Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dunkin' à la Korea--What Korea runs on, Americans might run from: local adaptations...and scenes from yesterday's hike in the mountains...

Normally, when S. and I travel abroad, we avoid U.S.-chains--I mean, a great part of the fun in foreign travel is in experiencing what's local, right? But, part of the fun can also be in seeing how American chains adapt to foreign tastes in order to become successful. So, as an example, a few scenes from Dunkin' Donuts in Seoul.

The other night, after a brilliant neo-traditional stage-musical-performance at a theater behind Toksu Palace, we ducked into a Dunkin' Donuts for a cup of coffee and to get out of a surprise rainshower...Shamelessly, I took out my iPhone to get these photos:

      ..."handcrafted," I would get...but what in the world is 'Hand-drip!?' This wording is found all over Seoul-coffee-world...and now, for local doughnut flavor varieties:
 ...are you addicted to nuts and legumes, too? (a local yogurt is labeled 'berryholic', incidentally...)
 (tomato and almond--wow...)
 ...can you make out the lettering: TOFU!'s's's CHEWISTY! I like this neologism...I just might use it back in AZ...
 --sounds healthy, eh?

...the following pic is not from Dunkin', but from the colorfully-named local chain, "Yoger-presso."
Really. Yoger-presso.
I just had to try this one.
And it was pretty good.
Fiber with your caffeine, anyone?


Now, from local flavors to local landscapes...
Yesterday, my wife and I hiked in Seoraksan National Park--
we took a trail up the Cheonbuldong valley
 to an area called "Biseondae,"
rocky peaks surrounding jade-colored waters:
...or, when not jade-colored, crystal-clear beneath the
pine-studded crags:
(FYI, if you're ever in Sokcho,
the tapwater is perfectly safe--
piped in directly from these mountains...)

Korea is a nation of avid middle-aged hikers...and the 'ajumoni' (respectful term for ladies 'of a certain age') love to wear colorful sun-protection:
As in Japan, fair-skinned complexion is prized, so women (and even metrosexual boy-band-singers) go to great lengths to cover up...So, S. had to 'do like the locals'--just for this one photo-op:
My aunt insisted that S. take the 'arm-socks' mother seconding the motion by saying that 'it really works to help keep you cool!'...AND she had purchased the gigantic sunvisor for my wife; S. did her daughter-in-lawly duty by taking said garments, and so this photo is 'proof' that she complied with Korean skin-care-hiking least for this photo.

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