Have you ever disliked something so much you end up talking about it all the time, to the point where you’re not even sure if you love or hate it anymore? Well that’s sort of how things are with me for South Korean rapper (if you can even call him that) Psy’s insanely annoying song Gangnam Style, which apparently Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson are also fans of. There’s no escape — it’s literally everywhere I turn!
I still can’t believe that was the first K-pop song to break through the Western music market. And there seems to be no end to it, from tube signs to friends making their own parodies and even the poshest of pupils remaking the song into their very own Eton Style! The Eton video went viral on YouTube after only a day of being uploaded, gaining a whopping 43,326 views. It made me cringe, just like the original did but for different reasons. That said, I liked that I could actually understand it and the lyrics were quite funny (and spot on).
“We may awkward, frustrated, lonely and insecure (hey), yes insecure (hey), We’re not too social, can’t talk to women, although we try (hey), we’re just too shy (hey),
If you approach us then we’ll just break down and cry.”
If I was forced to choose which one I ‘liked’ more (rather, hated less), I’d have to say Eton Style. Posh or not, they really are no different than your average teenager. Okay, well they could work on their dance skills a bit more — painful but entertaining to watch!
Boris Johnson is really starting to grow on me. Not only does he think eggs are the food of the devil, he gives great rallying speeches and now he’s gone and gotten himself stuck on a zip wire! I can’t think of any other Mayor of London that would have even considered the idea so he gets extra points from me there. Click here for additional video coverage from ITV news and some even funnier footage from the Daily Mail.
Every culture has its own version of smelly (but often tasty) food. We have our smelly cheese. Others have naturally pungent fruit, such as durian (you either love it or hate it – I can barely stomach it). I like to try a bit of everything, especially when I’m abroad and I’ve had more than my share of pongy delights. But I’m not sure I’ll have the courage to add hákarl(fermented shark) to the list on our upcoming trip to Iceland. Just look at Ian Wright! He looks like he can barely stomach it.
Although not nearly as bad as ‘rancid’ shark, I thought I’d introduce you to some of my favourite smelly foods. What are some of yours? I’d be keen on trying them so please feel free to share!
Stinky tofu (臭豆腐) – Yes, that’s what it’s literally called in Chinese and you can smell it a mile away. But don’t be fooled by the strong odour (a bit like toilet), as it tastes nothing like it smells. It’s popular in Taiwan and is usually served deep fried, often drizzled in sauce and topped with sour pickled vegetables.
Natto(納豆) – This is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. It’s got a very sticky/gooey/slimy consistency so it might look a bit off putting, in addition to having a raw fermented smell. It’s not as pungent as stinky tofu and has a rather nutty taste. I usually mix it with a touch of soy sauce and karashi (a type of mustard) and have it over rice. Natto is also rich in vitamin K2 so it’s good for you, too!
Kimchi(김치) – One of my all time favourites is a traditional fermented Korean dish, usually spicy and made with napa cabbage, radish or cucumber. It’s very garlicky so your fridge can quickly start smelling a bit pongy, but I find if you wrap your jar of kimchi in a plastic bag it usually keep the odours from oozing out. Kimchi is fabulous with rice, in soups, fried rice or stir fried with thinly sliced pork (jae yook bokum, aka 豚キムチ in Japanese).
Century egg(皮蛋) – These preserved eggs really aren’t that smelly, though they kind of taste how they smell. I quite like the creamy dark yolk and the consistency of the clear gelatinous outer layer that was once the egg white. Somehow I’m able to ignore the odour of sulphur and ammonia. I like my century eggs Taiwanese style with a bit of soy sauce and parsley with fresh silken tofu or with rice porridge (century egg and lean pork congee – I think it’s originally a Cantonese dish). Even London mayor Boris Johnson has given century eggs a try. Well, he sort of wusses out toward the end.