Tag Archives: food

Subway Sandwiches and #Inktober

There’s this Subway sandwich restaurant close to the train station I used to regularly go to before. I knew the owner and everything, but since I started experimenting with different types of diets (strictly salads, strictly Burger Kings, etc.), I stopped going there for almost a couple of years.

There’s another Subway sandwich restaurant close to my company. It’s newer, but through word of mouth, I learned that it’s also owned by the owner of the other restaurant. I’ve been going there every day for two weeks now. No one really knows who I am when I go there, which is fine since I usually prefer just dining alone undisturbed.

The other day, as I was ordering my usual 30-inch Spicy Italian (on Parmesan oregano with shredded cheese, all vegetables except jalapeno, and plain mustard), the owner walked in. He recognized me and we had a rather loud conversation in Korean. He was shaking my hands and everything… and all that time, the people in the restaurant must be thinking, “who the heck is this guy?!” Why was the owner shaking this foreigner’s hand and so happy to see him? What is going on?!

Then he ordered the sandwich artist (I believe that’s what they prefer to be called) to give me two free cookies of my choice and a Dr. Pepper. I accepted, then sat down to enjoy my meal. The owner of the restaurant walked out and said farewell before he left.

A minute after, another sandwich artist came to me again with more cookies, compliments of the house. Brilliant!

Then it struck me. Next time I go in, I’m gonna start pushing my weight around. “Don’t you know who I am?!?! You’d better give me an extra cookie!” “Hey! Hey! You’d better change your gloves before making MY sandwich! How come you’re not wearing a hair net?! And where’s my cookie?! I want that cookie NOW! Pay attention to me!

I’m a super important person!

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On a different note, it’s October and I’m participating in #Inktober for the first time. My works take forever to do, so it’s impossible for me to finish one drawing a day. So I’m cheating. Taking inspiration from Garth Jenning’s music video for REM’s ‘Imitation of Life’, I created an image that can be scanned at different spots to reveal the day’s image. Creatively lazy, yay!

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The Maple House

Maple House

I was ready to do my best Gordon Ramsey and rip the restaurant apart. The fact that the first thing I saw was a promotion for Guinness at the door didn’t do well for first impressions. The last time I checked, Guinness was Irish. I was afraid that the restaurant would be what I often found to be a lazy representation of Canada in food festivals in the Seoul. The last international food festival I went to, the Canadian stall was selling hot dogs, Budweiser, and churros. Pretty disappointing.

In any case, I kept an open mind. At the very least, I was hoping to find Canadian beer, particularly Alley Kat. At the most, I’d be surprised to see if they serve perogies. I’ m sure they will have poutine, as it is basically the go-to food that people here would often answer outside of maple syrup when asked what food comes from Canada.

Vancouver

The entrance was a good touch. Very Vancouver airport. I almost expected to see First Nations bone and soapstone sculptures. Instead of sculptures however, they had frames of Canadian cities and hockey teams.

Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets is represented. Unfortunately, it reminded me of the lunacy of having a human rights museum in Downtown Winnipeg. If you want to attract tourists, why would you build a museum with such a depressing theme? “Forget Edmonton Mall! Let’s fly to Winnipeg instead and see the human rights museum!”

Jets losing

Inside on a giant screen, they’re showing a broadcast of the Jets losing to the Senators. This feels very familiar.

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The beer selection is pretty good. They have Alley Kat, which they used to serve in many bars in Seoul but later dropped by everyone. Some of the bars I frequent have been disappointing me lately with the quality of beer they serve. Either the selection of the beer on tap is unimpressive, or it’s not that cold, or they give me a headache. Maybe it’s the cleaning fluid or the nitrogen in the tanks to give it head. I don’t know. So far, from the selection alone, this looks like a good place to have a drink.

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I didn’t know that sriracha was particularly Canadian or that it would work well in a hot dog. Surprisingly, it was pretty good. Impressed.

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They had spinach dip. Again, something you don’t see in many places around Seoul.

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I tried the smoked duck with blueberry. It was pretty good. I would definitely order it again. The duck might be too rare for the locals. Duck in the country is often served on a grill and cooked to a crisp, so I’m not sure if people would like it as much as I did. I was quite surprised at how reasonable the price was considering the part of town we were in.

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They had a fair selection of poutine, but I wasn’t in a poutine mood.

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They had Nanaimo bars which is excellent. The spelling on the ingredients for Beaver Tail might seem like a mistake, but I believe I just found my awesome rap name: Cinammn.

Mail box

The mail box is a nice touch.

The food was impressive and the price was very reasonable. I would come here for the beer, but the food and the price of the food are just icing on the cake. The owner took great lengths to make it feel very Canadian. The hockey on screen is good. It’s just too bad that Canada’s been having a pretty terrible season. I’d definitely come here again to try some of the other items on the menu, I just hope that it doesn’t get too crowded once more people learn about the place.

In a scale of 1 to 5 Body Breaks in terms of Canadianness, I give it four.

Body Break Rating

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If I could

Would

 

I really would.

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Global Village Laziness and Crazy Dream Therapists

Faces

If a person has never traveled any countries outside of South Korea and was only exposed to the varied cuisines of the world via the Global Village Festival in Seoul last weekend, they would think that other countries only serve hotdog, chicken on a stick, and kebabs. What a disappointment! The crowd was bigger, but the event was extremely lazy and underwhelming.

All booths from African and Middle Eastern countries were serving kebabs. That’s all they had! There were a couple that served samosas and other more exotic fare, but generally, that’s all they served.

All booths from European and North American countries served hotdogs/sausages or to a lesser extent, chicken on a stick. Same generic sausage all over the place. The Canadian booth, instead of serving poutine or anything Canadian, was serving hotdog on a stick. The Philippines booth was serving the same thing, except they had coconut milk and churros. Lazy, lazy, lazy. And why churros? Isn’t that from Spain, not the Philippines? Well, ignoring the fact that the Philippines is a former Spanish colony, churros are all the rage in Seoul at the moment. There would be line-ups for popular churros places in the city. Why? Because someone mentioned the churros place on TV, which is generally how restaurants get a huge line-up in the country. Sheep. And yes, I’m sorry, but only sheep would line up for over an hour to buy deep-fried, sugary, dough.

My wife and I were in Winnipeg last year. She noted that at the Forks (http://www.theforks.com/dining/show,listing/forks-market), a public space in a small city, there were far more variety and authentic global cuisines compared to this so called “Global Village Festival.” The event was kinda offensive, not just as a Canadian (hotdogs!?), but as someone who’s actually had food from other countries. This is the last time my wife and I go to this festival. We ran out of patient fast. We ended up going to my regular South African bar wondering why didn’t just go straight there in the first place.

Imagine a room with at least three couples and one moderator. The moderator asks everyone to close their eyes. He then says, “Anyone who’s ever wanted to stray from their marriage, especially if that person you want to sleep with is in the room, raise your right hand.”

“Now, if you have your hand raised, open your eyes and look around. Those who don’t have their hand raised, keep your eyes closed.”

“Everyone put your hand down and close your eyes.”

“Now, do what you will with that new information you just learned (or that burning curiosity that’s bound to destroy your relationship).”

I had a dream about that scenario. At the very least, the exercise could open dialogue and spark ideas. At the most, it could arrange amicable cheating arrangements. At its worst, it could destroy marriages. My dreams have a creative yet misguided couples’ counselor.

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Cock Violence

bloody_cock

I’ve been to a couple of cock fights, not in Canada of course.

The first thing that struck me was the amount of attention the owners gave their cocks. They would continuously stroke their cocks prior to entering the ring. some would even speak to their cocks, whispering who knows what. It truly was as if they were grooming a prized fighter. And yes, I suppose they were prize fighters. Some men would walk around with their cocks and people gave way as if they truly were somebody, like we were in Las Vegas, not in a tropical village somewhere.

The second thing I found peculiar was the betting, particularly the way people took bets. People yelled around pointing at cocks, gesturing at people around the ring, nodding, making signals, confirming with a dead-set serious look on their eyes. I did not see any notepads. People just yelled out bets, made some hand signals, and it was set.

Then, the match started. And as quickly as it began, it ends. Many people think it’s cruel. And yes, it is cruel. You can go to Youtube now and see how quickly the matches can be. What began as a ferocious looking cock with a blade strapped on its like quickly becomes this limp, pathetic, little thing, lying on the dirt and leaking blood. What’s eerie was that as loud as cocks can be, after all, you can hear them all over the barrio in the morning, they do not make a sound as the slowly die after a violent affair. No gasping for breath, no animal cries. The referee would pick up the loser cock, see if there’s any fight left, then leave the poor animal on the ground as he declares a winner. Whoever owns the losing cock would pick them up, tsk tsking from what I imagine is regret for losing a match than mourning for a beloved pet.

I guess losing cocks end up getting eaten. After all, I didn’t see any cock graves. It’s like what George Wallace said about chickens, “A chicken never dies of natural causes.” Now I’ve never eaten cock, but they must be pretty tough because those birds are bred to fight. It doesn’t matter whether it’s dark meat or if I sink my teeth into some breasts, I’m sure it’ll be a tough meal.

At the end of the match, crumpled money is either handed or thrown across the room to whomever is owed. I guess that’s what amazed me the most. Maybe it was because I watched it in a village where most people know everyone, but the honesty and the memory were unbelievable. I mean, who remembers who owes what? I couldn’t even tell who was making bets to whom. Does eye-contact hold up in court?

Both times, I ended up drinking after the matches. Whoever won the most from the cock fights ended up paying for most if not all of the food and drinks. It’s generous but it makes me wonder. Do people really make money out of these cock fights, or do they end up blowing it all on celebrating?

Oh well, that’s me talking about cocks.

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Blog Burnt

Aunt_Jemima

Aunt Jemimaria

I was about to post something really personal on this entry, a post five paragraphs long. I once thought that despite being on the Internet, my relative anonymity allows me to be truthful and air out my personal grievances. But no, I’ve been burnt before.

I once had a blog that received decent traffic. I maintained it for a few years and it was visited mostly by strangers on the Internet, some of which also have similar blogs and I’ve considered to be my “Internet friends.” My daily escapades entertained some. Many of the things I wrote I would never tell to many people I know. But to close friends and strangers, they were interesting tales… the stuff of conversation when you just shoot the breeze with friends.

Relationships, sex, politics, etc.

Unfortunately, it didn’t last. I couldn’t stay anonymous for long. Someone I cared about did a bit of sleuthing (and snooping), and soon my blog was discovered and all the truths which I have written about were shoved right back at my face. It was a mixture of embarrassment, frustration, and a feeling of being violated. I felt guilty for what I wrote, but then I felt anger and frustration at being discovered. And after mending that relationship, I could no longer maintain a personal blog. The closest I could come to is this. And I know this could also be called a personal blog, especially since I don’t just write about art… but really, I could never truly write about my life and innermost thoughts.

I miss that.

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