Autumn apparently comes to Korea much later than the US. I was watching a newsfeed of leaves and pumpkins back home when it was still 80 degrees here. But, suddenly the weather and the leaves changed (hooray!).
With the cooler weather, it's finally enjoyable to spend weekends outdoors. We went on a street food tour with O'ngo Foods, and tried some new snacks. We started with Jeon (전), a savory Korean pancake often filled with vegetables, seafood or kimchi. The food stall was in an underground market, filled with locals. Then, we headed for the ever-addicting Mandu (만두), better known as steamed dumplings.
The strangest thing we tried was Beondegi (번데기), silk worm pupae. They were very crunchy, and tasted almost like edamame with sesame oil. It wasn't bad, but it's not a dish we're planning on having regularly.
We had a three course dessert, starting with Bungeoppang (붕어빵), a pancake filled with sweet red bean, shaped like a fish. These are very common, and come in many different styles - including some shaped like chrysanthemums…and others shaped like poop. (Yes, you read that right.) We also tried Ppopgi (뽑기), a children's favorite, which is essentially hardened burnt sugar. Finally, we ate Hotteok (호떡), a sweet pancake stuffed with brown sugar which best resembles a sugar doughnut. Overall, a very tasty afternoon!
We spent last weekend exploring Bukchon Hanok Village, a residential area of traditional hanoks. I imagine every expat in Korea dreams of living in a hanok before they move here. Impractical, and far from the office - but way cool.
With Fall in full swing, some of the partners and I hiked up Mt. Dobongsan. It was a beautiful, moderate hike up to Cheonchuksa temple. We decided to keep going up to the summit, which turned out to be the opposite of moderate. We were legitimately using our hands to climb up the rocky path. But, we had some good leaf peeping and some (cloudy) views of the Seoul skyline!
But the big news: our stuff is here!! Our boxes arrived safe and sound, via the Panama Canal. We shipped our bed, kitchen items, clothes and the TV. We brought over one pot and one skillet in our suitcases (sorry, TSA) so you can imagine my delight at having a working kitchen again…and more than two pairs of pants.