Friends and Food back in Seoul (Day 260)
A lovely day full, with friends and food back in Seoul
Our first full day back in Seoul and it was certainly full in more ways than one. The morning was mainly writing and discussing our learnings from the previous day, then we left to catch the metro. We were met at the other end by MinJeong looking lovely in her blue dress (and who we met back on day 218) and she introduced us to DonYoung. We walked out of the station and there was Shin, grinning away with his hands waving out of the top of the car. Yes, we spent the rest of this lovely day with our friend Shin, and his two NLP apprentices. As you can imagine, there were lots of chatting, laughing as well as eating. Shin drove us all around Seoul, occasionally pointing out places of interest, such as the equivalent to Wall Street with its ultra-modern high rise buildings. At our first stop for food, we had to queue up it was so popular. The café, named after a North Korean riverside castle, had a limited menu, but what they do produce is very good. We have often found on our travels that these speciality cafes do very well; focussing on just a few dishes rather on a massive repertoire of meals. This café’s speciality is Naengmyeon which is noodles in a chilled meat broth with beef brisket on top. This dish is extremely famous here now as when Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae-In met on 27th April, this dish was included on their banquet. The noodles were brought over from the capital of North Korea, Pyongyang at President Moon’s request. As I don’t eat meat, I had the spicy fish noodles. Unfortunately, I wasn’t keen on the fish, it was Skate and very bony which I was supposed to chew and swallow. Luckily I could leave the fish and eat the rest which was very tasty. During the meal, we talked about different dialects and I mentioned the word posh. DonYoung hadn’t heard this word before, so Tim explained the acronym: Port Out, Starboard Home from when the aristocrats could afford the better facing cabins on the ships travelling from Britain to India and back in Victorian times. However further research states that there is no evidence to support this – sorry Tim. Shin then drove us to quite a “Posh” area to have the best Bingsu in Seoul. We wondered if it would live up to the ones we ate in Busan with our friend ImSoon (Day 250). Another queue, he is certainly taking us to some popular places. Two Bingsus were ordered, a green tea flavoured one and the original one. Nice, but I found the one in Busan slightly tastier, a more milky flavour. We were then driven to a third café! This time a large modern establishment situated in an old warehouse. Cake and drinks were ordered…however, Tim and I didn’t fancy any cake. Wow! We have changed. Since reading The Four Pillar Plan and cutting out a lot of sugar from our diet, we have really seen the benefit. Believe it or not, Tim no longer gets Hangry!!!! Yes, I know! That is amazing!! I used to have a really sweet tooth and would drool over cakes – and now – nothing! The café had a wonderful array of cakes: creamy ones, cheesecake, chocolate brownies…we could appreciate them, but no desire to eat them. Long may it continue. It just shows what an addiction sugar is. We came to this third café as MinJeong was meeting her friend Brianna from Wyoming, USA. They teach each other their respective languages, but from observation, it does seem as if MinJeong does prefer to do the teaching rather than the learning! We all had a giggle about this. Shin had a beautiful navy blue fan that MinJeoug had given him. Much needed in this heatwave. He noticed my fan which was given to me by a taxi driver in Kagoshima, Japan and very kindly translated the writing on it for me: Il-Seng MienGang Il-Seng ChungChun which means “For whole life, work and study hard. For whole life you are young!” I am so glad that I know what it says. I have wondered. So, lots of food and drink, however most important to us both is the delightful conversations we had over the day. Some deep philosophical chats with DonYoung about consciousness and what happens after death. His English is so good that we both forgot it is a second language for him. He is a physicist and has just completed his degree and now training as a coach as well as building up a business as a Maths and Physics tutor and we wish him every success. We also had such a laugh demonstrating the few words of Korean that we have learnt (appallingly few words) and getting the three of our Korean friends to teach us some phrases. “My name is…” “What is your name?” We’ve only been here for 6 weeks – very lazy of us not to have learnt these already “Could do better” needs to go on our Korean report. Finally, we all had a constitutional walk along the Han River just as the lights were coming on and watched jet-skis zoom around and a couple of people water skiing. Shin likes to swim and shared that he’d love to swim across the Han River one day. With his drive and determination, it wouldn’t surprise us if he achieves this. Many cheesy photos, big hugs and gratitude, we said our fond farewells. What a wonderfully full day with delightful people.