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.

Introducing Dave to some of that ‘special milk’ from back home.

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?”

Friend or food? From left: A strange bird; a slug I met in the shower; a curious dog.

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.

Unagi, egg, glass noodles, kang kong and sweet potato rice – all for 65 TWD (approx. 3 SGD).

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!

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