Jet lag has set in, which means I’m up at 2:48 am drinking a coffee and eating a kiwi. From 3 – 4 am, I went to the hotel gym for some yoga to start off the day, then was at breakfast, wide eyed and ready by 6.
The unfortunate thing about being up so early is that nothing is open. So, it doesn’t really benefit you to go wander the streets. There is one place in the city that opens at dawn: the fish market.Noryangjin Fish Market is where all the best restaurants in the city come to buy their seafood. Not surprisingly, there were no other tourists there at 7 in the morning, so we were quite the spectacle. Probably because I kept stopping to take pictures of stuff like this. After our fish market tour, we made our way to a neat little shopping district.
We ducked into a random restaurant that we walked by for lunch. It was the sort of place that requires you to take your shoes off at the door and sit on the floor to eat.
When we were properly barefoot and seated, we realized that there was no menu in English. Our waitress also quickly realized that we didn’t speak Korean. A conundrum ensued, in which she was presumably asking us (in Korean) what we wanted to order. She was getting blank stares in return, so she did what any good waitress would do. Babbled at us in Korean, made a two sign, and just brought us something.
Two steaming bowls of something.
Still unsure of what we’d gotten ourselves into, I started pulling out chunks of bone and meat, hoping to identify something. If you’ll remember back with me to What Did You Say?, unidentifiable bowls of meat and vegetables don’t always work out in my favor.
But, it tasted pretty good. Jake’s review of the stew was a little different than mine.
I believe this is a correct direct quote:
“It doesn’t taste exactly like dirt, but just a little bit.”
Later in the day when we met up with some friends, I hesitantly asked them exactly what we’d eaten.
It’s called Haejangguk, a spicy mixture of pork bones, vegetables, and broth. But, more commonly, it’s referred to as “Hangover Stew”.
I’m not sure if I should be offended that she mistook my jet lagged looking face for being hungover or thankful that introduced us to the delicious Korean remedy.