Tuesday, February 26, 2013

[Living/Press Article] Daegu's very own pocket pool group!

Daegu Dangu
Daegu's very own pocket pool group

"Build it and they will come."  And, that's just what Daegu Dangu's founder did.  The pocket pool group meets downtown every Wednesday evening at 9pm at McQuire's.  People from all skill levels are welcomed to play. You'll be matched or paired according to your level.  

If you want to play and you're not that good, then don't fret. Consistent practice will improve your skill and the group will help you if you ask for tips.

Some members know how to play a variation of pocketless pool. If you're interested, let them know and create an event. Remember, "build it and they will come."

There's no fee to meet or join unless you want a drink or food from the bar. The drink menu is typical of western style bars with an assortment of cocktails, Cass on tap and imported foreign beers available. The food is western fusion - think hot dogs, without a bun, with a side of fries.

How to get to McQuire's:
Walk east along the Banwoldang station shopping concourse towards the bar area and leave through the Metro Plaza Exit 15. There will be a CU convenient store on the street level.  Make a left at that point. McQuire's is just a short distance away. Look at the map for reference.

To join the Facebook group, then click here:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

[Culture] Jeongwol Daeboreum Celebrations in Daegu

Jeongwol Daeboreum Celebrations in Daegu

Jeongwol Daeboreum is the day of the first full moon of the lunar year. On this day, traditions and customs are performed to ward off misfortune and to wish for a bountiful year. This year’s Jeongwol Daeboreum is February 24th of the Gregorian calendar. Moon-viewing events will be held at numerous spots on the night of the day in Daegu. Check the event schedule below.

(Image courtesy of Dachaeum Blog http://blog.naver.com/daegu_news/50163506243)

★ Customs and Traditions of Jeongwol Daeboreum

• Drinking Gwibalgisul: A tradition of drinking cheongju, a cold clear, strained rice wine to wish for good news all year round. 

• Cracking bureom: Bureom are nuts such as peanuts, walnuts, pine nuts, chestnuts, and gingko nuts. A common tradition of Jeongwol Daeboreum is to crack a nut in your mouth early in the morning. This is believed to help strengthen teeth and avoid allergies in the coming year. 

• Sharing ogokbap rice: Ogokbap is boiled rice made with five grains. The rice is eaten with various wild vegetables and is shared on the eve of Jeongwol Daeboreum as it is believed to bring good luck. 

• Burning daljip: Daljip is a heap of straw or twigs. Burning daljip is a tradition intended to ward off misfortune and bring good luck. 

• Jwibullori: Jwibullori is a tradition of burning grass and weeds on dry fields and paddies after sunset in order to kill insect eggs and to fertilize the fields with ashes. The flames lighting up the night sky also make for a spectacular sight to behold. 

• Deowipalgi: Deowipalgi literally means "selling of heat." This fun tradition involves visiting a friend or family member and calling his or her name before sunrise. If they respond, they are then told, "Buy my heat!" The buyer is then responsible for absorbing all the heat the seller would have otherwise received in the coming summer.

(Source: Korea Tourism Organization)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

[Event] Winner announcement!

Winner announcement! 

We are ready to announce the winner of the event! 

Congratulations to the winner, 'Kyle Tan' and thank you everyone for your participation!

The winner should send us a Facebook message 
with name, address and phone number by Feb. 22nd.

Monday, February 18, 2013

[Food/Tour Press] Man in the Kitchen Restaurant

A Western Style Restaurant with Friendly Staff
Man in the Kitchen Restaurant

This week we had an English teachers dept dinner for the end of semester as four staff members were leaving. Unusually we went to a western restaurant and surprisingly the name of the restaurant was the somewhat bizzare "Man in the Kitchen". Grammatically it doesn’t quite sound right and I'm sure conjures up all kinds of strange images. However, Man in the Kitchen turned out to be a delicious restaurant with friendly staff and a unique marketing angle. 

I'm told the purpose of the name was because Korean men do not cook at home so it was unusual to see a 'man in the kitchen'. However, I've seen many Korean men working in restaurant kitchens before so I don’t see what was so unusual about it?

Also, I'd expected it to be full of women to see the 'man in the kitchen' but apart from our teachers group it was mostly a male clientele when we went. 

I too was curious to see the 'man in the kitchen' and there turned out to be in fact two chefs. One wore a Japanese style white handkerchief over his head, while the other wore a baseball cap. 

Menu items ranged from steak, chicken, or seafood, on a choice of rice or spaghetti dishes. They also had some salad side orders. Menus were bilingual so you can understand what to order. They also have an open concept kitchen so you can watch your meal being prepared.

The interior accessories are also quite masculine ranging from vintage photo cameras, sports cars and motorbikes, which may be scaring off the female clientele.

Average menu prices were about 13,000w ($12), were very large servings, leaving us all satisfied with our meals. 

Here is their website and I'm told they have a couple of branches across Daegu including the northern one in Chilgok we visited close to 7-Valley. 

Man in the Kitchen is a nice western style restaurant with friendly staff whose name will give you somewhat of an unusual experience and something to talk about. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

[Living/Press Article] Alternative to Costco - E-Mart Traders

Alternative to Costco - E-Mart Traders

If you haven't bought a Costco membership, but would like more western options when grocery shopping, then head to E-Mart Traders, the E-Mart version of Costco that requires no membership fees.

Located on the northwestern side of Daegu, it is out of the way for most people just like Costco, but it's worth the trip just to get American cured bacon and an assortment of cheeses. Tortillas are available, but some Home Plus stores stock these. Additionally, the crowds are not as intense in numbers as Costco's.  Perhaps it's because E-Mart Traders is a smaller store.

The prices are similar to that of Costco's, but certain items, like some cereals, that can be found at regular E-Mart stores are slightly cheaper when bought in bulk at E-Mart Traders.

The store consists of two floors.  
The bottom floor has a selection of produce, meats and dairy items. 

The top floor stocks electronics, clothing, shoes, alcohol and some food items like cereals.  Free food and drink samples are offered throughout the store.

The food court is near the entrance and offers pizza by the slice for 2,400W or 11,500W for a whole pie.  The pizza quality is okay.  It's nice to be able to order a slice instead of a pie sometimes.  If you enjoy your chopped onions with mustard and ketchup, or you're looking to try the concoction, you'll be disappointed as it is unavailable.

You can pay with cash, a cheque card, or a credit card unlike Costco where only cash or the Samsung credit card is accepted.  The E-Mart point card is accepted as well.

★ How to get there:

From the Yangnyeongsi bus stop downtown, the one near the police station, take the #704 or #730 to E-Mart Bisan Branch bus stop.  The ride should be less than 25 minutes. The bus will drop you off right in front of the store.  

The following buses also go to the E-Mart Bisan Branch bus stop: 427, 527, 708, 719, 724, 726, 750, 북구1, 칠곡 2.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

[Event] What do you want to hear from Touch Daegu in 2013?

What do you want to hear from Touch Daegu in 2013?

In order to provide you with more useful content and services this year, we prepared this special event. Please leave a message on the even post on our Facebook page about what kind of useful information you want to hear from the official fan page of Colorful Daegu. 
We will be giving away the special present to only one lucky winner! All your suggestions will be used to make better content for you. 

Those who share the event, leave comments, and receive many likes from other fans have more chances to win the prize!

  ● Event Period? 2013. 02. 14 ~ 02. 19  

  ● How to Enter? Like our facebook page(http://www.facebook.com/globaldaegu) and 
                             write what kind of useful information you want to hear 
                             from the official fan page of Colorful Daegu on the event post
  ● Prize? Fuji Instax Mini Polaroid Camera
  ● Who can participate? Any foreigners living in Korea
  ● Winners Announcement? 2013. 02. 20

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

[Living/Tour Press] Keeping Your Heating Bills low this Winter

Keeping Your Heating Bills low this Winter

As Daegu is in the grip of one of the coldest winters in years, with not one but three rare heavy snowfalls, many theories are bouncing around as the most economical way to keep warm. Keeping warm this winter can prove to be a challenge but using some initiative you can find ways to save on your Korean winter heating bills.

This is the third apartment I've had and my third winter in Korea. The last two years I would leave my ondol underfloor heating running from when I got home after work until the next morning and was facing gas heating bills of over $100/month.

Find more information how to save money on other utility bill in Korea

Gas Bill
Electric Bill

This year I've tried a different approach. Buying a used electric blanket for only $20 I've decided not to turn on my ondol except for the coldest days. Surprisingly I've managed to get by and my gas bill during peak winter season has not peaked past $15. I only leave the hot water switched on, not the underfloor heating, and take long hot steamy showers every morning so no need to visit a sauna.

If you are going to try this approach you will have to make some adjustments. Firstly wear double layers at all times including when in bed. Second wear extra items like socks always and a neck warmer in bed. I've even learnt from my students to wrap a blanket around your legs when sitting at your desk. 

Electric Blanket

This may seem going a little too far for some people but it depends on what you are willing to pay for heating cost, what room temperature you can tolerate, and how much inconvenience you are willing to put up with. I've lived in cold drafty homes in England, as well as toasty heated homes in Canada, so have had all kinds of experience.

The electric blanket also serves the double use of being a clothes dryer. By layering clothes between the electric and top blanket, using your body heat from above, I am able to dry most of my clothes within a few hours.

Last Years Gas Bill
Last Years Gas Monthly Billing

I only sleep with the electric blanket overnight and morning temperatures in the boiler have never gone below +9 degrees, so there was never any risk of freezing. It needs to get to zero outside before I feel chills inside and need to turn the ondol on for a few hours in the evening.

The blanket has not even registered on my electric bill which hasn’t moved from about $15/month year round. I was debating getting a glowing electric room heater but have been told by people this consumes more electricity and will cost as much as using the underfloor ondol heating.

Something else I learnt this winter is that under your kitchen sink are valves that control the underfloor heating. By turning these valves you can switch off different rooms thus saving your heating cost. 

Another concern is what to do when going away for winter vacation?  Back home tenants are held responsible for any damage from freezing pipes so I don’t know who is held responsible here? I left my heating on once when I went away and came back to a huge bill.

Ondol Floor Valves

Since then I've turned it off whenever I go away and had no problems. I always check the two week extended forecast to make sure temperatures are reaching above zero daily. There is a temperature differential between outside and inside and even if it goes below zero outside it can still be about 10 or more degrees warmer inside. 

Insulation in Window Frames
Jacket over Boiler

I've insulated all my window frames and even put a jacket over the boiler for extra measure. Depending on the construction and insulation of your apartment will determine any freezing exposure. My last apartment was a raised stilted style with parking below so was always cold with the cold air beneath.

Another measure I learnt from working in the insurance industry is to shut off your water supply from the mains and drain all the taps. This will also help lessen your freezing exposure if you are going to turn your heat off while you are away. 

Overnight Boiler Temperature

So using some creativity with personal adjustments it is possible to ride out the worst of winter and avoid sticker shock from staggering heating bills.