Korean Adventure

Myeong-dong night market

5 nights and six days in Korea is a mini-adventure. It was my first trip to Asia, since one can hardly include stopovers in Hong Kong or Changi Airport as a trip.

This was a business trip, fraught with cultural and linguistic difficulty. We persuaded our Korean-born colleague to accompany us and without her we wouldn’t have achieved anything. Certainly we would have gone hungry or simply eaten our way through American food chains.

The hotels we stayed in were generally the standard business kind of hotel. Except for the one in Daejeon, a dour science and technology city. It’s as though the hotel wanted to make up for the dreariness of the city.

Korean country hotel

By far and away the very best parts of the trip were the meals eaten in side street cafes or tucked away nooks. Chi would take us in, chat to the owners about what was available (the menus were definitely neogtiable), and we sat down to Korean hotplate with deliciously grilled on the table meat, an array of side dishes, a little rice, kim chi and soybean paste with chili.

Inevitably, the owner would ask Chi at the end  of the meal ‘Did she like it?’ indicating the only Westerner to hit their restaurant that decade. Smiling and bowing vigorously, I backed up Chi’s assertion that I did. Oh yes, lots!

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