Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Globalisation is a tricky thing

After a long flight across eight time-zones, the worst thing that can happen to me is to be stuck in a car for around four hours… and that’s exactly what happened to me yesterday! On Sunday, didn’t do much more than a short walk around the hotel, in the area of Itaewon, and a nice dinner in a cosy Korean neighbourhood restaurant. The first impression left by Korean cuisine was quite pleasant and Seoul looked like an interesting and cosmopolitan place to be. Yesterday, after an early wake-up and meeting Giuseppe for breakfast shortly after 7am, we were invited to enter the car and sit for two hours while we were driven to Goesan, which is located somewhere south of Seoul, in the middle of nowhere. After visiting the facilities of the Youth Centre and having an interesting and very traditional lunch there, we came back to Seoul and visited the meeting rooms of the Hotel where we are staying. After that, we were left alone and, after some rest, we took the subway and went to the centre. After wondering for a while around Jongno-gu, we decided to take a taxi and asked to be dropped in Samcheong-dong. Samcheong-dong is an evolved and luxurious street, youthful and at the same ancient, which kept its famous tea houses, its serenity and peaceful ambiance, while becoming full of modern restaurants, bars and art galleries. Even though tempted by the huge amount of signs announcing Belgian waffles, we decided to try a small, cosy Italian-cuisine restaurant, holding the reputation of serving the best seafood risotto in town. Going to an Italian restaurant in Seoul is already quite stupid; going there with an Italian who doesn’t eat cheese, is totally insane! None of us ordered the risotto, but both spaghettis were quite decent. Apart from the menu, which had remote resemblances to Italian, nothing in the restaurant reminded me of Italy. Not even Giuseppe, who embarrassed the waiter, the cooker and the owner - and changed their cosmology – by insisting in that there are Italians who don’t eat cheese… As I use to say, lessons are to be learned at the most unexpected locations…


Anonymous Cica said...

Hehe, unbelievable!!! Going to Italian restaurant in Seoul?? :-))) Was this yours or Giuseppe's idea??? :-))) And have you tried those Belgian wafels as well?? :-))
For me trying different cuisine is also very important part of travelling. Even if I sometimes risk to have digestive problems afterwards (especially in some countries :-))
Enjoy Seoul and its culinary specialities :-))

2:16 PM  
Blogger Diogo said...

It was his idea, of course! I managed to avoid the waffles so far... but I can't promise I will resist until Saturday...

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Cica said...

Honestly, concerning waffels, I would probably not be able to resist :-)) I just went to the vending machine that we have in cafeteria and got one...yamiii...even if it is faaaar from being as good as those warm ones :-))

2:36 PM  
Blogger Diogo said...

bon appétit!

3:56 PM  

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