The proportion of normal food to the really good stuff is not too different from Singapore – it’s mostly okay, but sometimes you come across something really great. In general the portion is usually larger, cheaper and with better presentation – you can trick your friends into thinking that you are having the time of your life with pictures of your meals, when truthfully it is only so-so.
1 | Picking a Place to Eat is Difficult Everywhere
Meet Dave, my roommate, a sweet young Korean man who studies at the prestigious Seoul National University.
Here are some examples of typical conversations we have during the day.
Morning: “Get up.” “I don’t wanna get up.”
Afternoon: “What do you wanna eat?” “I wanna eat something good.” “Who doesn’t want to eat something good?”
Evening: “You wanna eat something good?” “Of course I wanna eat something good.” “Where do you wanna go?”
Night: “I’m hungry, can I have some biscuits?”
Popular items include beef noodles, dumplings and fried chicken/pork steaks, but Japanese and Italian foods are very common, making up maybe half of the food stalls in the school canteens.
2 | Drinks are Free Flow
You can’t get plain water at restaurants, instead they provide a free flow of drinks (sometimes soup too), and it is almost always winter melon tea.
3 | No Forks Given
Mixed rice (better known as cai fan) from the cafeteria is both tasty and cheap – but instead of a fork and a spoon, you’ll have to use chopsticks and a duck spoon, and to make things more tricky, it’s still served on a plate.
Also, it is self-service, so you don’t have to worry about having to look pretty (or handsome?) for the stall uncle, or any kind of bias in order to be given a generous portion – simply take as much as you want!
Don’t have anything else to say at the moment, but I’ll be travelling to a few places in the coming week – will perhaps share that experience in the next one. Bye!