Thursday, December 25, 2008

Gimchi Jjigae with Mi Eun

After work last Friday I had a dinner date with my lovely friend Mi Eun. Originally Kyung Hwa was going to come too but unfortunately her mom was really ill so she had to cancel. It was a bit cold outside but that didn't deter us from walking to Sincheon area. Mi Eun knew a famous gimchi jjigae restaurant and so we decided to go there.

I have to admit, I probably would never have gone to this place on my own. It didn't look like much- was really small with plastic covering the outside. Once we sat down I was a little surprised when one of the workers came up and told me in perfect English, "It's a bit spicy, is that okay?". I assured her that it was and then noticed that eyes seemed to be on me. We soon got a huge steaming pot of jjigae that also had pork in it. It was really delicious, but pretty spicy. Maybe the spiciest jjigae I've had, actually. It's good that I had this meal now and not 2 years ago since I wouldn't have been able to cut it then. I was fine though and didn't mind the pleasant burn on my lips.

We had a fantastic meal and great conversation. Mi Eun is really cool and sweet and I hope to stay in touch with her. She gave me a gorgeous diary/day planner and it's got artwork on it that I've admired the whole time I've been in Korea. I wouldn't have bought it myself so it really was the perfect gift. I love the characters that this artist draws. How did she know? See, I told you she is cool and sweet.

Partway through the meal I realized that a lot of the other people in the restaurant were paying attention to me. Specifically a girl sitting to my right. I was pretty sure that she spoke English and was itching to talk to me. I was the only foreigner in the restaurant and from the feel of things I could tell that not a lot of foreigners eat there. Sure enough, when it suddenly started to rain the girl beside me took the opportunity to lament about the strange weather with us. I knew she spoke English. Apparently a few people in there did since before I knew it there was an umbrella being handed to me and then one scrounged up for Mi Eun too. It's moments like these that make me never want to leave Korea. When I'm back in Canada no one is going to care if it's raining and I left my umbrella at home. Mi Eun said she was happy to be with me because otherwise they wouldn't have given her an umbrella. Heh. So with that we left and I walked home untouched by the rain, smiling and singing Christmas carols.

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