Random Food for Thought

The sad story of growing old in South Korea

Cass the smelly king of beer in Korea

At Haedanghwa, a Korean restaurant in Amsterdam run and owned by the North Korean Haedanghwa Group. Food was good, Service superb, morally a difficult one to work out.

Veal cheeks in Amsterdam

Veal cheeks in Amsterdam

I was lucky to escape the Animal Farm and have no love for the North Korean regime. But the more time I spend in this ‘free world’, the more I realise its flaws. Everyone is yeolsimhee — ‘hard-working’. Everywhere I see service workers smiling at me whether they want to or not, everyone striving to achieve something, to be a success, to make something of themselves, but not because they themselves decided to want these things. It is a lot of pressure, and does it make anyone happy?

The South Korean system dehumanizes us and treats us as machines that must endlessly pursue certain desires. Degrees. Marriage. Mortgage. Children. There is no time to simply live in South Korea. Even dying requires careful preparation in the form of a funeral insurance to which one would contribute money for years.

disability-justice:

Sins Invalid’s Statement re the Vancouver Queer Film Festival 2014

Sins Invalid is a disability justice-based performance project centering disabled artists of color and queer / gender non-conforming disabled artists. Our work celebrates the embodied, erotic humanity of disabled people, and…

peaceshannon:

"Anyone involved in international adoption is aware of the role of money. Adoptions cost around $30,000-$40,000. Children who are adopted internationally have birth families that are poor, some more abjectly than others. Children who are adopted internationally have adoptive families who are way better off economically than their birth families. Yes, there are exceptions, but that’s a reality in most cases, whether you were born in Korea, China, Haiti, Russia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, or India. It’s a definite imbalance of power.

Adoptive parents often hold fundraisers to get the thousands of dollars they need to adopt internationally. Friends, family, and strangers contribute. Many of the parents then claim the adoption tax credit after the child is with them, and that way get reimbursed by the US government for the airfare, hotels, meals, and other adoption expenses.

I’m holding a fundraiser, but it’s not for adoption. It’s for family preservation in my home country of Ethiopia. I was placed for adoption not because I was an orphan, or because my parents had died, but because they were poor.

I have told myself I was done fighting with time, I cannot reclaim the past, and I am ready to move forward. Moving forward has meant not obsessing over every specific detail of what happened and what was lost. It’s a struggle.

I’m not giving up on the struggle, and I am happy that I now know my Ethiopian family. They are happy that I grew up safe and healthy, with a good education. Still, I’ve seen the heartache that adoption has caused each of us, in different ways. These days, I ask myself often what I can focus on. What can I do to fix a broken system, which had failed my first family and many other Ethiopian families like mine? A system that means mothers must lose their children perhaps forever, that sends children to an orphanage, simply because their parents are too poor to keep them. I decided to open my eyes to my pain and that of first mothers and fathers. I’m not weeping anymore; I’m working.”

This is outrageous.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) announced on July 15 that it is now legally possible to use the mealworms or Tenebrio molitor Linne, as food ingredients in the local market.

The edible insect, when “manufactured” going through the various manufacturing procedures including cleansing, sterilization and freezing dryness, has nearly 80 percent of protein and fat in its body, confirming its high value as a valuable food resource

Now that the DDP is open, this story is finally over. At least until the city gets bored of it and wants something new. I give it, oh, 40 years max. Until then, I’m done with this place.