Just Bananas About: Week of 5/1/17

With the start of May, it’s also the start of family month in Korea.  With holidays such as Children’s Day (5/5) and Parent’s Day (5/8), May seems to be that time of year when families spend more quality time together.  However on Ugly Duckling, that may not be the case for these man-children.  Yoo Hee Yeol joins Shin Dong Yup and Seo Jang Hoon as the guest MC on the most recent episode.

I love how Kim Gun Mo’s mom always greets new guests by warning them that their day isn’t going to be easy.  At least she’s honest.  Yoo Hee Yeol also apologizes to Park Soo Hong’s mom about being so hard on him when he listened to her son’s song.  He clarifies that he meant it as a half joke but she says that it was perfectly okay to crush his songwriting dreams.  If he doesn’t do it, then he’ll keep living with the dream that he could be a singer-songwriter.  Hahaha.  After a while, he looks around wondering when the other MC’s are as one can imagine that it’s hard to keep up with the mom’s quips.

Upon starting the first video, the MC’s reveal that the title of the video is called “Father-Son, Inner Inspection”.  Immediately, the moms guess that it must be about Park Soo Hong and his father and Park Soo Hong’s mom is already stressed out.  The video features Park Soo Hong taking his father to the hospital for an annual checkup.  It’s been about five years since his father’s last checkup and since he is getting older, the checkup is overdue.

Despite a few concerns, it shows that the two are relatively healthy for their age.  Certainly, there are a few things that are concerning regarding Park Soo Hong’s father but it is something that they need to keep an eye out for rather than worry about getting treatment on at the moment.  As for Park Soo Hong, he just seems to be overly excited about the fact that his prostate is in good shape.

However, I think the thing that is most heartwarming is after they wake up from the endoscope procedure.  We saw previously that Tony An talked nonsense when waking up from the anesthesia.  Park Soo Hong talked in his sleep as well but it was mostly about looking after his parents in their old age.  When he finally wakes up, he sits next to dad waiting for his dad to wake up as well.  The MC’s note that when they were children, it was always their parents who stayed by their side at the doctor’s but now their roles have reversed.

Lee Sang Min and his mom is the latest addition to the program after Heo Ji Woong and his mom left.  We’ve witnessed him being extremely thrifty in order to pay back his massive debt and make ends meet.  He recently moved into a new place, a house in which he lives in ¼ of the dwelling.  The house itself is owned by his debtor which is a highly unusual situation but we know that Lee Sang Min aims to pay back all of his debt.  When he wakes up in the morning, we see his morning routine which includes irrigating his nasal passageways with salt water.  I’ll admit that it’s an unusual sight to see but apparently it is very good if you have nasal congestion due to a cold or allergy.

He then puts on a face mask, instead of washing his face, and then squeezes out all of the leftover formula into a container to use later.

Then he makes himself some breakfast by making toast and his own cheese.  Despite burning a bit of the bread, it’s quite amazing to see how he makes ends meet by stretching out the dollar.

After breakfast, his doorbell rings.  However, he has to go to the bathroom in order to answer it.  The other part of the house has the doorbell in the usual place but as he using a separated section of the same house, he has to answer his own door by going to the bathroom.  A package arrives for him and it is herbal medicine sent to by the person who owns the home and whom he has debt with.  Again, this debtor is clearly cheering him on so that he can pay back his debt.

After thanking the guy on the phone, he decides to shave his cat’s hair as it has grown long.  The cat runs away mid-shave but that doesn’t deter Lee Sang Min from continuing to shave his cat himself.  Typically, most people would just take their cat to the vet but this is yet another way in which Lee Sang Min is saving money.  In part, it’s a heartbreaking sight to see for his mom.  While she knows of the debt, she has remained oblivious to how much the amount was and what lengths it takes to save every penny.  That’s not because she doesn’t care but he partly doesn’t want to tell her the whole story because it’s a matter of pride as he is determined to look after his mom and pay back his debt.  I’ll admit that this is a cultural thing as men and even first born children don’t share their problems with their family as they must be all put together.

The final video of the episode features Kim Gun Mo.  We see him at the airport with the two Jong Mins in his life, his manager, Sohn Jong Min, and Kim Jong Min.  They’ve arrived in Jeju Island to take a ferry to Mara Island.  This is the same island that is known for their Jjajangmyun (aka Black Bean Noodles) which Kim Gun Mo made for the two of them in the previous episode.  He now wants to try these infamous noodles himself.

He also tells the two Jong Mins, Right Jong Min and Left Jong Min, that he brought his kickboard with him and had it shipped to Jeju Island.  They ride the kickboard to the port to buy their ferry tickets and upon boarding the boat, Kim Gun Mo is told that he can’t bring it to the island.  The island does not allow any vehicles, bikes, skateboard, etc.  The boys decides to lock up their kickboards on Jeju Island and get back on the boat.

Upon arriving on Mara Island, Kim Gun Mo tells them that there are 9 jjajangmyun places on the island.  And they are going to eat at every single one of them.  That is not a detailed he previously shared with the group before they took this trip.  However, as Kim Gun Mo’s servants, they follow along.  As I’ve said before, Kim Gun Mo certainly doesn’t know how to do things on a small scale.  I thought that they would only order one bowl and just share it amongst themselves but I was wrong.  I think it’s interesting to note that each of these locations have their own style of jjajangmyun.

The first location has a table that is on the edge of the cliff and facing the water.  It is quite a sight to see and it seems like the best location to have their first bowl.  They order 3 bowls of jjajangmyun.  I think it’s interesting to note that the jjajangmyun on this island seem to incorporate seafood into the sauce.  This first one is interesting as it has spicy conch, octopus and hijiki.

As they go from location to location, there are different toppings and some are even spicy.  I would say for a hungry guy, they can easily clear 3 bowls each and be full.  After that, I’m not sure how they would be able to bear eating any more.  They all start out happy but slowly, they find themselves getting more and more miserable with each bowl.

I’m amused at how disgusted they are when one restaurant gives them a freebie plate of sashimi.  It’s hard to say no to stuff like that as it would be considered rude.

Kim Jong Min shows off how full he really is and reveals a bloated stomach that is literally filled with jjajangmyun noodles.

At one point, Kim Gun Mo tells them some good news.  The ninth restaurant is closed that day and the two Jong Mins can’t be happier.

When they finally finish their jjajangmyun tour at the 8th restaurant, Kim Gun Mo tries to stand up and he simply can’t.  He’s so full and it can only be relieved by lying down.  And then a thought comes to Kim Jong Min’s head, in which he wonders aloud if there will ever be a plan to do a jjampong tour (spicy seafood noodles) and Kim Gun Mo shudders at the thought of it as he bear the thought of more food right now.  Hahaha.

Finally, the show notes how Kim Gun Mo’s mom recently won an award from the Arts and Sports Directors Association who honored mothers of artists and sports heroes.  She seemed very humble about receiving the award but it can’t be denied that Kim Gun Mo would not be where he is today without his mother.


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