Thursday, 29 May 2008

Food is the Soul of Asia

Oh, the MyeongDong Gyoza noodles in thick chicken broth was just heavenly. A huge bowl each and of course I got extras from my wife's bowl. She found the shop through a tourist flyer (now there are some things you can believe in those promos). Had it for lunch right after arriving in Seoul.

Then started walking, heading for Namdaemun Market (the name means South Gate). Incredible array of stuff. Everything you will ever need. The play is huge. What I found really interesting is that each trader occupies only a tiny piece of real estate - very small eco footprint.

This is all the space she needs to make a living. Small is beautiful.
Guess which dress my wife bought?

Delicious fresh fruits? Think again.

Those ear rings would make Vivian really happy.
Sorry, they only sell in 100s.

On the picture frame was stuck a price of 10,000 won.
When my wife enquired, the women punched 12,000 won on her calculator.
We bought it for 10,000.

After walking around for several hours, we started looking for a coffee place just to rest the legs. The coffee was lousy and the ice kacang was not as good either. We then decided to take a taxi to the famous Chung Gye Stream (spelling provided earlier) - an urban river rehabilitation project we had heard about at the Chun Cheong meeting. The project was initiated by the current President of Korea who was then Mayor of Seoul and the Director of IUTC was actively involved in the project. Am not sure if it can be called a urban eco-restoration project but they have cleaned up the river, threw away the covers, constructed nice walkways and planted some riverine vegetation. No birds, fishes or insects yet - may take some time for that to happen. The water is crystal clear, with a slight pungent smell but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, some even sticking their feet into the water.

Cheong Gye Cheon (the correct spelling) river rehabilitation (above and below).
I wonder if they can come and clean up that filthy Sungei Pinang in George Town?

The soft evening sun provided incredible opportunities for headshots.

Just so you don't think we only eat noodles in Korea, below was our dinner of Korean BBQ. Actually it was more like a earthen hot plate. Fabulous meal. Highly recommended. The waitress refused to take our order for one portion (to share between the two of us) - we wanted to order another dish of noodles (yeah, OK my wife is pampering to my crazy fascination with noodles). Well, it was so good we finished the whole lot of two portions of beef. Wrapped in fresh lettuce or with rice ... uhmmmm, yummy.

Tomorrow, we head for the Namsan Park. And more noodles for lunch.

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