Thursday, 9 July 2009

Episode 3 & 4 - short updates

Thokpukki

Murphy got to me again. After roaming around for an hour for a new place to have dinner, I landed at a restaurant and ordered this. To my horror, I had landed up in the wrong restaurant. This was probably the only purely vegetarian restaurant in entire Korea, so I was served some rice cake like stuff, without even an iota of anything like egg or meat. In fact they were missing from the entire menu card of the restaurant. I had made a mistake, while Thop is pork, Thok is this rice cake thingy. So there, any Jains visiting Korea, you know what to order...

Solo dinners and Taekwondo master

Since my colleagues here have decided strictly that they shall cook their own food because -
a) it is "their" kind of food
b) they want to save money to take back home

I end up having dinner alone everyday.

So there I was, one night, peacefully having my take away dinner of bulgogi-rice-squid kimchi in front of a convenience store, when I suddenly had some company. As his wife went in to get water from the store, he suddenly sat down at my table. Soon he smiled at me, asked me where I was from and introduced me to his wife. We had quite an interesting conversation, the three of us, for about half an hour, during which I had been called a "baby"(on account of my age), asked to quit smoking and encouraged to take up Taekwondo. He ran a Taekwondo school nearby and asked me to come visit him.

It is such moments which makes any trip worthwhile, I guess, these strange connections you establish with complete strangers. A traveller relishes these moments. A tourist will never understand...