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Loren Goodman, Pacific Correspondent

Seoul Food and Fists circa 2009 {by Loren Goodman}

Dr. Park calls and invites me out for lunch, suggesting bi bim bap. Dr. Park, aka "The Spin Doctor" (to be explained), is a research biologist at Seoul National University Hospital and my neighbor here in Jewelry City. He does genetic research on diabetes. We head outside (beautiful day) to find a restaurant in Jongno. "What do you want?" "I don't know." "How about fermented bean soup?" "Looks good--smells gnarly." "How about sushi?" "Nah..." "How about bulgoki?" We settle on grilled fish. "Have you been here before?" "Yes, it's good. How about dog?" Pause. "They have dog here?" "Yes! Very good for your stamina." I feel like leaving, but we already have the menus and side dishes. "Ok, let's just have fish."  

R0010428Clockwise from lower left: egg custard, kimchi, beans, burnt rice, grilled fish (mackerel?), glazed squid tidbits, spicy bean sprouts, fermented bean & tofu soup, seaweed, soy sauce + wasabi.

After lunch I walk over to Seoul National with Dr. Park, then back to Jongno. There are a lot of riot police in Jongno. There also many demonstrations here. Last year it seemed like there was one every day for three months (initially over American Beef imports, then Labor issues, then about the current president, Lee Myung-bak). A few weeks ago during a late-night Kinko's run, a compact car jetting through police bus traffic and crowds of protesters caught my eye. There was a tripod mounted video camera on the roof of the vehicle, camera man and all. Apparently some citizens found the nightly news footage of protest activity supplied by the police somewhat lacking, and decided to collect their own, which they later broadcast online.    

After taking my roommate for a quick walk, I change shirts and hustle over to the nearby KBC (Korean Boxing Commission) office for our five o'clock meeting. We discuss many things, and I am appointed Vice General Secretary of the Planning Committee for the 47th Annual World Boxing Council Convention in Cheju Island. I've never been to Cheju Island, and am looking forward to the convention in November. Please send suggestions and ideas. Meeting adjourned!

Waiting for Thomas, I snap a few shots of the Korean Boxing wall of fame. I think it's safe to say Hong Soo-Hwan is the most famous boxer in Korea. Watch this fight and you'll see why. I feel fortunate to have befriended him, and to have received "a scholarship" that allows me to train for free at Hong Star Boxing Gym. 

adapted from a post from the archive (April 30, 2009).

December 18, 2014

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January 17, 2013

October 25, 2009

October 24, 2009

October 23, 2009

October 21, 2009

October 20, 2009

October 18, 2009

May 02, 2009

May 01, 2009

April 30, 2009

April 29, 2009

April 28, 2009

April 27, 2009

April 26, 2009

February 06, 2009

February 05, 2009

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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