Officially, the end of Chajumma family’s Manjae-do adventure was last week. This extra ep is like a Director’s cut, commonly tagged on by Na PD in his variety programmes. However, Three (Fishing)’s “director-cut” ep works out to be more like a summary of what has happened in the prev 8eps. It’s a mini rehash of scenes we have seen previously. Not sure whether this is cos not a lot has been edited out in the first place?

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Anyway, we rewind a little to Cha Seung-won, Sohn Ho-joon and Yoo Hae-jin‘s visit to one of the crew member’s apartment (it is mentioned that the one of the (lady) writers lives there). She has adopted San-je and Bee as well!

1. San-je and Bee: the roles reversal

Remember how San-je used to annoy the tiny kitten that was Bee? Now their roles are reversed. Someone mentioned that San-je may be a chihuahua…and I believe so. Cos 2 months after filming wraps up, San-je’s sort of has reached “maximum” growth. Even though he is no longer a puppy, he is still tiny. Now Bee is the one who is larger than him. (the crew hilariously call him “large ddeokbokki (rice cake) shaped”)

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In the animal kingdom, size matters when it comes to who plays the Bully and the Bullied. So now that Bee is larger than San-je, he has taken to chasing that dog around the house. And wrestling him into submission on the ground. Exactly the humiliation San-je put Bee through in the past. (heah heah, yeah…payback time!) And since Bee has developed longer legs (and claws) as well, his second favourite kungfu move on San-je is to box him in the face. (poor pup dog) Turning tail to run isn’t a wise move either. Cos Bee loves chasing after San-je’s (rather cute) waggy tail. He has graduated from chewing at Ho-joon’s fingers, to chewing out San-je’s tail. When the humans appear, San-je immediately takes refuge with them, by jumping into their laps. Bee will then stalk off, totally disgruntled. (aww)

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However, some things remain the same. San-je, despite being harrassed by Bee, continues to love to provoke him. (it’s a dog thing) And Bee…is still very much a slave to the snooze bug. (it’s a cat thing) He literally slept through (almost) the entire visit by Chajumma & family. (zzz)

2. Some things never change…

Well, besides Bee and San-je’s behaviours, the humans also behave the same as though they are still on Manjae-do. With the exception of Papa Yoo. When Ho-joon arrives, the first thing he asked was, “when are we having dinner? I thought we are having dinner….I’m hungreee.” This plaintive request prompted the Chajumma instinct to surface — aka FEED HO-JOONIE.

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So Chajumma immediately requests for access to the owner’s kitchen, her (well-stocked) fridge, her stove, her cutlery…everything. And Ho-joon assumes his role as Asst Kitchen Help without questions — he stands at attention the same way he has stood at attention on Manjae-do. After doing a quick scan of the available items in the kitchen, Chajumma decides to whip up 2 dishes. Jiggae and stir fried sausages with leeks.

And he isn’t stingy with the ingredients either. He shamelessly raids the fridge, pulling out frozen Manjae-do mussells, mandoos, loads of fresh vege, daejeong, gochujang, meat, clams…etcetc, then ordering Ho-joon to inspect the expiry dates before putting it into the saucepan — afterall you can’t trust someone who lives alone to finish food before their expirations. (at one time, i was quite worried the saucepan will overflow, what with all the stuff he is putting into the jiggae) However, there’s one veryveryvery critical thing which is missing from the kitchen. MSG. (rofl)

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So Ho-joon is sent down to the nearest convenience store to purchase it. Only to return 5sec later…cos he never brought his wallet. Chajumma sends him off with a 10k won. Later on, when Ho-joon is sent (again) to purchase instant rice, Papa Yoo sponsored the money, slapping him playfully on the butt and telling him to “take the money and study hard and stop playing”. How cute, the trio really get into their roles as father-mother-son. 😛

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Hilariously, Papa Yoo and Ho-joon spend 15mins trying to figure out which button to press on the microwave to heat up the instant rice…and they also spend some time seriously debating on the time needed for the rice to heat. Papa Yoo comments that it is easier to start a fire than play with “hi-tech” kitchen appliances. (duh, it’s only a microwave??) And since no fire is required, Papa Yoo has the most free time on his hand, which he spends annoying San-je and trying to wake Bee up from his nap.

Ironically, when Na PD sneaks a taste from the jiggae (a flashback shows he has been sneaking food from Chajumma’s pot on Manjae-do too), he comments it doesn’t taste as nice as the food prepared in Manjae-do. A fact which Chajumma agrees. Cos the ingredients used today are frozen, whereas they had fresh seafood caught juz a few minutes before ending up in the pan on Manjae-do. And we all know freshness trumps all.

3. On the topic of food

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During their dinner (or pre-dinner snack), Na PD says that the online community have been ranking the 83 dishes seen on Three (Fishing). Yeah, I’m as surprised as you…were there THAT many? Apparantly so. Even after taking out the 3 dishes prepared by Papa Yoo (during Chajumma’s absence), Chajumma has impressively whipped up a total of 80 dishes in 8eps. Which means, an average of 10 dishes per ep. WOW.

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Na PD then asks Chajumma’s family to rank their most memorable and favourite dish. Papa Yoo quips it is Chajumma’s kongjaban (sweetened, preserved black beans). Weeks before filming Three (Fishing), Papa Yoo had innocuously revealed that he used to suffer from a serious bout of food poisoning, that left him with zero appetite for days. However, he one day tried kongjaban (usually served as part of banchan (Korean side dishes))…and found it palatable — kongjaban became the ONLY food that he can swallow after days of going dry. After that day, kongjaban became his comfort food. Chajumma has carefully noted this during the meeting, and made sure he made them from scratch for Papa Yoo when they arrive at Manjae-do.

As for Ho-joon’s fav dish, it’s the sweet and spicy stirfried pork that Chajumma sneaked back following his absence. Ho-joon admits that he never expected Cha Seung-won to remember his promise, and thus was doubly surprised that he did and even haggled with evil Na PD to prevent the pork from getting confiscated. As for Chajumma, his fav is the breakfast of nurungji (burnt rice soup), with egg rolls and dried, preserved vege. Chajumma admits he used to hate nurungji, and never eats it — only Papa Yoo likes it. But strangely enough, when he paired the nurungji with the egg roll and preserved vege (a formula Papa Yoo recommended), Chajumma finds it rather palatable.

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It is interesting to note that Chajumma family’s fav are all food that are not exactly the most spectacular on Three (Fishing) — such as the bread and marmalade, the mussells jiggae, the fishcake soup, the pizza, the sushi — but they are food that are prepared with heart and have a lot of feels attached to them. Which isn’t surprising. I bet your comfort food is unlikely to be black truffles or foie gras…but something much much simpler that brings back happy memories when you eat it.

4. Papa Yoo and his successful fishing trip

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Oh, I forgot that before his string of failures, Papa Yoo had indeed managed to hook a few fish. Most of that was probably edited out, cos we get to see more in this ep. Apparantly, Na PD has challenged Papa Yoo and Chajumma to obtain 10 fish in total for that day — in exchange, he will present them with pork belly meat for a samgyeopsal (bbq pork belly) dinner. Since pork is a rarity (ok, it’s totally unheard of) in a fishing village, the guys are up for the challenge.

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The fishing nets yield a total of 4 fish (and other creatures, such as an eel, loads of flower crabs), Papa Yoo needs only hook 6 more to complete the 10. While Papa Yoo is busy waiting for fish to bite, Chajumma is literally bustling around the house preparing the soup stock for dinner.

Amazingly, Papa Yoo does manage to tally up the total to 10 fish — even after throwing back a small-medium sized fish into the sea. Methinks he prob used up all his fishing luck on his first fishing trip. (Beginner’s Luck?) And so, the guys actually manage to have a dinner that is “fit for a King” (as quipped offstage by one of the crew). Cos besides the samgyeopsal, there’s also deep fried soft shelled flower crabs, clam soup, coupled with kimchi banchan and rice. (yumz)

5. The DIY master

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That’d be Papa Yoo. Ep9 recaps the inventions Papa Yoo has come up with to make their stay on Manjae-do more comfortable. From the simplest wire bar for the kettle and pots to the sushi turntable. When asked which is the invention he is most proud of, Papa Yoo says it’s the bread rack. Although it is juz a simple wire stand, without it, the bread will never bake through.

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As for the most difficult DIY project, it isn’t the sushi turntable (in fact, that didn’t even register as “difficult” in Papa Yoo’s mind..!?!), it’d be the wooden panels he designed to block out the wind from the stoves. Cos the wind on Manjae-do is very strong and rather extremely annoying, it is hard to fan the fires without getting soot in your face. Papa Yoo designed the U-and A-shaped panels for the stoves to block off the draft, enabling him, Ho-joon and later Sung-hoon to fan the fire without getting smoke in their eyes.

6. Before and During Interviews

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Chajumma lets us in on a secret — Papa Yoo and Ho-joon will prep themselves before their interview sessions. Papa Yoo in particular, will wash his face and slather moisturisers on before his interview session. And the editing crew very helpfully puts pictures of Papa Yoo “before” and “during” interview for our comparison. Chajumma jokes that Papa Yoo goes through the whole day with a face that looks like a seabass, and suddenly transforms into human (read: handsome) when interviewed.

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Ho-joon too, is revealed to slap on BB cream and lip balm before he is called for interviews. I suppose out of the three, only Chajumma is the most consistent in keeping up appearances. Cos we do have various scenes of him changing out of clothes and applying cologne, moisturisers between chores.

7. Manjae-do’s supermart

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If you’ve always wondered where does the beer and snacks that the guys eat come from…well, they manage to track down Manjae-do supermart’s boss. (lol) Hilariously, Chajumma forgets to bring his wallet out in his excitement at seeing the supermart operating for the first time during their stay. He only realises after clearing our the owner’s newly restocked shelves. Luckily, in these small communities, selling goods on credit is still possible.

So Chajumma asks Ho-joon to return the 7k won to the supermart boss after he returns (which is at MOST a 10min walk)…but when Ho-joon goes back to find the boss, the supermart is eerily empty again. o_0

8. San-je and Bee’s growth…and a Season 2?

Like I said, ep9 of Three (Fishing) is very much unlike previous Na PD’s director cuts, where we have unseen shots of the programme. Cos ep9 chooses to end by giving us pictorial details of San-je and Bee’s growth. From the kitten who is terrified of the stringed toy mouse, Bee now chases it around with his razor sharp hunting instincts (especially when San-je’s tail is unavailable). And San-je is no longer that tiny pup who spends his entire day climbing several Mt Everests of bags and luggage. He is now big enough to hop on and off (low lying) chairs.

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Unfortunately, we don’t get to hear Chajumma, Papa Yoo and Ho-joonie’s answer when Na PD asks them whether they are open to a Season 2. However, I think getting these 3 back for Season 2 won’t be an issue. They are rather game for another short 2 weeks stay at Manjae-do. Papa Yoo in particular, actually misses being there.

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As a teaser, we get some scenes from the upcoming Grandpas Over Flowers: Greece (and Dubai) series. As usual, the editing crew likes to play on the ironies of the “titles” they have bestowed on the halbaes. Lee Soon-jae halbae is Zeus, who loves to play with his cotton candy “beard”. Shin-gu halbae is Poseidon, who loves to do weird head shaking exercises with even odder facial expressions in bed. Park Guen-hyung halbae is Apollo…who takes a tumble down an escalator trying to manage his heavy suitcase. (oh dear…luckily Baek Il-sub halbae is there to cushion the impact) And Il-sub halbae is Hercules, who loves resting his bulk on anything that looks remotely like a chair.

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And of cos, there’s our golden luggage couple — Lee Seo-jin and Choi Ji-woo — whom in the premiere held recently were teased by the media for looking very much the couple. (and Soon-jae halbae pipes up to promote Ji-woo as a “good daughter-in-law”, telling Seo-jin to “seriously consider”)

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