More Korean Oddities

Tomorrow South Korea is sending a delegation to North Korea. Possibly a first. Things may go well or tensions may increase. We shall see. In case it takes a turn for the worse here are some more fun things from this part of the world to take your mind off it all (and mine!)

Office Drinks

Among the various sachets of instant coffee and flavoured teabags that we can help ourselves to in the office were these…

The first one looks like an instant soup. Just add boiling water…

 But look closer and it is actually a type of tea. Who dreamt up a corn flakes, potato and yam tea? There are clearly jobs out there where people are allowed to go right off track and dream up whatever they want. For the record it actually tastes OK. But I only tried it then left the remaining “tea” in the paper cup. Within minutes it started to congeal. Within half an hour it was like a thick paste. Just as well I didn’t drink it all I thought. What can that stuff do to your insides?

 Later in the day I tried this one….

This one is made in Vietnam. As you can see there is no Korean writing. Someone told me that coconut coffee is available in most trendy coffee bars. I wouldn’t know. I am strictly a coffee with milk man. That said it was quite nice. Sweet tasting -but only in the way coconut milk is sweet. I think I could get used to that one.

Anyone care for a refreshing drink…

Called Sweat?

It doesn’t sound very appetizing does it? It’s an energy drink that is supposed to be SWEET. Do the Koreans think “sweat” is the American spelling of “sweet”? Is it?  I really don’t think so.

It tastes like most non-fizzy, so-called energy drinks. It’s the name that puts me off.

Manhole covers (or is that person-hole covers?)

These two friendly looking characters are everywhere you walk staring up at you on cast iron moulded manhole covers. The holes on the streets that lead to the sewers.

Someone told me that these cartoon-like characters are meant to be two turds. It seems a plausible explanation when you look at them and where they are located. It is as if they are smiling up at you saying welcome to our home. Mr. and Mrs. Turd – they do look like a male and female couple.

In actual fact these two are Mongduri and Mongsuri. They are the area’s tourism mascots. Very odd.


I also heard that Maersk had ordered 31 of the giant container ships. They cost about 190 million US dollars each – presumably a bulk buy deal?! Many have already been built and I saw one being driven out of the shipyard today. It looked odd. High in the water without the huge number of containers it is designed to carry weighing it down. These things are just a shade under 400 metres long. That’s four football pitches. That is also about 120 metres longer than the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.  At 59 metres wide they are too big to pass through the Panama canal but can traverse the Suez canal. It is fair to deduce that they will be transporting goods mainly to Europe.

Thirty one! That is some order. While we in Europe may or may not buy some of the cargo being shipped from the far East the Danish shipping company must certainly be making a lot of money moving it around the world’s seas.