Today is another holiday in Korea. Today is the day that follows a month after Valentine’s Day. It is White Day. This is the moment that men reciprocate gifts to their loves. I won’t spend much time typing about this holiday. It is largely a commercialized holiday. I delivered a rose, chocolate and a hand written note to someone that had given me chocolate a month ago. In response, I was given a quick, “Thanks.”
Moving forward, I met a classmate for lunch today. We went to our favorite Chinese restaurant in Anam. We don’t go here often because it is prohibitively expensive. (17,000 won per person, about $15 per person) In Seoul, any ethnic restaurant that is not Korean will cost you a pretty penny, I promise. Here is a quick pic of what we ate:
What you are looking at is a big boil vat of spicy oil sitting on top of a propane gas burner. We have an assortment of raw lamb, dumplings, vegetables, tofu, and noodles. It is delicious heaven. It is hot and spicy. It is different kind of spicy because it sneaks up on you. Your mouth and lips slowly heat up rather than immediately. A quick note, I love living in Asia because we have experiences such as this. Hot pots back in the states that I have seen all used electric burners. This sight at a restaurant would be short lived in the states because some empty headed negligent person would get injured, resulting in a law suit.
This restaurant is owned by people who are from the Korean speaking region of northeast China. This is a place that I intend of visiting in the future. I am curious about our big neighbor to the east. I want to visit the part that is home to a Korean minority group so I can have a chance of survival due to language. My classmate spoke Mandarin to the restaurant owner, while I spoke Korean to them. Before finishing this post, I will share a two or three minute slang lesson. 燃烧吧菊花 crudely translates to, “Burning the chrysanthemum.” To spare vulgar details, we use this phrase to describe that experience that happens long after our meal is finished.