is extremely healthy. There is a lot of fish — grilled, baked, salted, dried, fried, boiled and any other way you can imagine. There is also alot of vegetables, especially green leaves and cabbage and garlic. My favorite vegetable and a staple on every table is kimchee. I like the cabbage kimchee the most, but it can be made with radishes, bean sprouts, and zucchini. It’s very spicey and garlicy but delicious all the same. Omma make her own kimchee (of course) and I’ve asked her for the recipe but she just smiled and nodded her head, I still don’t have the recipe. I’m working on it though. Also with kimchee it has to be kept at a certain temperature, so in every Korean home there are at least two refrigerators — an all purpose one for every day food stuffs and a kimchee one, for the multiple containers of spiced kimchee.
Oh, I forgot to tell you, on Tuesday while I was tooling around Seoul, so was idiot in chief Bush. I couldn’t believe it. Here I was trying to dispell all of those stereotypes about ignorant, stupid Americans and King Ignoramous Stupido Bush, shows up just as I was making progress. He stayed with the President of Korea, also a friend of Halmonie’s, in the Blue House. There was protesting for and against him being here. For because many of the people of Korea feel the US is a friend to Korea because of the influence on removing Japanese occupation and the Korean war. Against because the US is trying to force US beef on the Koreans and the Koreans have their own beef, and it’s very good I might add. I stayed away from all protesting, but I did do my own private protest by eating some Korean beef and loving it. Daddy, save your fishing money, I’m OK!
Since we’re talking politics, most of my meetings have been with very strong and opinionated women. I don’t know who came up with the stereotype that Asia women are submissive and subservient, because this clearly isn’t the case when it comes to Korean women. They are very head strong and determined. Just Halmonie along opened her own dance academy, served in parliament and this was all in what should be considered her golden years. Omma owns her own business, Ms. Gu is Ms. Gu, world traveler not tied to one man. You get the drift strong women and they have a shared love of Hillary Clinton, because of that shared commraderie. Although she’s not my candidate, by far, I understand how and why women relate and like her so. GO BARACK!
I guess that’s that for this entry, I’m now going to retire and prepare my thoughts for my next entry. Enjoy the photos and stay tuned.