This past weekend we went on a quick tour of the city which ended up at a Mall for us to do some of our shopping for the apartment. Like most malls this one had a food court, however unlike most malls there were none of the fast food chains that we are used to in the States. In Latin America one could find many of the same western chains with a few local chains sprinkled in. However at this particular mall (Called Garden 5) we found none of them, so we took a stroll through trying to figure out what looked good and where people got the different dishes. I pretty much had no idea what to eat but decided to go with what our teacher in Ecuador had told us to try which was bibimbap. I managed to find it at one of the restaurants that had spelled it out in roman letters. It was a slight variation as it was called something like sinbad bibimbap. Bibimbap had been explained to me as vegetables with rice that you mix up. As you can see below everything is nicely presented on top. What you are then supposed to do is mix it up and eat it. The problem I am having in Korea is I don’t know the proper way in which to eat many of the dishes. I mixed it all up then add the little sauce that I think usually goes in it and then I had no idea what to do with the steamed cabbage and other leaf on the plate. So I shoved them quickly into the bibimbap and ate them with it quickly so that no one would see me doing something culturally stupid. I’m sure I still did as I half drank half used a spoon for the soup. I had expected trouble with the language, cultural nuances, different tasting foods but I did not expect trouble knowing how to eat. Either way the dish was really good, although a little salty for my liking. There was caviar mixed in along with some tiny type of fish that had been dried and gave it a crunch mixed in. This time the sauce was semi sweet rather than the spicy that I had expected. I figure I’ll get it one of these days.
Another attempt at not being the stupid American.
If you click on the picture below you can see the eyes of the tiny fish that I realized were staring at me.