Saturday, 17 February 2007

Meet The Koreans

Compelled by incessant pressure from Kitchen Mark and Varwell and inspired by French Claire's recent foray, I have finally relented and have started a blog. This would usually be cause for only minor celebration, but as I bought a digital camera the other day I should soon have figured out how to post photos of my crotch here, so truly the online world will be whipped up into a frenzy.

Today was a good day: surely better than the day of anyone reading here. I live a very glamorous lifestyle that my vast oil wealth affords me. And so today I ate out for lunch and dinner (I'm never awake for breakfast). I barely ever cook for myself, because all I can cook is chilli con carne and baked potatoes. Once, I claimed to be able to do a corn beef hash, but after a year of eating mustard-infused charcoal lumps I realised that this was a mere delusion.

For lunch, I took my grandfather out. He's 87 and in good health, but does like to eat cheaply so I had to pretend he was paying initially so that he chose somewhere good. We went to the nearby Atholl Hotel, always of decent quality, and I ate beef olives. They were good but my God they stuffed me. At this rate I'll be as vast as Kitchen Mark - heavens!

My dinner is sitting beside me: bibimbap and kimchi. For readers unfamiliar with these terms, this is Korean food. I lived in Korea for a little over two years, returning last year. Bibimbap is kind of a mix of stuff, and kimchi is kind of fermented cabbage with spices, and is very much an acquired taste. With Green's astute eye for food, I was directed towards a little store/stall in the Aberdeen Market just last week, selling Japanese and Korean food. Having been a year without Korean food, I really miss the unique style of cuisine and made a beeline for the place. More intriguingly, I couldn't imagine a Japanese person selling Korean food. The name of the chef was "Jang", a name that sounded either Korean or Chinese, and the evidence was siding with the former.

And to my delight, eating at the place last week I quickly realised that they were indeed Korean, and we had a little exchange in Korean, much to their surprise. My Korean isn't great, but it can sustain an alright conversation. But they were busy last week, being Saturday lunch time, so the exchange was fairly brief, but I vowed to return, which today I did.

It went really well. As I say, I spent two years in Korea and really miss the place: the bustle, the food, the insane bus driving, all the little idiosyncracies. So after a year back in Aberdeen, and being entirely cold turkey with Korean culture (except for some guy I met at the airport bus stop), to suddenly be back in contact is very exciting. I chatted away, in a mix of Korean and English, mostly just jokes and banter, much to the bemusement of the two (Western) girls sitting waiting for their order (it's of no relevance, but they happened to be quite pretty).

Anyway, the upshot of this is that I've been invited to join the Korean underbelly of Aberdeen. Tomorrow is "Seollal", the Korean (aka Chinese/Lunar) New Year, and a bunch of them are meeting at a church to celebrate and eat traditional food. 3.30pm tomorrow at some church down in Holburn Street. Now, I'll admit that it has been some time since I visited a church, and I don't know if I can cope with being in a place of worship, but I'll give it my best shot, and there should be some free food. Even better, there may be some pretty - and susceptible - Korean girls that I can entice to stroke my beard. Whatever the setup, I'm looking forward to it, and am very honoured to be invited, as this is a big occasion in the Korean calendar.

That's my day then, a day of beef olives and meeting Koreans. Having nothing planned for the evening, I fully intend to drink alone in my flat, lose money playing online poker and eventually collapse in a stupor until I wake at 2.30am in a state of confusion, perhaps with my trousers round my ankles.

There you go. A nice long debut entry that no-one can possible be bothered to actually read. Don't worry, there'll soon be short punchy entries with photos of my crotch.


French Claire said...

Very good Nev! Poor kitchen Mark is quite upset by some of your comments about his size...poor wee birder!

Simon said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere, Niall!