I thought I had a good idea the other day and thought I would try some street food. I was walking around my little town and there was a pretty big queue at one of the street vendors so you think 'those locals must know a thing or two...right?' I get to the front of the line and I'm confronted by a massive vat of what looks like noodles (i thought they were noodles) and then next to it was a some 'meat' (I thought it was pork) and everyone was mixing the two together....monkey see monkey do....it cost about £1.50 and I got my monies worth. So to the taste....well I couldn't identify a thing really, and then the chili kicks in BOOM!!! The meat was like nothing I've ever had before. Dog you say??? Well I hope not. Didn't see many walking around the area though. Might try something different next time....
I've been lucky enough to have been taken out for lunch twice since starting work here. On both occasions I was taken to fairly traditional Korean establishments. Apparently most restaurants don't really have names, they just call themselves what the sell. So one place was called 'Duck' so duck was on the menu.
Eating out in Korea is a big deal, with the host needing to make a fuss. My principal took all the teachers and staff to this restaurant when I first joined...so he was being really generous. At this point I need to add that he doesn't speak a word of English so we didn't really say a whole lot, but I appreciated it nonetheless...
Right here are some rules:
- you sit crossed legged on a little cushion and it's rude to uncross your legs until the meal has come to an end
- you get metal chopsticks and a metal spoon....you're not supposed to hold both in the same hand
- when someone pours you a drink you have to hold your cup with two hands
- when you pour someone a drink you have to use both hands
- if someone offers you something it's rude to say 'no'
- you can't start eating until the oldest person starts tucking in
All throughout lunch the principal is tucking into straight Soju shots..which is Korean Vodka (yes..at lunch on a school day) and at the same time the vice-principal is making sure everyone has a beer (yes at lunch) Massive booze hounds here.
The food was awesome. I can't even begin to try and tell you what the names of the side dishes were but it was all pretty amazing.
Now the problem came when the principal kept asking me if I wanted more food...I'm about to pop and all I can think about is whether or not I've lost the circulation in my legs from sitting crossed legged for so long, and if I say no I'm going to cause a massive scene and ruin my relationship with the principal. So I suck it up and eat and eat and eat.....never really a problem for me in the past.
I'm enjoying the food here, but in the restaurants that do have menus I have no idea what I'm ordering, so I need a local to help me out...I might just grow a pair get into a restaurant and just point at something on the menu and hope it isn't a 7 course set menu for 10 people.....or dog...and hope it all works out for the best.
Happy eating folks