On Sunday I decided to explore around my hotel, plus I was extremely hungry. I know the food around here is safe, but the problem is I don’t know where anything is, nor do I have a car. Back in the states I always look for places on google or Yelp. Google and Yelp don’t exist over here in Korea (well, Google exists but it isn’t helpful- everything is in Korean) so I have no way of finding a place to eat other than walking around and seeing what is there. I left the hotel around 11AM and apparently this is early on a Sunday in Korea. Nothing within several blocks was open! Plus, it’s hard to judge a place when you can’t see anything from the street. Some restaurants had pictures, others didn’t. I have also found that the name of the restaurant does NOT indicate what’s inside- I saw a restaurant called “The Irish Pub” that only served Korean hot pot. Riiiiight. I must also mention that there is a Hooters about 50 feet from my hotel, and they sell only pillows. Their sign is exactly like the Hooters in the US, minus the scantily clad waitresses. Desperate for food, I didn’t want to keep waiting so I kept walking. I happened upon the restaurant I went to when I first arrived in Korea, and they were open so I decided to go in. This place isn’t really meant for single folks, it’s more of a family style meal. Nevertheless, I figured I could go in and just order soup. When I tried ordering just the soup, the waitress told me that those are just sides and that I needed to order the BBQ. I picked a BBQ plate and she asked me if two plates was ok, to which I replied yes because I was pretty hungry. Apparently she meant are two plates of BBQ ok, so I got a bowl of soup and two plates of BBQ. I normally wouldn’t mind but each BBQ plate was $10 so what was supposed to be a $15 meal was a $25 meal. I feel like she meant well, but if I originally only wanted soup, why would you push more food on me? Whatever. This meal in particular comes with about a billion side dishes that contain a million different things, ranging in spice level that you eat along with your meat. I liked all of them, but I must say I am not a huge fan of raw garlic- I’ll probably pass next time. My soup was seafood based. I decided against the Kimchi soup because I don’t really like Kimchi. Yes, I am aware I am in the wrong country if I don’t like Kimchi. (Off topic- a guy at work was provided with a kimchi refrigerator in his apartment- he uses it for his beer… Smart man.) My seafood soup had the spice level of the surface of the sun, that eliminated any hope for my taste buds to taste anything else I would eat in the next 12 hours. Drinking water only exacerbated the issue. Eating rice did help. I also found that the burning sensation went away the more soup I ate, so either magic witchery was afoot or I got used to it. Either way, it makes me uneasy. My beef was nothing short of very, very good. I walked out after paying my bill (minus tax and tip- you don’t really pay tax in Korea, it’s included, and you don’t pay a tip because it’s considered rude. I can get used to this. Not because I hate tipping, but because… ok I hate tipping). Heading down the street I was confronted with this: I took a picture of one of the other screens that shows, but it didn’t come up. It doesn’t really matter because it’s all in Korean. So get this- this sign is for the noise index that the blackhawk helicopters create in the area. All of the index numbers are in Korean, but the part that explains what the numbers are are in english. Right. This is the street that my hotel is on. Part of me really likes how close together everything is, it’s different than the US- but you can’t tell me that it doesn’t look extremely ghetto. If Korea wasn’t one of the safest countries in the world I wouldn’t go down this street if my life depended on it. Imagine if you found something like this in California, where do you think it would be? One word- Compton. Walking down a street like this is asking to get stabbed by a knife-wielding child. Anyway, it’s actually not that bad in the daylight.
The flower trees here put anything in SoCal to shame.
What’s really interesting is that they are building a rather large office building really close to my hotel- and next to some really old buildings. They seem to just build wherever there is extra space- nothing is wasted.
It’s also good to know that if I end up in a wheelchair it’s extremely easy to enter buildings.
As an aside, I tried watching some TV. What do all these buttons mean? Oh by the way TV is only in Korean so there’s no real point in watching anything…