Yesterday, disaster loomed large when I inadvertantly began ordering a platter of Polychaetes, which were still very alive and wriggling around on the table next to me. Best not to point at things inquisitively when you lack the vocabulary to say “no thanks, I was just curious.” Backpedaling was tricky, but I managed via spastic sign-language to secure an order of grilled sardines instead. The sardines were quite dead, and they were delicious. Honestly, French bistros around the world should give up and go home– the Koreans have perfected the sardine. Sliced lengthwise (still whole), rolled in cornmeal and seaweed, and served amidst an array of sauces, they were just about perfect.
Other things on the gastronomical list include trying bibimbap, a signature rice dish complete with a fried egg (genuis!) on top, and learning to say mashi isseumnida (direct translation: “It’s tasty!”).
I’m now back in my hotel after a quick trip to the nearby market, where I saw a label on a noodle package that read “MSG, for health!”. I passed on the noodles and purchased a bottle of Soju for 750 won (about 80 cents). I think maybe I’d better mix it with something.