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tv   Nomad With Carlton Mc Coy  CNN  May 8, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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stretched out below is valle d' aoste and piedmont beyond, where the italian nation was born, a region without which i wouldn't be "searching for italy" at all. ♪ this is my first time in seoul, my first time in south korea. you never feel farther than home than landing in an asian country in the middle of the day. you lose track of what time it is and what time it's supposed to be and your body is freaking out. we're technically a day ahead. it doesn't event matter. it just forces you to be in the present. driving through seoul, is smells
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of food cooking, signs in korean, the high-rises, tiny shops, all of it super fast and forward. >> the first thing you want to do is get something to eat. i just landed. i'm starving. i'm carlton mccoy, raised in inner city d.c., educated in kitchens around the globe. these days i make a living as a master sommelier. i'm a nomad, driven to move in and out of different cultures, different worlds, to celebrate diversity by making what makes us both unique and the same. after all, we carry our travels with us to our next destination. that's what life is all about. let's do this. south korea. like most people, i'm starting out in seoul, an international mega city located near the center of the korean peninsula. it's the beating heart that drives the korean economy and turns out record-breaking pop culture exports like "squid
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game," "parasite" and bts, the biggest band on earth. this place is fast-paced, interconnected and runs around the clock. but what about the rest of the country? is korea super traditional, modern, or both? after today i'm headed further into the countryside. i want to learn about the people, the drinking culture, and most importantly, the food. >> the food is probably the one part of the culture that i'm most well versed in. but i've been fortunate enough to have a number of korean friends that have taken me to those hole in the wall space is would have never gone to. one of the guys i'm going to meet today is kimberly kyungmoon and i go way back. he is one of the first koreans to ever become a master sommelier, and he has devoted his life to the art of seoul, which is the term for any
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alcoholic beverage, wine, whiskey, whatever. i'm meeting him at guwangjang mark. >> what is the name? >> gwangjang market. one of the oldest markets in korea. started with different clothing, text time. a lot of wholesalers started the market and newly grew out to be a loft food stalls. >> this is kribl. incredible. i think we're going to eat good. what's that home wrecker over there? >> oh, i'm getting it. >> what is this? >> it's sundae. >> what is that? >> blood sausage. >> can we get some booze? i'm ready to go. how old am i? >> 37. does that decide how much you eat and drink? >> no, no. in korea, the first conversations start with how old are you?
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>> what? >> because korea has a very strict social hierarchy. you to respect the elders. >> how old are you? >> 38. >> okay. so i can't disrespect you is what i'm saying. >> i'll give you a welcome drink. so this is soju. so you have to shake it. and put it in there. this is a korean aperitif. we call it somak. cheers. >> cheers. >> it's like the korean aperol spritz. >> this is very typical companies drink. this is chicken feet and pork skin in a spicy sauce. and this is staple street food that everyone loves. rice cake with the red pepper paste. >> everybody in the u.s. is juicing goji jong. >> even shake shack uses koby
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koji jong. >> it's good. it's very different than normal blood sausage. it has a texture that is well balanced, delicate. >> it's one of my favorites. >> i don't know how you say that, but everyone knows what this means. empty. >> let me pour you some. to show respect to my elder. >> that's why you drink it with beer. to me, this reminds me of home. everyone is talking over each other. they're drinking, having a good time. that's what i always loved about korean culture. >> koreans say chong, which is compassion. it's hard to translate, but it is like a feeling that you're attached to another person. and naturally brings out the hospitaltality. >> that's what they call it in africa. i have it tattooed on my arm. >> maybe you can tattoo jong.
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it is hard to explain if you aren't korea. it's more of an attachment or a bond between people. or sometimes between a person and a place. >> she is i'm on the clock, man. >> i think i get it, though. even though i haven't seen kyungmoon kim in years, we always have a blast when we do. that type of connection must with jeong. as the sunsets, the city comes alive, and kyungmoon kim and i head out on the town. seoul is known for its amazing street food. but tonight world class fine dining. michelin-starred onjium, where korean cuisine is given a royal makeover by chef cho eun-hee .
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>> joining is beck. while my buddy knows if you know and why. he is not what i call a cultural influencer. but kyuhee is. i need her to help interpret. >> how long have you known each other? >> 19. >> a few years. >> he is way more formal in korea than he is in the u.s. >> his christineness comes out? >> big time here. cheers. it was great. >> nice to meet you guys. >> so your work is essentially building brands here. >> building brands, kind of knowing what the cool kids are into, i guess. tie brands to consumers in the most natural way possible. >> but to do that, you have to understand the culture well. >> you have to be a part of it. >> from what i understand, korean culture is a bit of a
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paradox. at once super traditional, but super modern. i'm really seeing that play out in the food here. for dinner we're having galbi, or braised short ribs and the korean dish bibimbap. chef cho's versions are elevated and refined to their purest form. it's clear that korea is evolving, but how? and where is it going next? >> walk me through the last 20 years of what's happened in korea. >> basically, from the 1950s, after the korean war, korea was quite a poor underdeveloped country, right. but ingrained in insane work culture. so basically, built up the economy to what it is today, and there is this thing called the korean wave. i think that's what helped the country to be a lot more relevant in global popular culture is that very digital savvy, very reactive to what's going on. so as soon as a trend pops off, koreans will take it in. they'll reinterpret it in their own way. and i think it essentially becomes korean.
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>> korea as it stands now, would you say it is a very traditional country or is it a modern culture? where does it lie in that spectrum? >> i think they're putting a lot of emphasis in kind of like -- how do you say -- >> individuality. >> individuality, but korea's constantly changing. i think now koreans are a lot more looking in and being much more proud of korean culture, whether it's traditional or modern, like k-pop, korean beauty, food. >> and also in a korean also becoming more trendy, more fun, interesting, and people are ready to listen. >> it's cool to be korean right now. >> and seoul is the apex of coolness. look around. it's electric. but things haven't always been this way. how did south korea go from one of the least developed countries on the planet to an economic and pop culture super power? >> we sort of came into south korea hot. you can tell this is a city filled with people who have
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infinite energy. like these people go. you plop in the middle and you either keep up or you don't. but it's definitely not the identity of an entire country. >> tomorrow kyungmoon kim and i are leaving seoul. it was great to spend a day here, but i'm even more excited to explore the less traveled parts of korea. >> "nomad with carlton mccoy" is brought to you by the all new lexus 600. where food, music, art and culture clyde. ll-new lx 600. ♪ ♪ check out this vrbo. oh man. ♪ come on. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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what kyungmoon kim has lined up for us as we leave seoul behind. our first stop, wonju-si for assisting. >> soju is a clear liquor made from rice and one of the best-selling liquors in the world, even though it's not easy to find outside of korea. but some people are looking to change that, including this guy. >> before i started to launch my own brand. >> jay park, who was the first celebrity to launch his own
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brand called won. >> why is that important to you? >> when i got signed to rock nation as the first asian artist, you know, i wanted to kind of bring something that was kind of unique to korea. i didn't want to just come out and try to be something i'm not. i wanted to try to bring something to the chulture. >> sure. >> that was different. >> world famous multiplatinum korean hip-hop artist and producer jay park has been at the forefront of the hip-hop movement for over a decade. >> i came out with a song called soju. >> i heard it. it's great. >> thank you. thank you. and also, it felt natural for me to do soju instead of a whiskey or vodka. >> they want you to be an ambassador for the culture, right? >> yeah, and alcohol and music, everybody in the world can relate. >> that's correct. >> here we are, korea is one of the most popping country news when 20 years ago no one even knew where it was. >> before moon started
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developing his company to import very high quality soju in the u.s., i didn't know there was high quality soju at all. >> neither did i. with the two hands. >> i'm learning about these social cues. the korean drinking culture is crazy. everything is open 24 hours. so you can drink at 24 hours a day. >> you drink outside. >> no brown bag necessary? >> no, not at all. >> that's a luxury. >> a luxury and a curse at the same time. yeah, cheers. >> i'm going to follow his lead. >> and we turn back a little bit. >> what do you do? >> when you drink, you turn back a little. >> it shows a sign of respect. >> very complicated social cues. but this is so much better than all the shit you were feat feeding me yesterday. but it's legit. >> you got to start somewhere. >> you got to start somewhere. talk about being a young korean-american, being raised and experience with american culture and trying to translate
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it through a korean lens. >> back then, no one knew where korea was. they only knew china and japan. i'm from korea. where's that? being asian male, you have to be smart. you're not supposed to be good at sports. >> you're definitely not supposed to rap. >> and then i come over to korea, and they kind of look down on me for not really knowing korean culture and not being able to speak korean. so wherever you go, you kind of have this identity crisis. and then now, especially with how everything is so i guess sensitive, why do you try to be black? why -- you know, i'm not trying to be anything. i owe everything to hip-hop. so everything i do, all these success, people even caring what i say, it's all because of hip-hop. it's not just music to me. >> but also, hip-hop is not just a music genre. it's an entire culture. >> yeah, exactly, you can't separate hip-hop as a music genre to the communities. >> the attitude i have toward it is i always try to do it justice so that i don't embarrass the culture or the people that represent the culture as well.
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>> i never felt like i fit in as a kid because of my mixed background. yet the more i travel, it's easy to see the world is increasingly mixed too. korean america, soju, and hip-hop. a big part of my job is pairing. so this makes perfect sense to me. sometimes the most unexpected combos are the ones that stick with you. from jay, we head deeper into the heart of the country to a city called andong home to an ain chent family estate guest house no as nongam, where we would be staying for night. this is the historic home of the lee family. 18 generation landowners who can trace their lineage back over 1600 years.
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visitors who stay here are treated to the homemade liquors and meals prepared by the family matriarch, huang jong lee. amazingly, against all odds, i slow down too. >> we're right in the middle of the city, and now we're here right in the middle of nature. >> the older i get, the less time i want to spend in cities. >> same here. >> i see peace and quiet. >> perfect place to recharge, you know. >> this is an incredible place, man. this is special. >> tonight kyungmoon kim and are sharing a spread of simple and elegant anju. we're eating a korean beef tartar dressed with a little bit of soy sauce and scallion. >> that's great. >> so much flavor. >> with a glaze of gotu jong.
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>> it's really good. >> poached octopus, candy kum kumquat. >> all the food looks very simple, but the flavors are super strong and very complex. i love korean food. >> my name is carlton. >> oh, nice to meet you. call me bk. >> bk? >> yeah. >> the bk is the oldest son of the lee family and is in line to inherit the family estate. >> wow. >> so this is a cheongju. >> this is cheongju. >> but they add special seasonal flower. >> can he have a drink with us? >> come on. >> it's definitely cleaner, lighter texture, not as sweet. that's really good. >> and the subtle floral notes carrying through.
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>> thanks for having us today. this is super special. so his family owns this place. >> that's right. for 600 years. >> yeah. it's crazy. do you feel that the younger generation in korea values places like this? >> i didn't expect that answer. i think if there is one positive about how fast the world moves today, all the technology and social media, it's actually drawn people back in to places like this. like young people are leading the pack with sort of starting to say we don't want this, you know. i think it's really powerful .
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>> just thank you. sitting here in this beautiful valley, three hours and yet a million miles way from seoul, i feel like bk could be right, that the cycle of fast to slow feeds itself over years and years. you cannot have a city like seoul without places like this where time stands still, generation after generation. as a some sommelier, ilg it's a about patience, but here time and patience are taken to a whole new level. i feel like i'm a student again and i still have a lot to learn. ♪
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makes jung. the building blocks of korean cuisine, sometimes referred to as the mother sauces of korea. >> wow, this is beautiful. >> the jungs are aged in earthen wear crocks called jangdok that are spread out in rows across the property. >> we have 3,000 giant crocks. opening exposed to the nature and climate. so it's very important to the clean wind and sunshine. >> so the weather of this valley impacts the result with like the wind, the rain, the sun and everything? >> that's right. that's right. it's like the wine. >> we use grapes and you use soybeans. >> soybeans, right. >> am i allowed to taste these? >> yeah. . there are three primary jangs, or mother sauces, all made from fermented soybeans. there is doenjang, similar to miso, but more complex.
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goetsch chew jang, a thick and spicy red paste, and final ly goetsch change. the genius lies in the time it takes to ferment them. for the most special ones, it will be at least four years until they're ready. >> this is the 2006, so this is very balanced. >> that looks pretty gnarly. i'm going to be honest with you. that looks rough. that's got a lot of personality, you know what i'm saying? i'm used to having the process in the jar. that was a big piece. i'm going in deep. >> filling your mouth. >> i think initially it's very salty. but i think when the salt dissipates is when you get the umami. it has really bright notes, almost like citrus fruit, but it's very savory as well, meaty,
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almost mushrooms. it's beautiful. are you happy with it? >> yay, i'm happy with it. >> you love it. it's your heart. thank you. ♪ >> the amount of care and time that goes into making he's jangs is mind-blowing. they're an art form in and of themselves, and michael has partnered with new york-based michelin chef kim to spread throughout the world. hooni is a fan knacatic in the possible way. his excitement comes through in everything he does. he is making us pajang, or korean pancakes in michael's enormous kitchen. moon asks hooni to join us for the next half of the trip, and i'm excited to have him. but first, lunch. >> carlton, nice to meet you. welcome. >> thank you. >> have a seat. >> getting lunch ready using some of the jangs that we make
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here. and today for lunch we're going make something with scallion pancake. >> that looks incredible. >> this is a traditional pancake, but instead of adding salt or any seasoning, we actually added goetsch jang. that's why it's a little red. >> i've had versions of this in korean restaurants in new york. >> as an appetizer. but this one because it as gochujang, it is seasoned. >> jang is perfectly paired with broccoli. >> that's what this is? >> yes. >> makali, or farmer's liquor is an ancient unfiltered rice wine with a sweet and sour taste and just a little effervescence. i've never tried it before, and it's awesome. >> cheers. >> where did you learn how to do that? >> i'm learning a little bit at a time. >> it's not his first day.
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>> this is delicious. >> you always make this sound when you're drinking makoli. you got to say -- >> like refreshing? >> it sounds like you're in pain, but it's really refreshing. >> beautiful. it smells amazing. >> really looks seasoned. >> the gochujang transforms the pancake something something perfect on its own. >> you have to educate on the tradition, stuff they can get on a show. >> when somebody orders at my restaurant, the whole restaurant will know. and that sparks a very good conversation. what is that? >> that's a big part of our jobs is when i was a sommelier is just educating people. and to me i'm intrigued by looking at hand made jang
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culture is an enormous amount of parallels to wine making. it's the same thing here. it's hard to mass produce jang i can imagine. >> you can't mass produce time, and that's what it needs. starting in seoul where everything is fast, fast, the moment you leaf the city, everything slows completely down. and every conversation we've had is about how long these processes take, how slow everything goes. how do you deal with that juxtaposition between the sort of mother modern, never fast enough culture in seoul and taking the time to do things in the countryside, as much as should it be taken? >> taking time is very important for the artisanal jangs. we make the jang. that's our matters and our ancestors for 2,000 years ago. >> the 2,000 year of history of making jang could have been all of the sudden was lost, but you're continuing the history that can be handed down to the
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♪ as the sun begins to set, hooni, moon and i head down the coast to the largest port city
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in the region. this is kyungmoon kim's final stop, and then he hands me off to hooni for the rest of the trip. even though we've made a bunch of memories together that i won't soon forget, i'm also considering something a little more permanent. have you ever had a tattoo? >> no. >> will you get one? >> no thank you. >> why not? >> my wife. >> this is kyung, new friends and old, sharing stories, laughing, having a good time as if we've all been connected somehow all along. holhanng city comes up in you in a flash. at the heart of the city, jukto fish market, the largest in all of korea. hooni, moon, michael and i head out for a night of food and libations. at night, the market is place to be for great food, beer and
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soju. >> gombe geonbae! >> who knew! a little bit of a fan favorite here. >> you got a fan club. >> you can get anything ooms at this pacific herring to crazy looking smals. but the dish everybody says you absolutely have to get is the snow crab, which loosely translates to big ass crab. >> they might. >> this guy lost. >> lost the battle. >> you can you have the loser. >> oh, no. oh, shit! >> oh my god. don't call him a loser. he is a fighter. >> oh, yeah. coming from d.c., i'm somewhat of a crab connoisseur. my standards and expectations are super high.
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>> now we're talking. all you guys are my eldest. elder first. >> eldies first. two hands. >> you're learning. >> moon, i'm a quick learn. >> only took three days, but quick learner. >> well, it's tough when you're drunk the whole time. >> oh, look at that. >> wow. >> i eat crab with my teeth. i love crab so much. anywhere in the world when i can eat crab, it sort of feels like home. i love it. it's not as intense as king crab, but the texture is more delicate. >> definitely. >> it's really fine. if you can imagine what a feather tastes like. really perfectly cooked like cod. moon has no problem finishing his beer.
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>> belly full, a little buzzed, feeling the love. the one bit of important business to attend to, a nod to my time in korea, but also a nod to this guy here and our time together. i think the concept of jeong and that special bond you have with people and places is the perfect thing to take with me. >> i started doing little tattoos, mainly in places i felt a really special connection to. instead of buying some stupid trinket, you have a tattoo, it allows you to tell a story everywhere you travel in the world, you know? i think there is a sort of veracity i can relate to. it is one i heard about and i thought it was a brilliant approach to life, this concept and philosophy. you to feel it. it's a beautiful thing. >> today is your last day with kim. >> last day. we met first time 17 years ago. and that's where we started,
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that jeong, that feeling, that connection. and it continue on. >> we'll come back when we're old men. and finally by then you'll get a tattoo. i'll get you guys both a tattoo. i'll pay. >> so that's jeong. the beautiful thing about jeong is you can't explain it, eh? >> like most things you can't explain, sometimes you just need to look around and feel it to understand. [lazer beam and sizzling sounds]
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are now made with no artificial flavors or preservatives. knorr. taste for good. jeju island, a short flight from port city of kohang, but miles away in how it feels. it's a tropical paradise subject to pretty unpredictable weather. hooni has a connection to this island, and in particular, this place, ojina restaurant. hooni credits the hwangs with not only improving his cooking, but how he approaches every aspect of his life. i've been invited to meet the family for a preaddition drink, but not my typical aperitif. >> colton mccoy, the patriarch
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of this family, mr. hwang. i so welcome. >> thank you . . >> the tea mr. hwang is preparing today is a combination of herbs, roots, mushrooms and minerals, many of which are decades old. >> you can tell it's one of these places when you walk in, you're not the boss. >> right. i'm not here to add any of my personality here, no. i'm just here to reserve and absorb. you feel that this place is special. >> it puts you in that place immediately here. >> i'm more of a coffee and two aspirin kind of guy. but you know what? after this trip, i'm open to anything. so bring it on. let the healing begin. this is food as medicine. a holistic approach to well-being, one this mr. hwang
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and his family adopted after a long and serious illness took the sight in one of his eyes. it almost took his life. now they share it with the world through this place. >> carlton, i'd like to introduce you to the chef, chef chung. she is in charge of all the food here today. >> you operate the kitchen at this restaurant? >> so a real chef, a real chef, yeah. >> the spread is incredible. there are dozens of small side dishes called bonjon that are standard with any korean mill. and there is also home-brewed cranberry wine. >> it's beautiful. >> pickled vegetables from the garden. >> is it the goal to have all four seasons represented in every meal? >> yes. well, that's mr. hwang's fl flossie. >> sea cucumber with wildflowers. >> they call it chopchi.
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>> that's why they strip it. it looks like noodles. >> abalone with jeju citrus. >> it's like candied yuzuru. >> that's delicious. >> it's grown here. >> and a delicious homemade tofu that is mr. hwang's favorite. the food is painstakingly prepared by mrs. hwang, and for good reason. how has your husband's philosophies with how he likes to heal people with food and tea, how has that impacted the way you cook ?
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>> but through that they deepen that jeong . . >> that must have been really special for you, because in difficult times like, this sometimes it breaks marriages. >> very clearly seeing who the boss is here, yeah .
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>> she saved his life. >> beautiful. i'm very impressed that it's actually in one piece. how do you grill fish? >> all together. >> a very long grill! you idiots, a long grill. >> grilled and presented perfectly at the table. this fish is exceptional. i've never had a fish with a texture like this. it's like eel and bass together. >> and also, mrs. hwang's incredible kimchee stu made with jeju black pork and kimchee aged for over a >> this is 10-year-old kimchi.
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that's wild. you worked at restaurants before. for us, we've been taught that nutrition is not something we really think about. she doesn't think that way when she's cleaning at all. it's about making sure you are going to leave healthier when you leave then when you came in.>> there's nothing you could've told me that would have properly put this place in perspective. it's the people, the place, it's everything. this is a very unfortunate thing that happens. >> after spending an evening with the wong's, i get why they are so in love with the place. it's truly special. it's important to remember who can often be the very best medicine. feeling very relaxed, well fed and maybe a little bit healed.
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out-of-state corporations wrote an online sports betting plan they call "solutions for the homeless". really? the corporations take 90 percent of the profits. and using loopholes they wrote, they'd take even more. the corporations' own promotional costs, like free bets, taken from the homeless funds. and they'd get a refund on their $100 million license fee, taken from homeless funds, too. these guys didn't write a plan for the homeless. they wrote it for themselves.
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from my last day in korea, we were blessed with a great day of weather. the sunshine is amazing. sprawling coastal highways and rich volcanic soil. the islands greatest treasure is maybe these women. legendary free divers known as sea women. left her old life and soul behind to learn this ancient profession.
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and i'm going to make some ramen with the shells that you,. >> the noodles are in. the shrimp and shells are in. all it needs is an egg. some green hot peppers. see mac i did them proud. i grew up eating ramen almost every day. we doctored it up. not this fancy though. >> is this something people know about or is it pretty particular?
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do you know what your life would be like if he stayed in the city? >> i think that takes a lot of bravery. a lot of people are stuck in situations in life and it's too hard to change. people are too afraid to do it. it's a bold move.
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gratitude. being thankful and appreciating what you have. sitting on the beautiful island, i can feel it through and through. how i got here, the crazy gearshift between city and country, the whirlwind of jet lag and travel, floating through time and space. most people who come here stop but to understand korea, you have to look beyond just one city. i was likely enough to have the very best guides. all of us connected. i feel
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changed by these people and this country. in that time, all its manifestations, fast and slow, past and present, is truly the most precious ingredient.


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