My partner and I went to Seoul last weekend for the hell of it. A dear friend warned me that as a vegetarian I should bring a stash of saltine crackers with me on the plane. I chose to ignore her advice. And I lost one kilo because of it.
Koreans have never met a pig they didn’t like. You see barbecued hog jaws piled on top of each other at outdoor markets. They love their cows too. At most local restaurants, you sit Indian-style on the floor and inhale a feast of cow inards and side dishes that include tiny, whole fish seasoned with what looks like diarrhea juice. Yummy!
During our day trip to the DMZ, our tour bus stopped at some fly-infested, Korean barbecue dive for lunch. On the way there, the tour guide asked if anyone was a vegetarian. I was delighted that she asked this question and was happy to discover that there were two other herbivores. So the totemo genki tour guide pranced over to my seat and asked if egg was okay. I said yes and she smiled like I had just told her that she had won a million Yuan.
Egg. Hmmm, egg. How would it be served? Scrambled? Hard-boiled? Sunny side up? No, silly goose. Raw! My bowl of veggies came with a raw egg in the center.
It’s hard for me not to get “that face.” “That face” that my partner says annoys him until the cows come home. And I mean this quite literally as the waitress placed before him a sizeable portion of beef. “That face” that he says makes him see red. “That face” that says I’ve become Joan Collins on Dynasty.
My partner asked if I was going to eat my lunch. I looked at him with “that face” and said, “I’m not going to eat a fucking raw egg in some fly-infested shit-hole!” The men at the next table looked up from their dead cow. I said that I was going for a walk and quickly left. But my baby new that “going for a walk” was code for I was going to find some beer.
There was a gas station next door. I bought a can, sat at a table outside, contemplated my behavior and thought about the DMZ. I downed the tall boy quickly so that I would not get caught. You can’t visit the DMZ if you’ve had a drink earlier that day. Not even one. That’s like telling me I can’t have chocolate chip ice cream when I go to Baskin Robbins. Plus, I hate anyone telling me what I can and cannot do so it was my mission to have a drink before I stepped foot on North Korean soil.
Thank God I opted for the hotel room with executive lounge access. With the exception of one lunch, I ate all my meals at the exec lounge in the Westin Chosun. Scrambled eggs with salad for breakfast. Cheese with salad for dinner. All three days and nights. Now that I weigh 70 kilos, I’m two kilos away from my flat stomach, summer weight. I should go back to Seoul for a week!