Monday, July 23, 2012

{Monday Morning Therapy with Dongsaeng}: Adventures in the U.S. of A(sia)

Well, well, well....good Monday morning AddicKts!  We meet again.  It's been awhile, at least it seems like it for this crazy ahjumma.  I've been off exploring and doing the big family reunion thing this past week, but it's good to be back with you today.

I must first apologize for sending out my last MMT without your daily prescription.  I totally spaced it and realized it too late.  I was already out of the office at the time and had no wifi in which to use to fix it.  I hope you all managed to make it through your Mondays without it.  I will try to come up with some good ones for today, though, being out for a week, I feel a little out of touch and don't know for sure what's cool out there.  But I'm sure by the end here, I'll manage to be more up to speed.

I also hope that this post is short.  blah blah blah swollen foot if I sit too long blah blah blah.  Oh, the life of an ahjumma - sometimes the soul is willing, but our bodies just won't cooperate.  I've spent all my time since returning home in bed with my foot propped up to reduce swelling.  Sounds better than it actually was.  There were compression stockings involved.  Not shexy.  But hey, we're not here to talk about my adventures in being a 30-something returning from a long 14 hour drive, so that's all I'm going to say about that.  Let's jump in to the real reason we're here and bask in all the Asian glory I brought home with me to share with you.

That's right.  In case you missed it - I was trying to be awfully vague last time and not spill the beans in this public forum that I was going out of town for a week, you know, so my house wouldn't get robbed or whatever (thank you addicKts for not robbing my house while I was away - not much here anyways - we live a rather Spartan lifestyle - it wouldn't have been worth the plane ticket and baggage charges, let me tell you) - I spent the past week in the most glorious of places, San Francisco CA, aka, for my purposes here, the Asia of the West.  (By the way - Queen of Run On Sentences that Make No Grammatical Sense Whatsoever Award goes to Dongsaeng for that there beauty).  Who knows? Maybe that's an actual nickname (Asia of the West, not the run-on sentence thing).  If not, it totally should be.  It was heaven for this Asiaphile chick.

We started out with our lunch stop somewhere north of Los Angeles.  I get out of the car and what do I instantly spy?  A sign written in Korean across the street.  Sorry for the lousy pic, dumb fence, but I knew right then and there I was heading in the right direction!  

So, if you've never been to San Francisco, then you just can't appreciate what I'm about to say, but if you have, you'll totally get it.  It really is the Asia of the West.  No really.  Chinese restaurants on every corner.  Signs in all kinds of Asian languages everywhere you turn.  People of Asian descent a majority of the population.  It's amazing.  A wonderland of Asian amazing.  I didn't get a picture, but can you imagine my giddy squeals of delight when, driving home from church our first full day there, I spied some more hangeul on signs, and a norebang (you know, like a karaoke place)!  In fact, it was called something like "Karaoke House", but I saw past that and looked closer, and sure enough, a hangeul sign at the door.  Bingo!  Oh the happy dance I did!  And this was just in the neighborhood where we were staying, a suburb, not even the city.  Delightful!  Pure and simple delight!  Hey, what can I say?  I'm easy to please.

And the food.  Oh glory be, the food!  Our goal while there?  To eat as much Asian food as humanly possible to fill our tanks because that is one cuisine we don't have here in the desert.  I mean, yes, we have it, and some of it is decent enough, but it's not exactly authentic.  When PF Chang's is your best bet for Asian food, you fill the tank when you're someplace like San Francisco, that's all I'm saying.  Just there in our little quiet hamlet there were so many options.  My favorite?

The Husband and his cousin went out to a place called Ramen Club and brought this package of yummy back for me.  Korean ramen.  Oh yes.  Korean ramen.  You have the broth.  You have the noodles and other stuff and you mix in to your pleasure.  It was my first ever kimchi.  I'll admit - I was terrified.  My last venture into Korean food was less-than-stellar.  While I loved the japchae, I wasn't too keen on the bibimbap and all of the fermentation.  But this?  This was stellar.  The kimchi must have been fresh and not fermented.  It was delicious!  I added just a little at first.  And then a little more, and a little more until, finally, it was almost all in there.  Then there were the short ribs and corn and who knows what else.  I just kept adding and slurping and adding and slurping until I thought I would explode from the taste sensation.  Sweet, savory, spicy, meaty... oh goodness me!  Yum!

So, we were there for a big family reunion.  Or rather, a big unofficial family reunion.  Our faction of the family that resides here in the desert decided to go to San Francisco this summer for an unofficial reunion, and thankfully, a lot of the family responded in kind.  We're the furthest away, all the rest of them live all up and down the West coast (with a few scattered 3rd generationers being the exception), so when we go, others tend to follow.  It's their way of avoiding coming to the desert I think ;)  A lot of our time was spent with family, but we still managed to fit in a lot of sightseeing and touristy stuff.  I'm going to skip doing a whole travelogue (you're welcome), but hit some of the more relevant-to-this-blog stops along the way.

Like Chinatown.

Not Korean, but still... I'm counting it.

There was a little Korean spattered throughout.  SF has a huge Chinatown and even a little Japantown, but no official Koreatown.  :(  Not that there isn't a Korean population, but they're just more scattered.  You have to hunt for it.  Oh, but hunt I did!  Oh yes!

I spied my fair share of Korean spots.  For example, we tried to go to one that was a Korean gift shop, only to discover (after finally finding a parking spot) that it was shut down.  Oh the humanity!  But how sweet of The Husband and The Cousin Tourguide to make the effort, huh?  They were so kind to me and my silly addicKt ways.
Then there were the small reminders that those Koreans were sitting down on a random bench at a Golden Gate Bridge overlook and looking down to my side to see random Korean graffiti.

And then, there was this place.

Remember on a past MMT I shared a video from Wong Fu Productions where they dressed like KPop Idols?  Well, that was here, at this store called YesStyle.  When I found out it was in SF, I got excited and knew we'd have to make our pilgrimage there.  And wouldn't you know it?  We just so happened to drive by the mall that it was in, repeatedly.  The first couple of times we were short on time and couldn't stop, but on our last full day there, The Husband, being the amazing guy he is, planned a stop there into the itinerary.
 Not only that, but he took all these pictures in the store for me.
 No really.
I was feeling so self-conscious, being the old, not-so-petite white girl that I am, that there was no way I had the presence of mind to take pictures.  I felt like I was walking around with a "does not belong!" neon sign hanging over my head.  The best I did was take that picture from behind the plants outside of the store, and even that was awkward and uncomfortable for me.  I'm a chicken.  No use denying it.  Thankfully, my darling husband is not and snapped a few pictures of the posters in the store.  Isn't he amazing?  I am one lucky gal to have him around.

I was sad to note that the JYJ poster from the Wong Fu video was no longer there.  :(  That was the main reason I wanted to go - to see my boys up on the wall.  They still had great groups there, just not the group I wanted.  Oh well.  I did get to see some f(x), Teen Top, IU, MBLAQ, B1A4, B.A.P., APink, BlockB, and TTS.  Better than nothing.  Sort of.  Really wanted to see my Jaejoong oppa.  *frowny face*
After leaving the store, for curiosity's sake, I took a peek at the food court.  It was right there and I was curious what they might have.  Sure enough, right there, first food stall on the left was a Korean place.  Chincha!  I'm telling you - this city is a mecca for addicKts like us!  Korean food, in a mall food court.  I can't tell you if it's any good or not - I had just had breakfast and so didn't order anything, but it was still cool to see.

And one last picture to share on this Adventures in the U.S. of A(sia)...

While getting my tourist on at Pier 39, I spied this Zoltar machine which of course reminded me of Tom Hank's movie, Big, which of course then reminded me of the drama, Big.  Not that they're really anything alike, but still, made me think of it, so it makes the cut here.  Hey, this is my Adventures in the U.S. of A(sia) blog post.  If I think it fits, it fits.  So there.  ^-^  

And so there you have it.  San Francisco CA is officially amazing.  And wonderful.  And just the fix that this addicKt needed.  The food, the shops, the people - all of it, spectacular.  Getting checked out by a hot Asian guy in Sausalito?  The crowning point for this ahjumma!  ;)  Teehee, just had to toss that one in there because it was fun and a great ego boost and made me laugh.  He was probably just looking at me funny because I looked kind of funny by this point.  I had had a little too much sun.  Imagine me, a red head with a red face?  Yeah, I'd stare too.  But let me live in the happier land of denial and think that he was checking me out because I was all hawt and stuff.  LOL.

And now, for your Monday Morning Prescription....

let's see here...



...there's gotta be something...

How about this?  This kept the Little Poppers and I entertained during vacation down time.  Hopefully you've seen Psy's Gangnam Style already, but if not, here it is.  And even if you've already seen it, it's still the perfect cure for a Monday Morning.
Or, if you prefer, here's a live performance on Inkigayo last week.

Or yesterday...

I love Psy.  I've been a fan since first seeing him on the Strong Heart YG Family Special (episodes 123 and 124).  He cracks me up and is a breath of fresh air in an industry that can sometimes be too scripted and image-focused.  This song is just...just...epic and awesome.  It makes me laugh.  I spent a lot of the week singing "op, op, op, oppa gangnam style" and "heyyyy, sexy lady!".  So, thank you Psy, for giving us a great stick-in-your-head song to drive us nuts entertain us all day long.

And yeah, that's about all I have.  B.A.P. came out with a new song, No Mercy.  I've only heard it once, so am reserving judgement (usually it takes me more than one listen to warm to a song) at this point.  Not my favorite BAP song, but not bad I guess.  See it for yourself and let me know what you think.

And that should about do it for me today.  I've overstepped my self-imposed time limit of sitting here in this chair and my ahjumma leg is reminding me that I need to wrap this thing up.  I hope you all had a marvelous week last week and I hope it continues through today and the rest of your week.  I will work on getting my Dr Jin reviews up sometime.  I tried watching them in SF (I did, it's true - you can ask Uncle Marshall - he'll vouch for me), but just didn't make it through.  No wifi access was killing me all week.  Poor iPad was stuck hidden in a hotel closet because once I finished the eBook on it, it just was of no further use to me.  I'm sure it enjoyed its week off, but now that I'm home, I've got to make up for lost time.  I have a lot of catch up, Jin and otherwise.  But I'll get there, do not fear.  Oh yes.  There will be Jin.  So, let me bid you farewell for now so that I can get to work and prop up this pesky foot.  May your day be filled with wonderful dramas dear AddicKts!

1 comment:

  1. YAY!!!!! I am so glad you are back!!! I missed your gutz woman!! It just isn't the same when I can't call or text or chat with you anytime I want to! {{thinking maybe I need a dongsaeng interventiona s well as a KHJ intervention but it's not happening anytime soon ^^}}

    Love the pictures & the food sounds heavenly! And I am trying relly hard to not be extraordinarily jealous of your travels & explorations in the US of A(sia)!

    Annyoeng Chingu!! Welcome back! Awesome therapy! We are Op-Op-Oppa Gangnam Style too! Kier & I have even perfected the Horse dance. Oh Yeah we're so hot. Sarangada Dongsaeng!


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