I am currently in Jeollanamdo region in Korea as a guest of the Jeollanamdo Office of Education. We are somewhere near Gwangju. So far I have seen a bit of Gwangju, Shindo and Mokpo. One thing that attracted me is the Korean food. It takes a bit of time to get use to it, especially for us who is coming from the fat laden food country. A typical vegetarian Korean lunch (based on what that have served to us these few days) would include vegetable soup, a concoction of bamboo shoots, radish, carrot, pickled cucumber, seaweed, boiled sprouts, boiled brinjals, mushroom coated with eggs, squid (or octopus) and of course the world famous kimchi, roasted fish, steamed egg and assortment fresh leafy vegies. The sticky rice would come in a small metallic covered bowl. All the food would be served in small saucers. you picked the food with metallic chopsticks and gather them in your litle saucer. Yes, Korean use metallic chopsticks unlike the Japs or Chinese who use plastic, wooden or bamboo chopsticks. As for me who had trouble learning the technique of negotiating food to the mouth using the two longish trapezoidal metallic sticks, fork would be provided. Tried as I may, the gathered food kept dripping and slipping from my chopsticks.
For the past three days, I am yet to see a size XXL Korean. I get a hunch, this must be due to the food that they eat.
We got a lot to learn from the Koreans, especially the cleanliness of their toilets. The toilets are so clean and fitted with the latest bum cleaning gadgets. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find the right button to press as all the instructions are written in Hangeul. One toilet even had an automatic glass door! All the necessary accessories are there, the flushing system works perfectly, the locks are in place, the toilet tissue papers still roll, the little dustbins are there and the floors are so clean. There is no nose wrenching reeky urine smell at all. And there is nobody at the entrance to collect any money. How I wish our toilets are like that. Currently not even the PLUS toilets can match the toilets of Korean highway stops and restaurants. I have a few more days to experience the Korean way of life. So far I have met about two Volvos, three BMWs, three Hondas, one Audi, one Ford and no Citroen, Renault, Peugot, Nissan, Daihatsu and of course Proton is nowhere to be seen. It is all either black or white Kias, Hyundais,Daewoos and their ilks.The same goes for their trucks and buses. I do not know the exact reason, Most probably they are fiercely patriotic or the government is hindering the import of other cars (like our government do with Proton)