Sunday, August 22, 2010

Today's Random Experience

This will definitely be a positive story about one of the many random experiences you can have here in Korea.

It was a hot day outside so JH and I hunkered down in my officetel playing Monopoly (he won twice) and taking lots of cat naps. When the sun finally started to go down and the slightly cooler air came around I dragged the guy out of my house to get a bite to eat locally.
(the guy wins by unloading all his cash on property)

We walked to the downtown area near my home in hopes of going to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant, but when we got there we saw that it was closed. So we turned back around and I caught eye of a new place. It was a Japanese Udon restaurant that looks like it was new to the neighborhood, or at least somehow popped out at me this time. Noodle soup seemed like a good idea since it's pretty close to Vietnamese and I didn't really want to have something heavy for dinner.

As we walked inside I realized something odd was going on. There were a few guys there with professional cameras in hand. Not much was happening inside, though I figured they were there to film about the restaurant.

After sitting down and ordering the film crew started to look our way and talk to themselves. Then we got what we ordered and they soon came over to us. They told us they were from SBS and are making a show about the restaurant. "Would it be okay to use us?" We said sure and what pursued was quite interesting.

They wanted to get certain shots from us. First they wanted us to eat the noodles in big chunks, meaning grasp a lot of noodles at once and suck them up (Asian style). JH did a good job but I fumbled trying to get a big chunk in my chopsticks. However I did my best to slurp up the noodles but it still looked clumsy. At this point my ego was starting to go overboard and I was giggling a bit. The camera man requested I stop giggling. He didn't speak English and JH helped with translation. After slurping the noodles the next take was of me talking about the taste. Unfortunately I did this but not looking at the camera...guess I was camera shy. So then they had me say the same stuff but into the camera. I basically said that the taste was very good and then went into details like the texture of the noodles and the taste of the broth. After I finished the camera man looked at JH and asked (in Korean) "what?" I wonder what kind of video translation they will go for. Korean subtitles under my head, or my voice dubbed over by some cute sounding 20-something Korean. I am hoping for the subtitles.

After that they wanted more shots of us eating the noodles. Here they had us hold up the bowl (quite big) and slurp down some broth. Then when we put in down we were suppose to make an "ahh" sound like it is very good. JH of course did great with this, but I had a hard time acting it out since I naturally never do such a thing. They then proceeded to interview JH in Korean about his opinion.

They left us alone to go tape other things happening in the restaurant, but then came back to me. This time it was the other cameraman. He just wanted me to take some bites of my noodles then look at the camera and say, "It's delicious!" (in English).  The first take I did it but it came out quickly and awkward. The second take I composed myself and imagined doing what Korean people do in similar TV programs. Usually they take a bite of something then chew it in their mouth for a while and then say the line. I did just that and the cameraman seemed more pleased.

It was a jolly random moment here in Korea and if you see me on SBS let me know. I will just be the random "foreigner customer" in their restaurant. I hope they put it up on the SBS website so that I can get the video. But who knows how much they will edit it down or what they will use.

Ah, well ... all in good fun ... and taste.
*Bonus picture of the water-fowl in the river near my home.

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