Welcome! How to Use This Blog...

Step 1: Teaching in Korea FAQ
Step 2: Read The Top Posts of 2006
Step 3: How to Find a Job Teaching in Korea

Sunday, 30 December 2007

The Daily Kimchi: 2007 Year in Review

Can you believe how fast 2007 has gone by? It's like the older you get, the faster time flies. Anyways, 2007 has been an awesome year for us. Let's see here...we spent the first half of the year in Seoul, South Korea. We were happy to come home in the summer. We got engaged in the fall. I got a job in the winter. What's next?? Anyways, thanks to everyone out there for still kickin' around and reading my blog. Cheers to you for a happy new year!

Anyways, let's take a look at the top posts of 2007, shall we? Let's go month by month...this will be a great recap to a fantastic year.

January
February
March
April
May
June
Phew! That took me a while, but here are six months worth of "Top Posts" that have been posted on my blog. I added in some of my favorite posts too. Anyways, I have decided to split up my 2007 year in review because going through 600+ posts is taking much longer than expected. If you're a new visitor, read up because you're missing out! If you're a loyal reader, time to take a trip down memory lane. Happy New Year!

Win A Free Ruff PC Laptop!

The Thinking Blog is currently running a contest that is going to giveaway a free Ruff PC Notebook. One of the finalists, the evil John Chow has made it into the final round of voting! John has decided to GIVE AWAY the notebook to one lucky reader that posts a comment on his blog! The only way you can win, is if you vote for him in the poll. If he wins, you win!

Yes, you read that correctly. Make a comment on this post and you will be eligible to win a free Ruff PC notebook. Given my prior luck with online contests (512MB flash drive, FOREX Trading book, Halo 3 Legendary Edition), let's hope I can bring home the bacon yet once again! Get voting!

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Just thought I'd take a moment to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas! 2007 has been quite the year for us! If you've been a long time follower of this blog, thanks for sticking around. I recently surpassed 600 posts, which is hard to believe! Anyways, thanks to all my readers for visiting and leaving comments. Wishing everyone a happy holiday season--be safe!

Christmas lights at City Hall, from 2006:

Saturday, 22 December 2007

The iPhone is Coming to Korea...

...that is if Steve Jobs allows it! Recent headlines in South Korea mention that mobile carrier KTF is looking to secure the rights to the iPhone in Korea. Seeing that Canada doesn't even have the iPhone yet (the USA's largest trading partner!), if Korea gets the phone before us Canucks, that ought to make some people irate here (seeing that Europe already has their juicy hands on the iPhone)!

Korea has some pretty interesting cellphones. Too bad I never got to experience the fully loaded models as I chose to go with a simple flip phone on a pay-as-you-go plan. Why buy a cellphone in Korea when it can't be used anywhere else in the world? You've probably heard about the Apple iPhone by now.

Remember when I posted about my brand new "Jesus phone"? That was a glorious day in my life as the iPhone is one incredible device. Unlocking the iPhone myself was a nerve wracking experience. However, once I was successful it has been smooth sailing since. Too bad the majority of Canadians can't experience it yet, because it hasn't been released in Canada!

For those who went and bought an iPhone in the USA and brought it back home, you've had to scour the internet forums to figure out how to activate, jailbreak, and unlock your iPhone. Well, I figured I would put my iPhone experience to use and start a new blog about it. That's right, if you have an iPhone or you're considering buying one, check out some of the guides and posts on my new blog, iPhone in Canada!

The following posts might be helpful to all you Canadians out there that are reading my blog and considering an iPhone:
So there you have it, another blog run by Gdog. If you guys and gals are looking for an interesting read over the holidays, give the site a visit and tell your friends! Now that I just started my Christmas holidays (I don't start work again until the second week of January!), look forward to a few more posts here!

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Watch Full Streaming TV Shows Online For Free

Wow, this has probably been one of the longest stretches without an update to the blog. I've worked everyday this week so I'm no longer sitting at home surfing the internet all day (and night, haha). Anyways, I just stumbled across something that might help all those TV junkies in South Korea right now (and Canadians as well).

As you are probably aware, all the major US networks now stream full length TV shows on their websites. However, this is limited to residents of the US, so if you're elsewhere, you're SOL (Google if you don't know what it means), unless you know how to circumvent this problem (yes, I'm speaking to all you computer nerds out there).

Sure, you can download the shows using Bit Torrent but that takes a while. TVLinks has been shut down. To bypass this, you need to "hide" your IP so you can access the full streaming shows from FOX, CBS, ABC, MTV, etc...how to do this?

First, download the HotSpot Shield from Anchorfree.com ...install it...and that's it! You're ready to go. Now your websurfing is also "anonymous" for that extra added security. This program creates a mini virtual private network (VPN) for you, enabling you access to full length TV shows. Time to burn away a weekend when it's -15 degrees in Seoul!

1. Download the HotSpot Shield and install.
2. Visit any major network website, either FOX, CBS, ABC, MTV, etc...
3. Grab your favorite snack (aka a bowl of kimchi) and enjoy.

Here is a screenshot of the toolbar that you can close easily...yes, that is an episode of Hell's Kitchen with that bloody bloke Gordon Ramsay...did any see the season finale? "You f***** PIG!"


You'll see a "toolbar" across your browser at first, but this can be closed. It's for advertising. There will be a small green icon in your taskbar showing you that the HotSpot Shield is working. Now you can enjoy your TV marathons of classics such as Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader? and Kid Nation!

Monday, 10 December 2007

Finger Skateboards: Coming to a Classroom Near You

Sometimes you spot the neatest or weirdest things when you're teaching English in Korea. It could be a box cutters for kids, clumped up Pepero sticks, and middle school stress. I've been waiting to post the following videos of the latest fad (maybe it's old school now) that was hitting up my classrooms. What am I talking about? None other than "finger skateboards"!

I had so many kids bring these things into class. Just a regular skateboard that could be manipulated by your index and middle finger. Kids were doing jumps and and all sorts of crazy stuff. The skateboards reminded me of the pink skateboard that came with Kermit the Frog that McDonald's gave out 20 years ago (anyone remember that thing?). Anyways, check out some of the tricks below...

Video 1:


Video 2


Video 3


Man, now I know how the rest of you feel out there that have morning jobs! Today I got called and worked my first shift, it was a half day in a grade one class--which started at 1pm! The kids were pretty interesting so it was a good day overall. One kid told me he couldn't do his work because he felt like "he was dying" and that he "needed to go to a hospital to get brain surgery"...nice try kid! I've heard those ones before...LOL

More updates to come! How are you doing?

Friday, 7 December 2007

How to Sell Used Stuff in Korea

For those that are near the end of their teaching contracts in Korea, there is always one big question that stays in the back of your mind: "How am I going to get rid of all my stuff in my officetel/apartment?" After living in a country for a year, you tend to accumulate a lot of "things". These could consist of plants, kitchen utensils, furniture, books, clothes, kimchi cutters, chairs, etc.

Well, I'm going to tell you what I did to get rid of our stuff after our year of teaching English in Korea came to an end. To start off, we didn't really need anything in our officetel as it came fully furnished. We did end up acquiring some "things" over the year and by the time it came to sell or give away our stuff, we realized we had some work to do!

There are a few ways for you to sell your used "junk"...they've worked for me in the past so they might work for you too.

1) Dave's ESL Cafe: Buy/Sell/Trade Korea Forums - if you haven't registered for an account with these forums, I suggest you do so. The website receives a lot of steady traffic, so by creating your advertisement "post" there will generate some sales. Lots of goods are bought and sold through these forums (just watch out for some of the bitter and lonely weirdos there! Avoid them like the plague!).

2) Work N' Play Classifieds: these forums don't have as much traffic, but it's worth posting as I have sold and purchased items here in the past. It's a great way to find some good items for cheap as some moving sales are posted here, but nobody shows up--leaving the deals for you!

3) Facebook: Ahh, Facebook. What would my life be without you? Here, you can take advantage of the massive Korea network and post your stuff up for sale. Then, once you get a lead, you can "poke" (or Superpoke!) the other person to death until they give in and buy your third-hand rice cooker that doesn't really work. Awesome!

4) Craigslist Seoul: Ahh, Craigslist. The perfect marketplace for shady transactions, such as that discounted iPod that "fell off the back of a truck". I'm surprised there aren't more people using Craigslist in Seoul. Looking at the Books & Magazines section, there have only been 1 or 2 ads every 3 or 4 days...it's still worth a shot.

5) Post a list up at work...this is one of the easiest ways. New teachers are always looking for kitchen appliances and other stuff.

Okay, so you've read my long-winded rant about the above marketplaces. Now what? I'm going to make this easy and list it for you step by step.

1. Pictures: You need some decent pictures of your stuff, so try to at least clean or make your stuff presentable, then snap a picture of it. If you're running Windows XP, download and install the free Image Resizer from the Microsoft PowerToys page. Resize your pictures (this makes the biggest difference in the world when you're emailing them to someone) to 640x480 resolution.

2. List your stuff with pictures: go to the above mentioned websites and start listing your stuff. Make a brief description of what you have for sale (its condition) and how much you want for it. This will save you time answering emails from strangers. Willing to take offers? Add in "OBO" (or best offer). Post some pictures by hosting them for free at ImageShack. Take a picture of a few items at once to save time...Put down a contact number or email so people can contact you.


3. Sell smart: try to sell all your kitchen stuff for a flat rate, or all the plants you have in a set. This makes it easier for you and the buyer.

4. Give away stuff: mention that the first three buyers will get something for free to attract attention.

5. Have your buyers come meet you close to your house. Trust me, you don't want to be the one lugging a toaster oven half way across the city to make 20,000w.

6. Too lazy to sell? Good on you, and welcome to the club. Just pass on the good fortune to the next group of teachers coming to your school. That's what we did we the stuff we weren't able to sell. This will keep the circle of love going...yay.

Remember this bad boy I picked up off the streets coming home from a haircut? Well, with all garbage in Seoul, you're supposed to get a sticker so the garbage men can come pick it up. We didn't have time to get rid of this with packing and all, so we ended up abandoning it in the lobby of our building the night before.

We were like ninjas as we gingerly moved it downstairs and into the corner without any of the security guards spotting us. Yes, I know, we're bad, slap me on the wrist for the idea. I'm sure someone will pick it up and make good use of it--I hope!


Happy Selling (or happy littering your stuff downstairs in the alley next door)!

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Vegetarian Restaurants in Seoul

Any vegetarians out there? Any vegetarians out there in South Korea? Recently, one of our coworkers asked us if we'd want to join her at a vegetarian restaurant located at Sinsa Station, near Apgujeong. We decided to make it an adventure and last weekend we made the long trek to eat some...veggies. I have never visited a vegetarian restaurant before, as I am a pure carnivore at heart (Veggies have feelings too when you cut them up...)!

Anyways, we finally made it to our destination, a vegetarian restaurant that was recommended by one of the Seoul tourism websites. What we saw when we went in was not very appetizing. We either came at the wrong time of day, or they just weren't busy enough to keep their "buffet" stocked with fresh items. It was not a memorable meal, but since it was only 6000w per person we decided to give it a go anyways!

There were four of us in this restaurant on the second floor of a building...along with three others:


Here are some pictures of the buffet...you know food is no longer "good" when it's been sitting on a warmer for the entire day!


"Make your own salad" gone wrong...


Some more veggie dishes for your viewing pleasure. Notice the refrigeration unit in place to keep the dishes at a safe temperature--oh wait, there is no cooling unit!


Near the end of the line...we have some dessert. Remember to keep an eye on that watermelon platter:


This was my plate: some rice, veggies, a bun, samjang, a pepper, some lettuce, and half a bun. I now know how a rabbit feels...


Remember the watermelon platter? Well, that was by far the best part! It was the only tray they refilled and when I saw the "fresh" platter I pounced on it...this was the aftermath on my plate:


...and here's my dish being placed at the "SELF SERVICE" window...now that I think about it, I definitely got my money's worth in watermelon!


I know there are better vegetarian restaurants out there, as one of our coworkers had raved about a couple in Insadong. I think this time it was just unfortunate we went to the wrong place--doh! In the future, I will stick with my meat-eating ways...and avoid vegetarian restaurants! ;)

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Eating Beard Papa's Fresh'n Natural Cream Puffs

Everybody loves dessert and sweets, right? Well, if you ever venture into Aberdeen Mall in Richmond, as "Asian" mall, you will find one of the hottest franchises that have touched upon the shores of Vancouver. Some of you may have already heard of this chain, especially you foodies out there. It's called Beard Papa's, the makers of "fresh'n natural cream puffs" or also "The World's Best Cream Puffs".

The franchise started in 1999 in Japan. Since then, its popularity has exploded and there are now over 300 locations around the world, including stores in China, Hong Kong, Korea (I don't know where the location is--someone fill me in), Taiwan, Indonesia, Australia, the USA, and others. The location at Aberdeen Center has been constantly busy, with long line ups on the weekends. We were lucky enough to find the Beard Papa's location without a line up during the week. Let's take a closer look to see just how good these cream puffs really are.

Here's the front of the Beard Papa's location...right at the top of the escalator leading to the food court:


There was a mini line up, which was pretty surprising because the past few times we visited Aberdeen the line ups were absolutely atrocious--the lengths some people go to for a cream puff! It reminded me of the line ups outside the Cino's Cheesecake locations in Seoul. Notice how there is a 2 dozen limit...TWO DOZEN! Who the heck can eat two dozen cream puffs? I hope it comes with a stomach pump!


Even though the line ups are long, they do move relatively fast. One person pumps the whipped cream custard into the cream puffs, then another sprinkles icing sugar, then another helps box the cream puffs and work the register. It's just one long assembly line...


So let's take a closer look. Their cream puffs are larger than normal and there is a lot of filling. I think after eating one, you are done for the next few hours.


After taking my first bite, I do have to say these Beard Papa's cream puffs are damn good! The pastry has a crunchy outer shell yet once you bite into the middle it's soft and flaky. The custard cream filling is chilled, creamy, and has a nice hint of vanilla flavor. Although it was really good, I don't think these things are going to help your waistline!


Here's a rare sight...no line up outside Beard Papa's in Richmond!


Just what the heck is behind the Beard Papa story? Click here to watch the full story...

As you've probably noticed, I haven't much time to update my blog as I've been really busy lately. The last time I told you about our travel plans that included NYC, London, and Dubai. However that has recently changed gears as I recently got hired to work with one of the school districts in Vancouver! So that means we'll be settling down here for now. ;) Don't worry as I will continue to keep the updates coming, but I'm not going to post randomness for the sake of posting. Laters!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Eating Korean Food in Coquitlam

Remember how at times I felt like I was still in South Korea back home? Well today you're going to see us eating our first Korean meal back home--something we decided to do on the weekend! Yes, that's right, we had some Korean food--by choice! ;)

Vancouver is home to a large Chinese minority, with the majority of them congregating in Richmond (I like to call it Ricemond or Hongcouver). Well, there is also a well-sized Korean population that has populated Coquitlam, which is 45 minutes east of Vancouver. Here, as you will soon see we were dazzled by signs in both Korean and English. It was pretty neat being able to read some of the signage!

The intersection of Lougheed Highway and North Road is where all the action is. Running along North Road you can see the Korean-inspired lamp post banners.


Here we have a small shopping village, Korean inspired of course! Let's see if we can decipher the text here...the 3rd banner down says "meg she gen chee ken; hop-uh" which is "Mexican Chicken - HOF"--very interesting (Korean fried chicken is awesome)! What else...below is the norebang! Need glasses? Look no further than Namdaemoon Optical! Want some naengmyeon? Got it! There are also a couple big supermarkets which we didn't get a chance to visit. There is an H-Mart located here for all you fans out there!


Rogers Wireless--in Korean! It's the perfect place to get your "hand-pone!"


Wait a minute...this sounds familiar. Is this the same California Sushi in Seoul??


So we met up with my sister's boyfriend who works in Coquitlam for a quick afternoon snack (of course you knew that food would be part of this post, right?). We went to this restaurant and saw their "Business Hours" on their door. I had to pause for a moment to figure out the hours, because it said they were open from 11AM-12PM on some days! Soo, they're only open for one hour during the week? Now that's what I call flexible hours! This sign reminded me of the store hours sign inside Homever--which also had the hours written down incorrectly. Maybe this is a Korean thing...


We enter the restaurant and we are greeted by the Korean waitress/host. After being seated, I drop an 안녕하세요 bomb on them. They immediately think we are Korean! haha. I tell them that I am Chinese but she continues to speak Korean to me anyways! It's like I was back in Korea. Then she dropped a "handsome" bomb on me (which was the case all the time in Korea--what can I say, haha). Okay, awkward moment, but we move on and check out their menus.

So we are looking at their extensive Korean/Japanese menu. Boy, they sure do have a lot of items here--at outrageous prices compared to Korea! Naengmyeon and LA galbi for $9.95?! Dude, I was eating refillable naengmyeon for 2900 won ($3US) in Seoul! I ordered the naengmyeon, as I wanted to compare the flavors to the noodles in Korea.


...and this is what arrived! Yes, this is not naengmyeon. Shortly after my order the chef comes out (I assumed it was the chef--he had flour all over his face like that commercial where the dad sprinkles flour on his face after making a batch of Rice Krispies squares for his kids) and explains that it's not naengmyeon season. Would I like to try the Japanese equivalent instead? Me: "Uhh....sure." So here we have it...some soba noodles on ice. They were okay, but I was still pretty hungry after this!


Devante ordered some "shun doh boo" or a soft tofu soup in a kimchi broth. It actually tasted really good, but was a bit on the salty side. Of course, when she ordered the jiggae, our waitress immediately responded in broken English, "good choice, very health"...haha...the magical wonders of kimchi baby!


What did my sister and her significant other order? None other than the Korean-Chinese noodle dish, the dish eaten on Black Day, JA JANG MYEON! Noodles with black bean sauce and bits of "fork" (pork). This one came topped off with a fried egg and wasn't too bad.


Hey, every meal in Korea had side dishes. Where the heck are ours?! We see the table beside us get their sides but we did not get ours. So instead of pressing this button below (which you are all familiar with) which sends out a ringing bell tone, I call out a more appropriate "cho-gee-yo!" and wave my hand. haha, I am sure they got a kick out of that.


She arrives and I say that we did not get side dishes. So she leaves and comes back with literally empty side dishes! Then she clued in and quickly ran back with our sides. Her excuse for forgetting them in the first place was because I was "so handsome"...haha...I should try that line sometime.


Check out this video of the restaurant...I should've ordered the "hway-dop-bab" like the table ahead of us--darn it!

Monday, 26 November 2007

Monday Madness: Reader Emails Answered

I had a reader ask me some questions on finding a job in Korea. If you haven't read my post on finding a job teaching in Korea already, click here. Hope these questions help those who are looking for jobs in Korea!! Hope my tips help you out, "J"!

Did you typically work a 35 hour week? Any overtime? Is the
overtime optional?
- We had a 30 hour work week, consisting of 6 teaching hours a day. However at my school we had to show up two hours before for prep time, which was unpaid. OT was optional the first time around, but the second time we had to work it (8:45am-8pm) because registration was high.

How long did your application process take from submission to
placement to arrival?
- It was really quick, we applied in May 2006 and we had everything ready by the time we left at the end of July!

Did you keep your work hours to Mondays-Fridays?
- Monday to Friday

What age group did you teach?
- Ages 9-17...no kindergarten. Most classes lasted a month, and the next month would be the same kids.

I am a "gyopo" - does this decrease my chances of securing
employment as an ESL teacher? I was born and raised in the States and
I can barely speak a lick of Korean!
- At my branch they had lots of "gyopos" so that is not a big problem. I'm Chinese myself so people thought I was Korean. Some "gyopos" didn't speak Korean either!

Was your apartment within walking distance to your school?
- Yes, 10 minutes (7 minutes when it's freezing cold!).

What was your compensation package like? It sounds like different
rates apply to expats depending on experience and I do not have any
prior teaching experience. It would be helpful to know what living
expenses were like.
- a fully furnished officetel (bed, sheets, pillows, tv, dresser, drying rack, table, chairs, kitchen utensils, cups, bowls, mugs, glasses, pots, pans, fridge/freezer, AC...the full deal!) We paid about 150-300US/month in maintenance fees. It depends on the age of your building. We had 24/7 security so it was more expensive. We had paid Korean holidays. One month's severance pay at the end of our contract; sick day bonus of 400,000w.

How did you find your first job in Korea? There are ads everywhere
on the internet and I think it would be to my advantage to apply for a
position within a larger hakwon community, one with other native
english speakers.
- We found it though a Google search and some relevant ads we stumbled upon. I would suggest checking out Dave's ESL Cafe as a good place to start. There are lots of ad postings. Email them your application and then if you get far enough, ask for an email reference.

Were there any "hidden costs" or "fees" that you did not anticipate?
- Nope...we did have to pay to FedEx our documents (degree/transcripts) to Korea, that's about it.

Did someone greet you at the airport?
- Yes...the school greeted us there, and drove us back to our officetel/work. We even got dinner!

If there's anything you'd change during your planning or
stay in Korea, what would it be?
- Good question. I think the best way is to just learn to adjust and accept your new way of life in Korea. It will make life a lot easier in the long run, instead of always longing for how ways "used to be" back home.

Lots more questions answered with my FAQ on Teaching in Korea.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Riding the AREX Incheon to Gimpo Airport Line at 5:30AM

Remember when I took a "mini" food vacation to Hong Kong back in May? Well, on my way back to Seoul my flight landed at 4:45am local time. I had to make it back to Mokdong and work later in the afternoon at 2pm. I was already dead tired at the time and I needed one last trek until I would get a chance to sleep! Too bad I couldn't waste some money in the Incheon Duty Free!

At first I contemplated taking a taxi, but it would've been way overpriced (about 50-70,000w at the bare minimum), thought about taking a bus (it was leaving in 15 minutes), but in the end I decided to wait at the airport until 5:30am to catch the first train aboard the newly constructed AREX Incheon to Gimpo Airport subway line. I first saw pictures of the station through Jon Allen's blog.

Man, the arrivals area of Incheon is pretty dead at 4:45am...I felt like I was walking through a ghost town. On my way down to the AREX line, it was so empty and bare it led to an eery feeling (which is unusual because Seoul is so densely populated):


Here are the toll gates to access the line below...not a soul in sight! I had to do the Asian squat and wait patiently till 5:30am...


All the subway stations in South Korea have maps showing you where you are. The subway lines are very deep. This picture below is nothing compared to others, such as the purple line, line 5:


Check out this video of me boarding the first train (with that dude in front of me and a couple others)...I'm all alone!


Now when I told you it was EMPTY...this picture speaks for itself! I had the best seat on the train--every seat! Compare this to jam-packed subways in the morning and it was really an incredible sight:


These new subway cars had some improvements...such included some LCD screens displaying commercials and some other misc. broadcasts:


Also the subway line maps now had LEDs showing you the progress of your trip:


Now here is the train in action...


By the time I reached Gimpo Airport, then to my final destination in Mokdong, it was about 7am. I was dead tired and I just jumped right into bed. After waking up at 1pm, it was time to get ready and get back to work!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Eating At Tropika Restaurant On My Birthday

It's amazing how time flies as you get older. It seems like it was just yesterday that I celebrated my birthday in Korea at the human deathtrap attraction, known as Lotte World. Thinking back to my birthday last year, I had an eventful day that consisted of eating Nepalese at Everest in Dongdaemun, and on another occasion king crab at the shack downstairs from our officetel.

Well, another year has gone by and here I am back home in Canada. This birthday was similar to previous birthdays because it was another day of consuming delicious amounts of food. For lunch I met up with one of my best buddies downtown and we had a chicken shawarma plate at Babylon on Robson Street, one of the best joints downtown:


Fast forward to dinner and I ended up at Tropika Restaurant at Aberdeen Mall in Richmond. Tropika is a Malaysian/Thai/Singaporean/Indonesian restaurant that is one of my favorites in Vancouver. They have two other locations, with one on Robson (1128 Robson Street; 604-737-6002) and another on Cambie (2975 Cambie St; (604) 879-6002). Let's take a look at what we had for dinner--I bet this post will relate to all my South East Asian readers out there! ;) I didn't have my cameras with me so these were taken with my iPhone.

Here we have the young coconut I had to drink...pretty darn refreshing:


Tropika makes some damn good roti...we had multiple orders...


...along with some of the best satay in town. The peanut sauce really is the best part!


Here we have some hot and sour soup...nice and spicy:


Here we have the deep fried K.L. Crab, one of the in house specialties. The crab is topped with some deep fried mini shrimp. I have a love-hate relationship with crab. I love to eat it but I hate cracking those suckers open...it just gets so messy!


This was my first time trying the gado gado salad which tasted so fresh. It was a some lettuce topped with deep fried cubes of tofu, potatoes, cucumber, lots of bean sprouts, then topped with a generous portion of peanut sauce and a slice of egg. Yummy!


We also ordered half a Hainese chicken...very juicy and tasty:


This their seafood coconut fried rice served in a young coconut...it was awesome but I found the portion very small...


The pad Thai at Tropika is awesome too...in the background you see a plate of spinach (you gotta have some veggies ya know):


Probably the most exciting part of the evening was my birthday cake! Ahh, who doesn't love an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen, with a picture of Bart Simpson to boot? haha!


The only reason why people love DQ cakes is the chocolate crunch covered fudge interior...why they haven't made a cake consisting of nothing but this boggles my mind:


Tropika is a bit pricey but the food definitely rocks. The taste is pretty authentic according to Devante (who lived in Brunei for two years) Hmm...last year my birthday lasted a few days, let's see if I can stretch it again this year!

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Winning Another Contest: Halo 3 Legendary Edition

Man, all I gotta say is I must have some kimchi flavored horseshoes kicking around because I keep on winning these sweet contests! Think back to my 512mb USB flash drive courtesy of Stephen Fung. That was pretty neat. Then, I also won a copy of a 7 Winning Strategies By Trading Forex courtesy of John Chow. Well, my last minute Halloween entry into Leo Chiang's Halo 3: Legendary Edition giveaway has turned out to be the coolest one yet.

After lunch at Pho Lan (and smelling like it afterwards), Leo handed me my coveted prize. I didn't realize how large the box was when I got it. But anyways, I am grateful to Leo for putting on the contest and drawing my name--thanks dude, lol! There is a funny part to this story. A long time ago (it's been almost 3 months) Leo sent me some really cool tshirts, under the assumption that I would be posting pictures of them online (today is the day). One had a London Drugs logo (I requested this--so random) and the other was from his own personal line of urban fight wear, Exit Gear.

If you're a big fan of the UFC and MMA, then you have to check out Leo's blog as he does an excellent job of summarizing the major fight nights with some good analysis. Once again, thanks for the contest Leo. What do I need to win next? An XBOX 360 of course to play Halo 3!!

So this is how it feels like to live the life of a square-head...


"Anyone can enter a ring...it's how you EXIT that counts!" This is my philosophy towards solving the mystery of not smelling like pho after eating it. Note to self: wear old dirty clothes next time!


London Drugs: the place where you can find everything--including Ed Lau:

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