South Korea – 2008 – A tour of the Seoul

We went out today for a tour of the city. Seoul is a modern city with all of the advantages and disadvantages of a great city. The traffic can be awful at times, like now as we drive through it, and you can find anything that you ever wanted.

We were taken out to The blue House. It is South Korea’s White House. It is a beautiful building. We passed several large public art pieces as we drove around the town. I remember a giant pencil for some reason.

As we drove through town, we couldn’t help but notice all of the police lined up off of the main streets wearing riot gear. We saw no disturbances, but it was a sobering sight. Perhaps there was just going to be a parade or something.

We  went to a small restaurant for lunch today. I suppose it is one of the many restaurants set up to serve the tourists that flock to the city. We had chicken soup.

Let me tell you about this adventure. The restaurant was up a narrow flight of stairs on the second story of a small building. When I say narrow, I mean narrow. Remember, when you are traveling, not all countries have the same building codes as the U.S. Some have no building codes at all. I’m sure that this is not the case for South Korea.

The food was excellent. The tables were close together and there were many of us in this room. The chicken soup was brought to our tables, still boiling. That is correct. Apparently the South Koreans like their soup hot. As the soup was placed in front of me, I realized that if that tray of soup bowls were to spill, half of the people in here would be dead. The soup was that hot.

The soup was hot, the service was great, nobody got scalded, and the soup was delicious. Another successful lunch under our belts.

By the way, have you heard of Kimchi? It is the pickled cabbage dish that is a favorite in both North and
South Korea. It is hot and spicy. Every mom has a different recipe for making it I think, like chicken soup or any other food back here at home.

When I was working in Southern California, I would often see it in large jars sitting out on the porches and patios of my Korean customers. My wife loves hot and spicy food, and she loved the Kimchi. Don’t be afraid of it. Revel in it and take a chance. You might discover a new best friend in Kimchi.