Monday, July 30, 2012

Beat the Heat

It's disgustingly humid here in Korea lately. As a Californian who has never known anything other than hot, dry summers that are blessedly cool in the shade, this humidity thing still throws me for a big loop. Stepping into the shade makes no difference? What's that about?

One of the very few redeeming things during this wretched weather is patbingsu (팥빙수), which is shaved iced that traditionally has red beans (pat, really pronounced 'paht,' (팥) means 'red bean' in Korean). It's now served with all kinds of nonsense on top, including but not limited to ice cream, fruit, candy, cereal, sweetened condensed milk, fruit, chocolate, and on and on.

This is a rather traditional version, with just red beans and rice cakes on top. The twist here is that the shaved ice is shaved frozen milk (or maybe milky water or watery milk?) so the ice itself is creamy and sweet.
The little cafe had adorable little plants adorning the tables. I love the wee bitty bubbles trying to sprout! The container it's growing in is quite small, about the size of a medium coffee cup.
Sorry about the silly face, but it's the only photo I had of this delicious ... smoothie? It's basically a pureed persimmon. It really tastes like a soft, half-frozen persimmon that's been thrown into a blender. Even with the big boba straws, this stuff is hard to drink (I ended up using my patbingsu spoon- if you look closely at my spoon, you'll see there's a face on it!).

I love the firm type of persimmon (which Wikipedia informs me is called Jiro) with a passion and don't really love the soft ones (Hachiya), but blended and slightly icy, it's really good. My new favorite way to have soft persimmon.

The air conditioner in my apartment is on the fritz, so I haven't been sleeping well. Summers in Korea equal random bouts of rain (hot, steamy rain), which mean drastic changes in barometric pressure, which in turn means that I'm not sleeping well. Air conditioning, though bad for the environment and all that, is the only way to trick my body into thinking the changes in pressure don't mean anything, but with my unit basically blowing hot air into my apartment, I'm in a half-dead state of semi-drowsiness for about sixteen hours a day lately.

Still debating what to do, but for now, am planning on enjoying what I can. Had a pretty good weekend, despite the weather! I'll post the photos ... someday. (Both of my iPhones and my MacBook are almost out of memory-- iPad is still hanging on, but I need to do some serious photo organization and clean-up!)

3 comments:

JLR August 12, 2012 at 9:03 AM  

If it makes you feel better, I read an article once that said that whatever decision you make, you'll rationalize that it was the right decision, so . . . maybe it doesn't matter what you decide?

It's tough making those big decisions. I'd say just do whatever is best for you in the long run, but if you knew what that was, you'd already have made up your mind. :) I just hope that you keep blogging either way.

jeanny August 13, 2012 at 3:13 AM  

I do truly believe that it's a matter of how we interpret our decisions. I don't generally regret my choices (at least thus far), and I'm hoping I will continue with that trend!

Will definitely (try to) keep blogging, I like logging my history and knowing what I was up to and thinking about-- reading old entries fascinates and horrifies me. ^_^

JLR August 20, 2012 at 7:59 AM  

I know what you mean about old entries. :) But at least it helps to remind you of stuff that you've done, which is helpful as we get older.

I'm glad you're planning on trying to keep blogging. It's tough when you're busy, and sometimes you don't feel like it, and it's not like you owe your readers an obligation to keep at it. But I do enjoy your blog, so as long as you keep at it, I'll keep reading!