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Posts tagged ‘Yum’

Vietnam, Part 3: Phu Quoc

After the hustle bustle of Ho Chi Minh and the cognitive dissonance of the Cu Chi tunnels, HCB and I shifted gears, boarding a plane to Phu Quoc, a tropical island off the southernmost coast of Vietnam know for its relaxed atmosphere and fine vintages of fish sauce. The island is just a series of white-sand beaches, bathwater-warm oceans, lush forests, and froufrou fruit drinks with silly umbrellas. For me, the island lacked the epic vistas that have drawn me to eco-tourism in the past, so in some ways, Phu Quoc with its human-sized natural attractions fell the tiniest bit short of my wildest dreams. HCB, on the other hand, was in paradise. Just seeing the joy on his face as he bobbed in the waves… it could break a guy’s heart, it was so sweet. He’s usually consumed by a long list of worries, but when he’s out there with his fish, he’s just about as contented as I ever see him. Seriously, you guys, if his university offered underwater classes, I think he’d hold office hours all day long. Read more

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Drinking From The Cup of Triumph: Itaewon Edition!

Yesterday was a present wrapped up in a bow. It started out a little shaky, but by the end I was foot-weary and delighted.

When we woke up this morning, it was -4° C in Seoul. As I’ve said before, that may not be anything special for you Northern/Eastern folk, but when I see negative numbers the adventurous spirit just drains right out of me. The last couple days I’ve pushed through, but yesterday I was of the opinion that I had earned a mental health day. Having resigned myself to a day indoors, I read happily for several hours while HCB prepared syllabi and lectures. I know, I know. I’m on an amazing adventure. Be hungry for life, carpe diem, and all that. But sometimes a guy just needs to take the pressure off. Read more

Um… that was delicious!

In a previous, whiny post, I mentioned going with HCB to a Korean restaurant. In that post, I was, shall we say, less than full-throated in my endorsement. I really just didn’t want to complain any more than I already had. It wasn’t all that bad… it was just boring. The meat was admittedly delicious, but we can’t expect to survive off short ribs for the next five years. The pan chan (Korean snackies) were good enough, but the kimchee soup was just spicy, soggy cabbage. It’s one thing to find a cuisine alienating; it’s another thing to find it totally unremarkable. This meal triggered in me a creeping dread. Can I really eat this kind of food every day? There was nothing playful. Nothing surprising. Just heat and the gaminess of fermentation. Why am I revisiting this experience? More whining? Nope; there will be no apologetic postscript added to this entry. I am rehashing that anemic review because, in trying to figure out if I like Korean food, there’s new and important data that needs considering: yesterday, we had an INCREDIBLE Korean meal. Read more