Wednesday, December 05, 2007

하루 내내 먹었다

Today I woke up at 9am. I don't have a habit of waking up late but since it is winter and I am still on holiday, I just allowed myself to sleep until I woke up naturally. Having enough sleep gave my day a good start. I have a lunchtime appointment at 11:30am with Ms Cheon, my teacher when I attended the 3-week intensive Korean language course this March at KHU. After I met up with Ms Cheon at KHU's main gate, we went to a nearby Korean restaurant and ordered 돌솥밥 (hot-pot rice) and 보쌈. 보쌈(Bo Ssam) is slices of boiled pork that are to be eaten by wrapping them in cabbage or other vegetable leaves together with some "gochujang" (chili sauce) and items like kimchi and beansprouts.

돌솥밥 (dolsot bap) or hot-pot rice

The plate of sliced boiled pork is called 보쌈, bo ssam

While waiting for Kaye to join us for lunch, I have about half an hour of chatting with Ms Cheon. She said that these days, there are more than 1,000 students taking up the regular 3-month Korean language course at the Institute of International Education. The sudden increase in the number is primarily due to the influx of Chinese students who find it difficult to gain entry into their local universities. Many Chinese students have the intention of taking the language course for one year and after that try to gain entry into one of the Korean universities. Such large group of students has caused IIE to open up afternoon classes just to meet the demand and to solve their classroom-shortage woes. In fact, it is not just KHU that is experiencing an influx of Chinese students, the other universities in Seoul are also experiencing the surge.

Ms Cheon has afternoon class which starts at 1:10pm so we left the restaurant about ten minutes before one. I actually wanted to pay for the lunch but Ms Cheon was so insistence on paying that I have to cave in. Anyway, Ms Cheon, thanks for the lunch treat. It was a good meal indeed.

After we parted way with Ms Cheon, Kaye and I have high tea at Coffee N Coffee cafe. We ordered a fruit waffle and some drinks and chit-chatted our afternoon away. We sat in the cafe for about four hours talking about life in Korea and Singapore and the Korean language and culture.

Fruit waffle at Coffee N Coffee Cafe

When we heard Sung Si Kyung's 한번 더 이별 being aired over the air for a second time in an afternoon we thought it was time to leave for dinner at Ddeokbokki Town at Sindang-dong.

After we reached Ddeokbokki Town, Kaye recommended that we should try "I Love Sindang-dong" because the ambience is good, price is reasonable and the food is quite decent. After we settled down in that restaurant, we ordered a small cheese deokbokki set. The set came with, besides ddeokbokki, odeng, boiled egg, straw mushroom, glass noodle, ramen and cheese ddeok and was served in a pan with special "gochu" or chilli sauce. Given that we ordered a small set, the amount of food provided seemed to be more than what both of us can stomach. We have kinda concluded that Koreans can really eat. When the food was served, we allowed the pan of stuff to cook over the stove for about 10 mins before tucking in.

The atmosphere in the restaurant feels like a pub. There is even DJ and live performance to keep customers entertained. Other time when there is no performance, the large screen will be playing music videos. The whole atmosphere here is very conducive for social interaction. But when I think about seafood restaurants in Singapore, I just feel like leaving after finishing my meal. There is no desire to stay behind for an after-meal chat. Perhaps this is another thing I like about Korea - the space that is given to social interaction. Many restaurants and cafes are designed to provide that conducive setting for gathering and chatting.

Walking into Ddeokbokki Town at Sindang-dong

"I Love Sindangdong" was where we have our dinner

The atmosphere in "I Love Sindangdong" was great for dinner gathering

Cheese ddeokbokki set which we ordered

The outside temperature was still -5 degC but nothing deterred us from getting ourselves a pint of ice cream for dessert at Baskin Robbins, just a stone thrown away from the restaurant. It seems like there is a Baskin Robbins at every corner of Seoul.

At Baskin Robbins for ice cream dessert during a very cold night

A pint of ice cream with 3 different flavours

Anyway, today will be the last day I will see Kaye for this trip. She will be leaving Seoul for UK tomorrow evening for a short escapade before she joins the workforce in Korea and I will be leaving Seoul on Friday morning for a short stay in Beijing before returning to Singapore on Sunday. The open air ice-skating rink will open tomorrow at the City Hall. I shall be there tomorrow evening to immerse in the atmosphere. One more good news is that there is high probability it will snow tomorrow. If that happens, it will be a really nice finale for my trip. Looking forward.


  1. Hey Hey! What's wrong with hearing my Sung Si Kyung twice in one afternoon? Did you REALLY have to leave ????? I would have stayed for the 3rd airing of the song, and waited some more for another airing. I would probably join the loyalty club of Coffee and Coffee Cafe for playing my Kyung's song..... ^^ ...and keep coming back....

  2. 만나서 반가웠어~ ^^

    마자막 날에 재밌게 놀고 여행 잘 다니구... ㅋㅋ

  3. Aini, why wait for the next airing when you have his album? :)

    Kaye, 만나서 반가웠어...
    내년 만약 운이 좋으면 서울에 다시 가고 curry puff 사고 주겠어... ^^