Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Traditional Korean Meals

We have a friend in Suwon who was trying to help us get a job. We decided to meet up with him on Sunday. We told him we would call him late afternoon. We were getting ready and all of a sudden I felt really hot, then really hungry, then extremely nauseous all in a matter of 3 minutes. I got sick in a shopping bag and started feeling better about 10 minutes later.

We met up with Sean, his girlfriend Melanie, and their Korean friend David and went to restaurant to have a traditional Korean meal. In Korea there is usually a lot of food and everyone shares. We sat around a small round table. A grill was in the middle and the lady brought chunks of pork, slices of garlic, and Kimchi and placed them on the grill. She also brought several other side dishes. Dishes for dipping and adding to the meal. Kimchi is probably the most popular Korean food. They say that Koreans will eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is spicy fermented cabbage. The taste is growing on me.

Once the meat was cooked, you take a leaf, grab some meat and dip it in sauce and place it on the leaf. You can also add rice, Kimchi, garlic, and some of the other side spicy veggis. Once you make what you want, you roll the leaf and eat. It was really delicious! They also ordered Soju which is a weak vodka and passed around shots. We also had several rounds of beer, which tasted surprisingly similar to Miller Lite.

Melanie and I took a bathroom break and went to the public toilet. There was no toilet paper so we went in to the Mens room. There was none there either and Melanie said, “Welcome to Korea." She said that often public restrooms don’t have toilet paper so you need to bring your own. Also, once we finished there wasn’t a sink, but a small hose in the corner of the room. We laughed pretty hard, she said she has been in Korea for over a year and has never come across a hose in the bathroom for a sink.

We then moved on to a Japanese restaurant because they wanted us to try a bamboo liquor. We had to order some food in order to drink, so we ordered mussels and shrimp. The bamboo liquor came in a ceramic bottle in the shape of bamboo. It tasted very similar to apple pucker.
The next round of drinks was Peach Saki, a Japanese rice wine. We had some shots served chilled and others served hot. I didn’t like this as much, and Sean said that it wasn’t the right Peach Saki that he was thinking of.

After several shots we decided to retire around 10pm. We were still a bit jet lagged and started teaching the next day. We decided that the five of us are going to go to Seoul this weekend and parted ways.

We got back to our apartment, and to our surprise - we had a bed! We had no idea how it got in there, but we were not going to ask any questions. No sheets, but we’ll take it! It was definitely a much better nights sleep once we were off the hardwood floors.

The Japanese restaurant where we had Bamboo liquor and Peach Saki. This restaurant is about a 7 minute walk from our apartment, and about 30 seconds away from our school.

Playing with the masks at the restaurant.

Playing with the masks at the Restaurant.

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