When I thought about blogging about my trip to Korea, I had in mind to post something day by day, tracking expenses and all that stuff. But it’s Saturday night and I’m tired and all my good intentions have fallen away.
My destination was a Dakgalbi restaurant recommended by Zak, the proprietor of the guesthouse that I’m calling home until Sunday. One of the reasons he suggested it is because most restaurants serve this meal for two people, but here they will make it for just one – especially if you are a foreigner. He also thinks this is the best!
But, even with the map, I got lost. I seemed to have missed a street to turn from, and had no idea of how to get to where I was going. This is what I worry about most when adventuring – getting lost. Suffice it to say that I always get lost. My first day in Amsterdam I got lost. My first foray into Beijing I got lost (and soaked to the skin). In Xian I got confused about where to catch the bus…Face it, getting lost is part of the travelling experience and I need to relish the experience.
Keep in mind, however, that it is easier to find yourself in a place where you know the language or at least the alphabet (and I don’t know Korean) and you have an idea of where north is – and I still don’t. What does help is that I speak English and many people know at least a little. Asking helps a lot. It also helps if you can get lost with someone, but I’m kind of alone.
“Kind of” because I know that God sets His angels round about me to keep me safe and I do experience this as I travel. This time it was a youngish Korean gentleman who helped me out. His English was better than my Korean but we couldn’t really talk much. I showed him the picture on my phone (good idea to have a picture of where you want to go!) And he pointed me back the way I’d come. While I thought he would point me in the right direction, he went the extra mile and took my right to the door! I do not travel alone!
Dakgalbi is cooked on a flat pan at the table. They start with chopped cabbage, chicken and lots of red sauce – hot red sauce and it just gets tossed around. There are side dishes of garlic, chili peppers, kimchi and sauce, as well as a pickled radish soup, which wasn’t hot and spicy, so I really liked that. Once everything is cooked, you take the mixture and put it on either a sesame leaf or a lettuce leaf and eat it like a burrito. I’m glad I tried it, glad I took the leftovers home and I’ve enjoyed it twice now with Ramen noodles. Even with the noodles the spice levels were outside my comfort zone — but I survived.
The restaurant is right by the river that runs through this area of Chuncheon and I took the opportunity to get close and walk along the path provided. It is a well maintained path in a very natural setting. Yet at various intervals you can find stepping stones across to the other side, as well as basketball nets, badminton courts and gym equipment. There’s even a small climbing wall. I walked and walked and walked until I got tired, but I wasn’t near my destination. Instead I found little stores to check out, picked up some groceries and came home via the train station.
I’ll end with some of the sights from my walk in Chuncheon and save Nami Island for another day!
Enjoy – Marcia