Went on a few pretty awesome adventures in the last couple days. My stomach is pleased and I’m feeling a little more on the ball as a result. This week has not been the most spectacular assortment of food offered by the cafeteria at school to put it lightly… Since I’m here for almost 10 hours a day (including breaks) and there are no real options nearby my hunger has been growing as each day passes. Add on to this that I’m still setting up the new apartment and don’t want to really create any dishes to clean and you start to see the epic proportions of my appetite at mid-week.

Based on this I convinced the Texan (coworker) to accompany me on a sushi mission and Hampton ended up cruising with us after we knocked on her door. Our first stop was at the sashimi place where a few of us had gotten the all you can eat tuna feast a month ago. Unfortunately they didn’t offer rolls just the all you can eat different cuts of tuna which wasn’t what I was jonesing for and more expensive than I wanted. We decided to venture on to Guro Digital Complex where Texas had seen a sushi place a while back.

The walk was fairly interesting because instead of taking the often traveled path towards Daelim station and then following the station we decided to trek through the heart of Chinatown. It felt like we had left Seoul. Samguypsol places were replaced by fried chicken and lamb joint and all the bright Hangul neon lights were replaced with Chinese characters displayed in a manner not necessitating electricity.

When we finally arrived I was pretty shocked. Guro is big and packed full of a plethora of restraunts, hawkers, bars and various other establishments. It felt like being near Sinchon or Konkuk University area. A lot of places to go and a fairly younger crowd. Not a lot of foreigners in this area either.

The first sushi joint we found looked great. Unfortunately it seemed loved by many as it was packed past capacity. There were tons of rolls and a beaming sushi chef pouring shot after shot of soju to boisterous patrons. Next time I’ll definitely check this spot again but it wasn’t meant to be tonight. Traveling further into the heart of Daelim took us past street vendors selling everything from ice cream out of smaller coolers and waffles to the ubiquitous dried squid and fish. We went by hilarious misnamed in Konglish spots such as “May B breakfast and brunch” that was open at 10pm to “Donkey Fried Chicken”. Hilarious.

Next to Donkey Fried Chicken was a small sushi spot we ended up spying from afar. Hangul looks quite different that Kanji so these spots stick out down the brightly glowing neon corridors of Guro Digital Complex. This small hole in the wall was quite the successful destination. Texas ordered a tempura shrimp roll and I asked for some a Unagi (Eel which tastes like BBQed chicken) roll. Both were quite umami (Japanese for delicious and the term for the fifth category of

Forgot my camera but this image is identical to what mine looked like.

taste buds) . Washed down with Miso soup and all for only 6 a piece and I was sated and feeling at ease with the culinary world.

High off of this sushi feast we decided to walk back to a foreign style bar that specialized in import beers. It had the common budweiser and Hoegarden on draft but also Heiniken. I had a bottle of Belgian Leffe Brown and a Becks Dark and Texas partook of some Pilsner Urquell. Quite enjoyable all in all.

Thursday night I met with a friend from Bellingham who is a paragon of generosity here in Seoul. I say this because she not only gave me an extra cell phone she and her boyfriend weren’t using but a toaster oven and two cans of black beans. This amiga knows exactly what gifts to give to have a kemosabi for life. Owe them both a ton and have been brainstorming on a truly epic way to pay them back. To celebrate these newly acquired goods we went and met up with some of her friends at Yaletown in Sinchon.

This spot had beer pong and the intriguing nail in a cross-cut log game. You take a nail for each person playing and drive them in an equal distance. Using the claw end you must be the first of the group to successfully drive the nail all the way down in the fewest hits. This game paired with inebriated college kids would never fly in the states. One thumb gets partially severed and ensuing lawsuits would spell extinction for bar and game. Good thing Korea has a system of law that has many differences…good and bad.

Liability issues aside my nachos with jalapeno, Tabasco onions and fresh guacamole hit the spot. Love me some jalapeno and the only spot I’ve found to procure them has been the Quiznos in Itaewon (which I systematically take 1-2 small to go condiment containers from). Giant pitchers weren’t too expensive and the troves of college kids kind of made me feel like I was back in Bellingham again.