Monthly Archives: April 2014

Just a Quick Word (or 10)

Because 10 is all I know.

I know SO little Korean. And what I do know relates to booze and/or food and/or how to call you a pervert and/or a retard.

So tonight in the cab ride home by myself with a driver who knew about as much English  as I know Korean was SO much fun. So much. You can’t even imagine.

I know how to say ‘beer’. And ‘I don’t understand Korean’. And ‘don’t give me any corn.’.

He knew how to say ‘baseball’. And ‘Canada’. And ‘Toronto’.

He thought it was hilarious that I knew how to say ‘Korea’ in Korean but didn’t know how to respond to his simple Korean phrases at freaking all. As did I.

So was it the most fun cab ride ever? It’s freaking up there. I love this country.

Korean Meds

So I don’t always buy things because they are funny or interesting. Sometimes I actually need stuff. Like when I’ve had a cough and stuffy nose for weeks. And then you find out that even when you aren’t actively trying to buy something funny or interesting, that’s what you get anyway.

Happily, there is a pharmacy between work and home with a front counter person with fantastic English. I told her that I’d been stuffed up for weeks and she gave me two kinds of medication. Which she gave to me in a weird little paper bag.

photo 1


Seriously, can we talk about that bag with the octopus on it? What is going on there? I could probably Google Translate it, but I’d rather just guess. The pharmacy industry in Korea is obviously not happy with something.

The box contains a bunch of small white pills. The packages with what looks like a “J” on it were filled with dirt. Or something like dirt. Think I’m kidding?

photo 2

KOREA. Why is that shit not in a gelcap, you knob?

The pill you take like normal. The dirt you just pour in your mouth (I put it under my tongue so the taste is minimised) and then slam a glass of water. It doesn’t taste horrible, but it doesn’t taste good either. And the texture? GAH. You’ve got to drink a lot of water quickly to get it down without choking, and even then it’s a good idea to have a second drink to help get it completely out of your mouth. The taste I mean. If you don’t have the dirt-stuff out of your mouth after a full glass of water, you’ve definitely done something wrong.

The cost kinda makes up for the taste and texture. Both meds were less than $5, which is pretty rad.

But now to the most important thing: Did it work? You bet. I wasn’t sniffling nearly as much and I wasn’t being woken up because I was gasping for air. Definitely worth suffering through the dirt eating to stop suffering through this cold, or allergies, or hayfever or whatever it is that I’m not willing to go to a doctor to fix. I’ll definitely go back for more if I need it.

Delaffe Schizandra

There’s a title I couldn’t have just pulled out of me arse if I tried. No, no. That was the name of the… juice? We’ll call it juice. The name of the juice I just drank.


Delaffe is definitely the name of the brand, and therefore “schizandra” must be the flavour. And there are berries on the package, so perhaps “schizandra” is a type of berry.

“If only there was a way to find out,” she thought while typing a blog post on the fucking internet.

Be right back.

Thank you, Internet. It is definitely a berry and apparently really good for you.

Whatever. It still sounds like you are saying shits-andra when you say it out loud and I probably should have thought that through before, you know, buying it.

I bought a few of these pouch drinks. This shits-andra one, a cappuccino one, and a “blue lemonade” one. This one I obviously bought because I had NO idea what it would be like. I should probably stop food shopping with that as my criteria for purchase: WHAT ON EARTH COULD THIS BE? BETTER PUT IT IN THE FUCKING BASKET.

I like these drink pouches. It seems a lot less wasteful than buying bottles or cans of stuff. Not super convenient for travel (there’s no teasing straw-bending “hole” like Capri Sun throws in your face), but it’s good for at home. Light weight and less waste. You go, pouch drinks.

The drink was oranger than I was expecting. And it sort of tasted like cranberries, but without that weird other taste that cranberries have. Cranberry juice is sick, this isn’t. It was just some berry juice of juicy berriness. Hard to describe it any better than that. I suck.

I would probably buy it again, and I will definitely hunt down the Korean tea (omija cha) that is made with the same berries.


PS: How much bevvie does that pouch hold? That wee glass and a sip and a half. Not loads, but an actual serving size. Not bad.

Honey Water

After work today I popped into the shop to pick up some Diet Coke (Coke Light, as it is known here) to go with one of my birthday presents. It’s hit or miss to buy Coke Light these days – not everywhere carries it. Coke Zero? Everywhere. But it’s not the same. So I went to the CU to chance whether or not they would have the tasty beverage I was hunting for.


I always fuck up the name of this store. The signs have a V on them. I think. So it looks like CVU. Or maybe CUV. Or something*.  So rather than embarrass myself by mispronouncing a Korean name that is two Latin letters long, I just cut to the chase and call it 7-11.


They didn’t have Coke Light, but they did have Coke, and Coke also goes with whiskey, so I bought that as well as a few other liquid treats. I’ll have posts on the other bevvies (especially the pine shitter that I bought) other days, but today is all about the Honey Water.

First, the bottle of Honey Water was in a reverse cooler. As in, it was being kept warm. Would you say it was in a warmer then? I dunno. Anyway. The bottle was warm. It was weird. I was first interested in it because I thought it could potentially be super tasty ice cold. And then the flipping bottle was super warm.

I asked the poor girl behind the counter if it was better hot or cold (she did speak a little English and I did apologise 10000 times, Canadian style, for not speaking Korean) and she said she liked it better warm. So I’m sorry, but the bottle in my picture is empty because I drank it on the way home while it was still warm. (I’m also sorry that a: I’m in the picture and b: I took it with my webcam because c: I’m too fucking lazy to take a picture with my phone and upload it at the moment.) It looked a lot like water with honey in it though. You aren’t missing much.


Honey Water


It wasn’t as good as I wanted. As sweet as you would expect, but not very lemony. Although after drinking it, my throat is feeling better (I’ve been sick for like 3 weeks now), but I’ve also had a little (read: more than a little) whiskey since I drank it, so I may be thanking the Honey Water for a cure brought on by whiskey. Hard to say. Seeing as how I’m enjoying the whiskey far more than the Honey Water, we’ll say it was the whiskey that cured me. More whiskey, barkeep!

Now, it may be that I actually didn’t like it because I was envisioning a cold sweet drink and I drank it warm. Or it may just be kinda sick. At any rate, I won’t be buying it again.

TL;DR: Potentially decent but meh. Not going back for seconds.


*I looked into the store signage so I could provide more accurate deets (like this is an academic paper or some shiz). It has “CVS for you” in between the C and the U. And they weren’t here when I was here before – it is a rebranding of “FamilyMart” that just started in 2012. So fuck it. 7-11 it is.

Korean Stoofs

I had an idea today after buying some of the weirdest drinks ever at the shop: I should probably blog more.

Being back in K-town has been strange. It is so familiar and yet so different. And I somehow end up forgetting that I now know a lot of people who weren’t subjected to my blog back in the day (2005 – 2007) when I was here before, so they may not (yet) be bored of hearing about weird Korean stuff (looking at you, sea penis). There may even be a handful of people who are thinking about coming to Korea (or who have just arrived here) and may be interested in hearing more about the things you can buy over here (like what, exactly, does “Milkis” or “Pocari Sweat” taste like). I know I would be. Some of it is pretty baffling. Loads of it is cute. Some of it is totes awesome.

So look for upcoming posts about what I’m spending my won on here in Koreaville. My reviews won’t be worth anything (anyone who is willing to eat something just because it is ‘hilarious’ cannot be trusted as a reviewer), but hopefully they’ll be mildly entertaining.