Monday, August 08, 2011

Cute Overload: Cake

There are a lot of insufferably adorable things here in the ROK. Just one of the many (millions) would be the cakes.

While Baskin-Robbins started in the US (presumably with 31 flavors), it's branched out into some sort of dessert juggernaut in Korea. There are flavors and options that I've never seen in the US, and when we went to the Baskin-Robbins in Western Dom today (yes, it's spelled "Dom," without the 'e'), I noticed that they have fondue there. FONDUE. In an ice cream store! (The fondue hardware was impressive- specially designed crockery and dishes with the BR logo on them and everything.)

More so than in the US, Baskin-Robbins is an ice cream parlor here in Korea. People sit around, lounge, talk, spend hours over their ice cream (or fondue, I suppose) and coffee (there's always coffee where Koreans are lounging). They are cleaner, cuter, and more welcoming than any Baskin-Robbins I've ever been to in the States.

It's my aunt's birthday today (my mother's older brother's wife) and it's also, I discovered, a co-worker's birthday today. (Happy birthday, 숙모!)

Several of us (seven, to be precise) went to lunch, including birthday boy (we call him Diana, because he's the one that sang the Paul Anka song when we went out last week). For the first time since I've been here, we had to get into a car to get to lunch. Since it was seven of us, four of us took a cab (a measly 2,500 won! $2.37).

On our way back from lunch, we had trouble catching a cab, so we ended up walking. We weren't going to walk, we were just walking until we got a cab ... but we never ended up catching an empty cab. The cicadas were out in full, angry force today- they were LOUD. I thought there was a broken generator somewhere, they were so loud. So with the screeching cicadas serenading us from lush, green trees, we hoofed it, probably a little over a mile.

Since birthday boy (Diana) drove back (he's the only one out of the seven of us that has a car today), the four of us who walked stopped by Baskin-Robbins to buy a birthday cake. There were three girls and one guy, so of course we picked a cute little cake that looks like it's for children. (Also, we just walked a mile or so and needed air conditioning.)

Is this cake not adorable? Just tooth-achingly darling? The lion and the monkey are decorated cookies, and those pink and white blocks are marshmallows (they make marshmallows at Baskin-Robbins here! No stiff, rubbery Jet-Puffed Marshmallows!). We stuck a bunch of candles in the cake (well, technically, I think it's supposed to be three big candles and four little candles) and sang happy birthday (in Korean) to "Diana."

I do not recall how much ice cream cakes were back home, but I know they weren't cheap. And they weren't this ornate, they were just plain little affairs with whipped cream dollops for decorations. For this cake, I would think you would pay about $40 or $50 in LA. Right? (I don't think anyone in LA reads my blog, so it's a rhetorical question- on my blog, I'm right. Always.)

This thing was only 22,000 won ($20.89). Totally cute in a very Korean way, without the bloated American price tag (ahem, Starbucks, Coffee Bean, plethora of "American" restaurants).

The walk back to work has completely wiped me out. I don't mind walking (even in heels) and I don't mind working (usually), but walking out in the blazing sunlight has tired me out, almost to the point of uselessness. I find that I get listless and boneless when I stay out in the sun, drooping over like a wilted plant. I'm very wilty right now, even with the latte that I'm chugging to try and stay awake.

I'm thinking that I'll keep posting about cute things in Korea, because there are so many. Can't believe I haven't thought of this until now!