Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A week well spent in Korea


Night shot of Dongdaemun on the final night


Korean udon at Myongdong, Seoul


Spicy broth made from loach-fish in Gwangju


The various side dishes that come with any food order


Asari (clam) udon in Seoul


Dumplings filled with meat and kimchi


Night shot of Seoul from hotel room (20th floor)
The week in Korea was certainly an exhilarating experience...
First, the Malaysians have May 13, and the Koreans, May 18...
In May 1980, I was in Manila, training under PAL to be a pilot...

Had no idea then, that the people of Gwangju were fighting the military regime of Chun Do-hwan at that time...
Imagine the milatary shooting their own citizens, just because some general wanted to grab power and rule the country...
Which brings the mind to the release of Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma...
I hope she can act as a catalyst to put Burma on track...
Ok, back to the topic...
Food is always central in my trips...
And photography too...
Was out in the cold on the final night, to shoot some pictures of the the night scenes...
Then went inside a Korean restaurant and as usual, the waiters and waitresses looked at me with puzzled eyes...
Ah, the menu... and I pointed to the picture of bibmpa...
Minutes later, the waitress brought a whole array of dishes...
This is the beauty of eating in Korea... order one dish, and woah, comes 6 or 7 plates of goodies...
But the dishes did not look bibimpa-ish...
One big bowl had some brown looking, rather fat, soba noodles...
Oh well, wrong order I thought... and it didn't matter...
I like their hot and spicy soups, and kimchi anyway...
So, I started with the hot spicy soup...
Ummm, tasteee...
I then put a spoonful of rice into the steaming broth and the next instant, I found the waitress flying towards me...
No no no... she said while shaking her head...
She took the rice, and with my spoon, she put allof it into the big bowl that had the fat, soba-looking noodles...
Ah, now this looks more like bibimpa, I nodded as she signaled me on how much chili to add...
I smiled, feeling somewhat tickled as I chewed on the concoction...
It was only then that I realized the soba-looking thing was some kind of mountain vegetable...