Friday, July 21, 2006

3 Hunting for 'Koppee'

So, Hardworking Hubby has been living her for almost six weeks but has survived on a diet of either business entertaining or convenience store goodies. His preferred Family Mart snack is a pot of instant noodles with an egg cracked in the top - YUCK. There ain't no way I am eating that kind of muck. And even more important than food is getting a good coffee first thing in the morning. In Korea it is called "Koppee" because there is no sound for "f".

Yesterday I had a long search for fresh "Koppee", but was unsuccessful. Even after cunningly stealing some extra coffee bags from under the nose of the room service girl this morning, I knew that we had to do better than that, so today I tracked down the nearest supermarket to us, which is located in the basement of the very, very high end Hyundai Department Store.

My goodness this is an expensive place to live.... last night we stopped in Itaewon area on the way back to the car and bought a small box of Kelloggs bran flakes, 6 bananas and a litre of milk and it cost 9 US dollars. Even after by-passing the banks of perfume and handbags on the way to Hyundai's food court I was prepared to be shocked. Some things are really bad. Olive oil there was US$22 a bottle, fresh koppee was not even on sale (panic), a small box of fresh tomatoes were US$9. Dear me. So I just spent 50 bucks on some fruit, splashed out on a small pot of Pesto and some pasta and then wandered into the adjacent food court trying to sniff out the dumplings.

The food court is full of about 200 different dishes which are all utterly unrecognisable (even the ingredients are so out there that I have no idea what they are - seaweed or tripe, for example, an important diffference to distinguish). I literally sniffed my way around until I got to the familiar odour of soupy noodle dumpling things and pointed at one of the congealed sample dishes. It was pretty yummy although I have decided that small dried fish stirred into anything don't really add much to the dish. Normally I wouldn't put them in, but I have made a promise to myself to be a bit more expansive in my food experimentation here and so I added a few to my soup, ate one and then removed the remaining bits with my chop sticks. Ugh, hate them.

Finished my soup, went to the poshest supermarket toilet I have ever seen which had silver tiles and self flushing loos, and on leaving the establishment, spotted a coffee place with fresh coffee beans on sale. I am now typing with a mug of freshly ground and brewed "Jazz" filter coffee at my side and I am a much happier girl, I can tell you. The coffee cost 30 dollars for one bag, but to off-set this huge outlay, they gave me a free box of dairy creamer..... nice!

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