Monday, August 29, 2011


I don't normally talk about cartoons characters on this blog, but many places and things in Japan has a mascot and usually the mascot is cute. Centrair, the international airport that serves central Japan and Nagoya is special, because it does not have one mascot but one mascot with two friends. Below is Mr. Fu, the mysterious traveler with his friends bird and Mr. Luggage.In the international departure lounge, hanging from the ceiling near gate 21 you can see Mr. Fu visiting different locations around the world, he left his friends at home I guess.Germany: Okay, beer.
Paris: Okay.
Hawaii: Okay.Korea: Okay.
Taiwan: Okay.
Nagoya: Okay, Mr. Fu back home.Beijing: Okay, dancing Panda is cool.
Bali: Okay.
Thailand: Okay.Finland: No! Finland is not Santa. Up until a few years ago they were using the Yule Goat, an ugly creature that frightened children and demanded gifts at Christmas.
Vietnam: Okay.
Shanghai: Okay, I guess Taiwan and Shanghai people have the same style hat.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Busan to Jinju - Korea

Busan is the second largest city in South Korea and happens to have an airport. Jinju is a small 'country side' city about 50 miles west of Busan. This past week I traveled to Jinju and decided to take the inner city bus to get there (although it might look like I was on vacation, not really). On the map below, Busan is on the right and Jinju is lower left. There is not a direct bus to Jinju from the airport (PUS), you need to take an city bus to the Sa-sang bus terminal on the west side of Busan. You can take a direct bus to Sa-Sang, but I asked for help. I asked three nice local people if they could show me which bus went to Sa-sang, they ended up negotiating with a normal city-bus that happen to pull up at the airport, if the bus could give me a ride to a bus stop not normally on it's route. The bus driver agreed, I needed help. The bus ended up dropping me off here and told me to get on Bus 128. Looking around I had no clue where I was, no people, no cars, everything close. I thought to myself, 'crap'.After about 10 minutes, bus 128 actually pulled up and I got on. The people who helped me at Busan airport also gave the these instructions of how to get to Sa-Sang bus terminal. They kind of told me to just show this to people. Showing it to people actually worked, when the bus pulled up at Sa-sang, two people looked at me and pointed at the door.Ha-ha, looks like the word bus on the paper match's the sign on the wall... well, close enough. After about 10 minutes of walking around a weird mix of vendors, construction, people and BBQ places, I found the bus terminal. I got in line, walked up to the window, said 'Jinju'. The lady behind the glass looked at me, took some money and passed me a ticket. After walking around a little more, I found the bus. It turns out the spot where the bus to Jinju waits was not labeled Jinju. But again, nice Korean people help me after looking at my ticket.And it worked! Jinju has a shop called the 'Demian Collection'Here is the river that runs through Jinju, makes it look a little European.This is part of the fortress to protect Jinju against foreign invaders.
Here is a view of the countryside city of Jinju.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

re-Growing Salad

This a new product in the Japanese grocery store called toumyou, or pea sprouts. Pea sprout is not new, but the way it is being served and then re-served is. When you purchase the pea sprout, you remove the pea sprout from the plastic bag and cut away the sprouts from the root base. Below you see right after removing the pea sprout.After you have cut away the original sprouts, you have to put the roots in water. After about a day or two, little sprouts start to grow. You also should replace the water everyday.After about one week, the pea spout is fully grown and ready to be harvested again. I guess you can re-harvest 2 or 3 times, but I only got one harvest from this plant.Pea sprouts are high in carotene and other healthy stuff. The back of the bag let you know what's going on.