Sunday, December 9, 2012

Snow can't stop us (Gwangju pt. 1)

It must have snowed sideways!
So, remember when I said I was hoping for good food, good company, and not-so-cold weather for a weekend in Gwangju? I got my first two wishes, but dang, was it cold! In fact, as my bus entered the city, I looked out the window and was shocked to see  that it was snowing heavily. That was something I definitely did not expect, having left Changwon on a sunny, clear day. I guess I should have looked at the weather report and also brought some shoes to Korea that are actually suitable for winter.

Anyway, after the 2.5-hour bus ride, I found myself in Gwangju (광주), the city famed for having the best food in all of Korea, thanks to its proximity to the highest quality agriculture in the peninsula. I immediately met up with Jason and Katelyn, two other Fulbright ETAs (neither of whom teach in Gwangju, but live nearby), and first on our to-do list was to get lunch!

We dined at a Japanese hot pot (shabu shabu) restaurant called... (Katelyn, help me out). The hot pot was delicious, and I especially liked how the Korean iteration of this pan-Asian dish included a second course that re-used the hot pot broth to make dumpling noodle soup, followed by a third course that re-re-used the broth to make porridge (죽). It was a delicious meal for about 12,000₩ each. A great start to a rather food-centric weekend!
Jason noms on the starter while our hot pot warms up.
Koroke! These deep-fried balls of deliciousness were filled with sweet potato (고구마/koguma) and cheese (치즈).
After lunch, we wandered along the river that runs through Gwangju and marveled at the snow (it was still falling even though the sky had mostly cleared up... Is the wintry equivalent to a sunshower a sunsnowfall?). We crossed the river and threw snow and talked about life and Pokémon and made our way over to the center where Jason and Katelyn volunteer. More on that in the next post, though!
Katelyn crosses the river, taking a moment to practice her aegyo (애교).
The Pokémon masters!

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