Days in Daejeon

18 12 2007

The photo edition

The city was Daejeon (also Taejon), 100km+ south of Seoul, almost at the heart of South Korea. Famous for its springs and spas and, like most Korean cities, quite dull.

Street life (or lack thereof)

Signs!

Residential high-rise apartments

Food signs!

Days and nights are similarly cold.

All flora is dead except these cabbage-y flowers

Our hotel, an old one, without a 4th floor

Most Korean hotels have these fixed on the walls with labels saying ‘Simplicity Descending Life Line’ (apparently, you use them to rappel down the hotel in case of emergency, hence the name)

In company of the oldies gang (from seven Asian countries)

Food was blameless. To die for. Traditional dining: on the floor, tables joined, whiskey present, and lots and lots and lots of dishes (I counted at least 30 during this dinner).

Kimchi of different varieties of course

And raw things: raw oysters, raw fish, raw octopus, raw beef even

Koreans love beef but I don’t think the feeling is mutual:

Broas, not Korean at all

Benches

My name

And me

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Welcome to Korea

12 12 2007

Korean immigration was not good to me. The lady officer doubted my intentions for entering Korea, and I had to take out my laptop and show her my invitation. As if I’ll choose Korea for TNTing. No.

Conference was full of old, business-like people and I felt so out of place. Besides me, the youngest paper presenter was at least 30 years old.

And even though they serve the same dishes every meal, the food is exceptional. You don’t feel too full and yet you could go on many hours before getting hungry again. The cold is also awesome. Koreans are polite and helpful, but maybe it’s expected of them, the way Filipinos are similarly hospitable to foreigners. And they’re always dressed up.

Daejeon is not particularly spectacular. Excellent spas though. Want to go to Seoul but absolutely no time.

And everything is ridiculously expensive.