Sunday, April 21, 2013

regaining my sea legs

If you've been away from Seoul for a while, it's easy to forget how much walking is involved in getting around the city. The stairs that lead deep into the subterranean bowels of Seoul's massive subway stations are, in themselves, a great workout for out-of-shape thighs. So I've had to re-familiarize myself with that aspect of Seoul life.

At noon today, I met up with Tom again, but this time he wasn't alone: with him were his lovely wife, Sherny; their son, Thomson; and Tom's friend and former colleague, Angelo the Canuck of Greek extraction. We strolled along one of Itaewon's back alleys until we settled upon a very nice Bulgarian restaurant that served a decent lunch menu for almost W20,000. Tom told us the story of why he refuses to eat vegetables; Thomson squirmed and cried a bit, but was otherwise very well-behaved; Angelo and I traded some Tom-related anecdotes. We left the restaurant and strolled for a bit, finally entering a Syrian (or was it Turkish?) confiserie where I bought two varieties of baklava. Angelo left us soon after; Tom, Sherny, and I wandered over to a café-cum-chocolatier, where we chowed down on our Syrian/Turkish treats and talked business.

Around 4PM, we said our goodbyes. It had been a fun outing on a bright day—quite a contrast with yesterday's miserably English weather. As Angelo pointed out, a lot of the seediness has left Itaewon (although, in my opinion, the neighborhood still has plenty of ratty sections); it was interesting to see how much the place had evolved in my absence.

It's almost 9PM, and I once again feel the jet lag tugging seductively at my consciousness. I'm trying to send out at least one job application this evening; wish me luck. We'll see whether I can do it before I fall asleep at my keyboard.



Charles said...

Was it Zelen you went to? That place is pretty good. I hope you had the yogurt.

Kevin Kim said...

Zelen, indeed. Apparently, it's Bulgarian for "green." And yes, we had the yogurt, which is, according to Angelo, fait maison.

John from Daejeon said...

In regards to The Man of Steel--first, he freezes his whiskers with his breath before using his heat vision to melt the hair away.

This does get me to thinking about why most of mankind proceeds to shave their whiskers off, and what brought it about in the first place, especially as most Christian depictions of their god and Jesus show pretty full beards.