Today, I had lunch with a Dongguk colleague whom I'll call CB. CB has been a longtime reader of this blog (one of five people who can make that claim: most people either ignore this blog or read it only occasionally); he's a fellow Donggukian, a man of friendly and scholarly disposition, and a proud dad. He's also somewhat gun-shy about appearing on this blog, but I did manage to persuade him to reveal one of his hands in one of the photos you'll see below. I think CB's desire for secrecy stems from his black-ops background; the man is a trained killer, and he will end a life without the slightest hesitation, as he proved while we walked through the Dongdaemun district: at one point he reached down, yanked a cat out of hiding by the scruff of its neck, made sweet love to it until its yowling ceased, then beheaded the poor beast with one swipe of his mighty scrotum. Onlookers gasped, but CB seemed oblivious and unconcerned. "Just don't put any of that on camera," he said, giving me a cold, thousand-yard stare. My own balls screamed like little girls and retreated deep inside my body.
We settled into our seats at Everest, a second-floor eatery run by what I think is an Indo-Nepali staff. I first noticed the brass-colored plates, fork, and spoon. The fork-and-spoon utensil combination is common in Thailand; I didn't realize it would also be the standard in a South Asian-themed restaurant. Everything on the menu sounded appetizing, which was consonant with the restaurant's fragrant ambiance. Figurines of nagas, Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and Ganesha lined the windowsills. Wood carvings and flags adorned the interior; the walls were painted in colors that evoked an Indian forest.
CB ordered Nepali tea, samosas, and chicken curry; I ordered almost the same thing, choosing chicken masala instead of curry. Below are the photos from our meal; my apologies for the blurriness. The final picture is an exterior shot of Everest, which I plan to return to because its prices were so reasonable (especially when compared to the prices and portion sizes of the Indo-Nepali restaurant in Hongdae that I'd visited with two of my former students a few months back; it was called Shanti, which means peace): the tea was W2,000; the buttered naan was W2,500; the samosas were W3,000; and the chicken was W8,000 or W9,000. What made me truly happy was that the portions weren't skimpy, as they had been at Shanti. And everything tasted marvelous. As I told CB, the only complaint I might have—and it's not really much of a complaint—is about the dipping sauce that accompanied the samosas: it was obviously a store-bought Chinese sweet-spicy sauce. Sure, it was good, but there was nothing Indian or Nepali about it. In fact, I'd argue that that sauce was exactly the type that you can buy at Walmart—more American than Asian. Still, I admitted to CB that the sauce went well with the samosas, so my complaint is minor at best.
Conversation was mostly school-related, but we covered some other topics as well. All joking about CB's black-ops background aside, the man is a gentleman and a scholar, and I wish him well as he takes care of his boy. The spring semester will be upon us both soon.
Below: pics. Hover your cursor over the images for captions.