Saturday, December 6, 2008

Itaewon Blast

Although the temperature read 9 degrees Fahrenheit I trekked my way to Itaewon to meet up with Rob. The only details I had were that he was meeting some other friends and it was at the Rocky Mountain Tavern at 11 am.

I tend be somewhat of an early bird or I make it to a place at the time someone tells me to get there. I got there exactly at 11am, and so I ended up waiting about 30 min for Rob. It wasn't a big deal, the place was warm.

While I was waiting I took a look around. It had a bar and tables. The place was decked out in Canadian knick-knacks (flags, license plates...). Seeing the English on practically everything, and the atmosphere of wooden walls made me feel like I was in a Tavern somewhere back in North America.

Unfortunately I didn't get any snapshots from this place, so you are just going to have to read my story.

Well Rob came by and with him was Danielle, which was a great pleasure to finally meet. We ordered the "Truck Stop" breakfast menu item, which included 2 eggs, bacon, potatoes and toast.

Then sometime later, Joe joined us. And the laughing and story telling really started to kick in. When we first met I think I had to adjust myself to their humor and inside jokes. So today I found myself more comfortable.

And sometime even later, Gomushin girl and her friend showed up. And there we all were, like some kind of crime fighting group, except we don't fight crime. Instead I think we just all took some time to let off a little wai-guk-in steam. (Venting on being a foreigner)

The Food at The Rocky Mountain Tavern:
  • Time: 3 orders of the same thing (eggs, bacon and toast) took the cook 35 minutes to whip up. It took a bit longer for Joe's and Gomushin girl's to come to the table too. So we were all very perplexed as to why it took so damn long.
  • Taste: Ordinary. Nothing special here folks. You can get the eggs done in any way you like. I chose scrambled and they were pretty decent. Except you could tell the cook did not clean off the grill and so there was quite an extensive amount of grease. My potatoes tasted pretty good, but Gomushin girl and her friends had a strange acidic sour taste. This left us all wondering why potatoes would have this taste.
  • All in all, the food at the Buttermilk Pancakes place in Apgujeong is way better.
We ate, we talked, joked around and had some relaxing moments. Somewhere in the middle of all that Danielle had to leave for more of her wedding photos. And we had a special guest join us, that is Garrett. (He is kind of a new guy, like me, living here in Korea.)

I guess since I don't hang out in Itaewon often, or in general at the bars...that I am not familiar with these kinds of places. But I have to say they are SMOKEY!!!

Cigarette Smokey! I come from California where if you light up in front of an entrance or at the bus stop people do not have a problem telling the smoker to go somewhere else. So having to adjust to a smokey indoor environment is a big hassle for me. I am grateful that most of the places BK and I go to eat and have fun at, do not involve people smoking inside them.

Allright...let us move on!

Next Stop was The Wolfhound, due to that some members of the group were starting to crave their burgers. This place boosts itself as being an Irish Pub, however I would like to know what made it "Irish" except for the Guinness beer logos of 4-leaf clovers.

The place was serving up late lunch, and we found ourselves at one of the corner tables. This place too was a pub/restaurant deal, and so it came with the indoor cigarette smoke. Yet, they had some fans going somewhere so at least it was able to circulate.

Anyways I did manage to get pictures of the food at this joint.

I ordered an Apple Crisp (although it was called something else). That large square chunk you see on top is actually vanilla ice cream. Underneath the crumb layer were some warm apple slices in a cinnamony goo. It was good and satisfying.

Here we have Gomushin Girl with here lovely camera.

Here you see Joe and Gomushin Girl's friend. Joe ordered a speciality item on the menu that included baked beans, sausage, croquettes, toast and maybe something else.

What is this??

What could this be???


While we were sitting at the table I looked across to another diner's table and saw atop their Corona bottle a slice of lime!!! My heart skipped a beat as I identified the green sliced thing to be a lime! I immediately told everyone of my discover. But it seemed I was the only one amazed by this site.

What is one kind of food that you could not live with out? I am not talking a certain kind of meal... I mean what kind of food - thing? Strawberries? Chocolate?

Well for me that is limes! I eat these raw! They are the best things on this earth! And I can not find them at the grocery stores, and believe me I have looked. So it was like seeing hope atop a bottle.

Anyways, we got the waitress to give me some, and so I was a happy camper.

Again we all ate, talked and shared some good stories. I really enjoyed everyone's company and I think it helped me feel less alone here in this crazy yet cool country.

Now for a few follow up things:
*Garrett: the VPN service I use is: Strong VPN

*The Korean Lessons:
BK and I talked about it and we agreed that it is good to still post my lessons, but he would like me to not allow comments for those posts. I kind of wish it wasn't such a big deal but I want to come to a compromise and this seems to be it. Again, if you ever do have something to say you could email me.



  1. Dear Joy & BK.
    You have an amazingly well educated and interested group of people following this blog.
    We are all very appreciative of your effort and concern BK for Joy's Korean language education.

    However, I believe BK, that if you were a bit more open minded and somewhat less defensive about our comments you have a great opportunity at hand to improve your English from our input in the same way that you and other bloggers here are helping Joy learn and improve her Korean.

    Please understand that our comments are made because we care about YOU & Joy, and that we are not putting you down or insulting you in anyway.
    Joy's Mom - Mz Iriz

  2. I'll double check, but I think I might be able to get limes in the Army base commissary. If they have 'em, I'll get you a bag when we all get together again.

    Also, thanks for the VPN link!

  3. OoooOOoo What else do they have ??? ;)
    Thanks! hehe

  4. The commissary is basically a full-sized American grocery store, I have yet to not be able to find something there that I would find in the States. It's kind of surreal walking in there, because everything's in English.. you could be in a Ralph's back home. I can't go too crazy buying stuff for other people because the Army is very concerned about the black market, and they track everything you buy.

    That said, (assuming they have them), limes aren't a problem. :p

  5. And so I am completely and TOTALLY JEALOUS! And Garrett, I'm pretty pissed that you showed up after my departure. Didn't you know we were supposed to talk about books and giggle like girls? Ah, next time you'll have to consult me about my schedule...

    Anyway, Joy, you are a peach and I'm so glad I met you ! I, too, am a fan of the lime and would have loved to share your moment of rapture and excitement! (Although I usually just squeeze them in my water instead of eating them. But you're a weirdo, so whatever.)

    On another note (because this is the longest comment EVER), I talked to Keun Ha about BK's defensiveness and he totally understands. The thing is, you have to learn the correct and formal versions before you can deconstruct and start using the informal or shortened versions of stuff. So it makes sense he's teaching you these things. But at the same time, we're all in this together and no one is saying he's doing it WRONG, we're just suggesting minor tweaks that might be helpful. Anyway, Kenny is doing the same with me, making up his own way of teaching me Korean. Maybe we can get together and have a double date and our men can commiserate together about trying to teach silly white girls how to speak their language!

    Hope you guys have an awesome week.
    Let's get together again soon!

  6. My manager checked on me and my coworkers helped me get meds and are sitting with me today. Thanks though hun! I'm feeling a bit better now so hopefully I'll be back to 100% by tomorrow. Thankfully my class was cancelled so I can sleep=^^=

  7. Well, hallaluja to bosses who sympathize with thier workers health!


  8. it was good to see you there, Joy. Sorry the food was a bit off at RMT.

    Meanwhile, any korean study you can get, at this point, is good. Worry about distinctions and formality after you have a bit of a foundation; for now, any way you can build your vocabulary and repertoire of phrases is a great thing, and good for BK taking the initiative to get you on that track.

    later, worry about the details, after you have a feel for some of the broad strokes, I'd say.

    The books I used to self-teach korean to myself were similar -- my Korean friends used to snicker at the formal style language they started out with.

    A book that gives a good "how people actually talk" look at Korean is "making out in Korean" -- it's a phrase book that gives the kind of talk you'll hear on the street, in the clubs, and such, if you can get over the goofy name. It DOES have some chapters with useful phrases for meeting people and, uh, making out... but the rest is pretty useful "social Korean"

    till then, keep plugging and learn everything BK teaches you, and try to use it as often as possible (that's the real key)


  9. I miss limes too, although I don't eat them raw. I'm glad BK is still letting you post your lessons.

    I can understand why he would feel defensive - he's doing this out of love, and it's not really something he's been trained to do.

    My SO speaks very little Korean, so he won't teach me, but he corrects me when he thinks I'm wrong (although often I'm not, it's just new slang he's not familiar with).

    Your Korean lessons are a good review for me, and any Korean is helpful for you at this point.

  10. You can buy limes in Itaewon at the Foreign Food Mart next to What the Book and also at Hannam Supermarket near Hangangjin station. Hope you manage to satisfy your sour green cravings somehow...

  11. If you don't find 'em in Itaewon, I have confirmed that they've got limes on post.

  12. Thanks Garrett I will have to get back to you about it. I don't want you to go out of your way. :)

  13. My privacy is very strong since I use vpn.


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