Odds 'n Ends 'n Oddities - Page 1


This is a Korean Pheasant. These birds are not uncommon. It looks a bit like the North American Ring Neck Pheasant. What is unusual is that this photo was taken in my yard. I know these birds can be found in Namsan Mountain Park but that is several miles from my house. I don't think these pheasants fly very far, so how it got here is unknown. I guess they also live on the US Army base (Yongsan) so it may have come over fro there. This bird appeared one day and we continued to see it every few days for month or so. Then it seemed to move on, return to it's home, or was nabbed by one of the local cats. However, from the looks of it's claws and beak, a cat should think twice about taking it on.



Red peppers drying on a rooftop. This is a tradition in the fall - kimchi making season. Although "kimchi" actually means a whole range of pickled vegetables, about 250 varieties in all, the classic is the red cabbage kimchi. The primary ingrediants are cabbage, red pepper and garlic. It is made in the fall so drying of red peppers is a neccessary step. Since the traditional approach of spreading the peppers out on the ground isn't practical for most people in Seoul, rooftops provide a substitute.
The rooftops are very useful spaces. Note the bathtub planter on the roof behind the pepper dryer. On the near roof there are a number of kimchi pots, for pickling the kimchi. Traditionally, these were often partially buried to keep them at constant temperature for storage. Also on the roof is a propane gas cylinder, an air conditioning unit, clothesline and TV antenna.



Sometimes you see translations from a language into English and you know it's just not right. You get a chuckle and go on. Other times, the translation is probably right even if you wish it weren't. This probably falls into the second category.
It's probably best to go for the second item on the list since it specifically says small intestine. If you go for the stew there's no telling which intestine you'll get. Perhaps the most unusual thing about the sign is the third item. Mutton isn't very common in Korea.



This is a little promotional blurb on the cover of a pad of paper. I bought these pads at Wal-Mart. English is widely understood in Korea although speaking ability lags reading capability. It is also clear that writing is a bit behind reading. In spite of this, you are hard pressed to find a situation you can't work your way through. Taxi drivers understand the necessary English to figure out where you want to go. Merchants can sell in any language.
Where this falls down is in advertising. Companies seem to still think they gain some status by having some English on the product advertising or packaging. While it may be very important to have English names and phrases, apparently it isn't important enough to have it proof read by someone who actually is fluent in English.




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