In Daejeon we ate.
A weekend of food with friends was a lovely interlude in our trip: the first, and so far only, meetup we’ve managed with friends from home. We came to visit Jason, a school friend of mine who’s been living in Korea for a couple of years, and his girlfriend Julie who we hadn’t met before. It was so nice to just chat and catch up, mostly over delicious food of various sorts. We kicked off with the aforementioned beer, real beer! Then a birthday dinner, involving soju, followed by cake and coffee.
We more or less switched off for the weekend and enjoyed being ferried around to various scenic spots and tasty food and drink opportunities.
Our main scenic excursion was a little walk amid the mountains with a temple to ogle along the way. Lots of heavily equipped hikers passed us, dressed for an Alpine assault despite the diminutive size of the surrounding peaks. Korean hikers clearly don’t like to leave the house without boots rated for ice climbing, the latest 50 litre pack (empty), a $400 waterproof, trousers with more zips than a magic roundabout merch store, and a pair of retractable walking poles with lasers hidden in the handles (just a guess). Every group that passed us was highly entertained by Arthur’s shorts.
I definitely recommend building some visits to far-flung friends into your travels. It was like coming home for the weekend. There’s something odd about spending all of your time in temporary places with temporary people. A couple of days in a place with somebody who lives there, and has a life there, is refreshing. Couchsurfing has this benefit too, but staying with friends there’s the extra anchor of seeing somebody who’s known you for 10 years, not 10 minutes.
Also, your local friends will know all the good eating spots, like where to get desserts that are bigger than your face.
We had coffee, bubble tea, afternoon tea, and ginger tea. And outside our Saturday lunch spot we were mobbed by puppies and chickens.
As we were leaving a man came in with a crate of cabbages and left with a puppy. The barter economy is not dead here.
And then there was Korean BBQ, topped off with ice cream, DIY rice paper rolls, and brunch, glorious brunch. Best meal of the day.
And, I didn’t accidentally eat ANY meat, ALL weekend. High five?
Having Julie’s linguistic assistance made veggie Korean eating infinitely easier. No mean feat.
Thanks for a wonderful time guys, hope we can catch up soon. Brunch maybe?