Monday, July 26, 2010

I saw you, you in me

It's summer, yet why have I been getting these melancholy, moody feelings? Must be the heat — it's been a record-breaking summer for us here on the East Coast. Not that I'm complaining, though.

In the time between now and when I last posted, Darren and I have delved into the culture of South Korea. We've discovered and fallen in love with "Coffee Prince," a Korean drama (often called "kdrama") TV show that ran for 17 episodes in 2007 and focuses on a young woman who poses as a guy to be able to work at a coffee shop called Coffee Prince, where all the servers are men. She falls in love and yet must protect her secret while yearning for the truth to get out on her own terms. Through all this, she makes a friend in a 30something music producer who has relationship issues of his own.

This love may have indeed started when I happened to spy some Asian movies being featured in the on-demand section of our digital cable sometime last year. Many of the movies (such as "Oldboy" and "The Chaser," now two of my all-time favorites) were from South Korea, and not knowing all too much about or having had that much of an interest in South Korea before that, I watched a couple of the films and was very impressed. Now I'm constantly looking for the newest, best South Korean (and Japanese) movies out there. The pickings so far have been slim, but I get tips where I can. Perhaps I should start asking Darren's (and now my) Korean friends.

Perhaps it's the (very well done) dramatic ups and downs of the show that have awakened these moods in me, moods where one moment I'm happy as a clam, and the next I'm terrifically bored, stressed out to the point of insomnia or weeping without being sad about really anything at all. Could also be hormones (as it oftentimes is), but I won't even begin to get into that.

Along with our new love of South Korean television and movies, we've naturally latched on to Korean food as well, kimchi, of course, being the new favorite. We recently discovered a new Asian grocery store in the area, Reliable Market in Somerville, which offers mostly Korean and Japanese foods. Previously, Super 88 near Boston University was our only outlet for Asian groceries, and we found their kimchi assortment to be subpar. We took a trip to Somerville this past weekend and were very pleased with the selection of kimchi and other foods. We stocked up on a half-gallon tub of kimchi, some Shirataki noodles and some Korean barbecue sauce and were merrily on our way. (Darren, by the way, had been searching for a long time for some good Korean barbecue sauce, and I served it up to him last night on top of some thinly sliced steak I grilled on the new cast-iron grill pan I recently bought. He approved highly of it, though I'm not too keen on the taste of the sauce myself.)

The weekend before last, we went whitewater rafting. I'd gotten Darren a gift certificate for his birthday, so we used it on an intermediate-level run down the Deerfield River. It was very fun, though the length of the trip was a bit tiresome, probably due in large part to being exposed to the 90-degree sun for such a long time, but overall we had a good time. I think next time, though, we'll tackle the more challenging rapids upriver.