Monday Family Date: Balls Skills
On Monday night we decided to make the most of the spring weather, and head outside after work. At 5:45 we left the house, and since the sun is setting so much later now, we had plenty of time to walk around. We stopped to admire the blossoms, bought some snacks, and then went over to the Qingdao Grand Theatre to sit on the steps.
We ended up kicking a ball around for Eli. Lately he has been showing more and more interest in balls, but we have never really seen him chase after a ball like he did on this day. In fact, we discovered that he can dribble pretty well for a little guy who doesn’t have much ball experience. I felt like such a proud mama watching him run after the ball, and kick it to daddy.
He surprises me a lot lately!
You won’t see many photos of Eli just standing next to us for a photo. We are always holding him, or walking beside him. If we don’t he will turn away from the camera, or just completely run away! He is not interested, and never has been, in posing for pictures. We managed to get half decent ones here, but we had to keep stealing his attention.
Look how tall he is though – I guess next to me, that’s not a fair comparison. He still looks pretty small next to Justin!
We stopped at the Korean store for a couple of beers and some rice cakes. In China, you can just open up alcohol and drink it anywhere. There may be a rule about not doing this – but no one cares about rules in China. If you ever drive in China (or even just get into a taxi, or try to cross a road while walking), you will learn this quickly. Rules are simply “suggestions” here!
Munching on Korean rice cakes, and sipping our Hoegaardens, we sat on the stairs of the Grand Theatre.
A few other families were out and about too, and there was a relaxed mood in the air.
The light was fading fast when we started playing with the ball, so it wasn’t easy to get pictures of Eli. Look at him go though – such determination. At no stage did he ever put down his monkey or his rice cake. This kid – he always has to have something in his hand (or both hands).
These are really popular in Korea. We used to see Korean people sitting outside busy subway stations, making them with a special machine. A dry mix, which resembles small grains of rice, is fed into the popper machine. It then quickly blasts out in a 15-centimetre disc. Here in China, we buy it prepared and bagged from the Korean stores around our apartment.
It is such a blessing to have so many Korean people living in Qingdao. I don’t know how we would have ever just left all of these things behind when we moved from Korea. As I have mentioned many times before, we have now lived in China for longer than we lived in Korea, but we still feel very fond of all things Korean.
“A loud and crispy Korean street food has become the newest form of Toronto supermarket theatre. It’s called a popper, but sometimes goes by the names rice pop, rice cake, Korean-style wheat cake or even “popsta” rice crackers… Everybody, it seems, is sampling the bowl-shaped treat that’s the size of a dessert plate. Poppers are a modest 19 calories on their own, but people rarely eat them that way. Instead they slather them with jam, jelly, salsa, chocolate hazelnut spread, hummus, fruit, chocolate, whipped cream, yogurt, berries and more. Some people use them instead of bread to make sandwiches. Others put a fried egg in the concave disc and call it breakfast. But the real appeal of poppers is probably the machines that turn out fresh ones every eight seconds with a thunderous sound.”
When it got a little too chilly, and we starting getting hungry, we headed back across the road. Right next to our favorite Korean store, is a Korean restaurant, then another, and then a new one that recently opened. Next to that is ANOTHER Korean store, a Korean hair dresser, and a Korean clothing store. You get the picture, right? Tons and tons of Korean here.. Great news for us! Because Koreans love Korean products, and so do we!
Eli and I tried the recently opened Korean restaurant for lunch one day, but Justin had never been. So that is where we went for dinner. The menu is only in Chinese and Korean writing. I can’t believe that after all this time, Justin can still read Korean. I don’t know how he remembers information like that!
This was the learning app that we got for Eli before our trip to Europe. We saw incredible spelling and word recognition advancements after he used this during our two-month trip. I bet he is dying to go on another trip just so that he can get some iPad time again. When we are at home, the iPad barely leaves his dresser. It is only used as his sound machine. But sometimes, when we are out, he gets to play with this app on daddy’s phone. Imagine his delight!
Our dinner was soooo good! We are definitely going to try and “order-in” from this restaurant in the future. We eat Korean take-out at least once (sometimes twice) a week. It is cheap, delicious, and so easy for busy days! Justin picks it up from one of the restaurants outside out apartment, or we order it on our phones (We Chat is GLORIOUS!). Now we just need to figure out how to order from this particular place!
What Did we end up Eating?
Tteokbokki (Korean: 떡볶이), also known as teokbokki, ddeokbokki, topokki, and dukboki (–> this is the one I would usually use) is a popular Korean snack food made from soft rice cake, fish cake and sweet red chili sauce (gochujang). I have hundreds of stories about where we ate this in Korea – but I’ll save those for another day. This is a big favorite of ours!
Chopstick goofing around!
Ohm Rice. This Korean diner dish consists of fried rice encased in an egg crepe. You can make it with ground beef or leftover ham and serve it with a stripe of ketchup down the center of the crepe. This isn’t one that we get to order-in, so we were really happy to eat this again. It has been a while.
Our third dish was Donkkaseu, which is a Korean pork cutlet. This meal is an adaption of the Japanese tonkatsu which was the Japanese take on the European schnitzel. It’s a hot breaded pork cutlet, with cheese inside, served with a side of rice and a small cabbage salad.
Everything about our Monday-date was perfect! I am so happy that we made the spontaneous decision to get out and enjoy the evening together. The weekends have been really full for us lately, so this was just what we needed. We never really think of going out on a weeknight, but now that the sun is setting later, we have more day to enjoy!