I'm back from my holiday in ChunCheon for the New Year. It was an experience. The famous dish of this area is this chicken called dalkalbi. There was this huge round metal plate, like the size of a small table in the center of the table. We all sat on the floor around it. The waitress, who's more like someone's mom than a real waitress, comes over a dumps a truck load of chicken pieces, veggies, little slices of rice cylinders (dduk), and cabbage onto the big plate with a small shovel. This all heats for a bit and everyone is constantly stirring the chicken/cabbage heap with the shovel. The whole eating experience is such a performance. When we finally eat, it's pretty good. Not my favorite, but good.
Since everyone I've been hanging out with is older than me, they never let me pay for anything and it feels nice that they've welcomed me into their little sphere like they really are a bunch of older brothers, but strange all at the same time.
After lunch we went back to Woo Seuck's house, and chilled there for a bit watching some crazy Korean cable. I still can't get over how bizarre it all is, particularly television. His mother kept stuffing me with snacks. Then it was time to go eat again. We went off to a raw fish restaurant--not sushi but sorta like sashimi, without the rice. They brought out all these side dishes and a big bowl filled with what's like a salad or bi bim bop(sans the egg) along with a basket of lettuce and sesame tree leaves to make little wraps with the trout.
I stuffed myself. At one point I just couldn't do anymore. EG, Woo Seuck's brother, looks at me and says, "We have to eat all of this, have more. We can't leave till we eat it all" and I almost died. We finished the food and then she brought out more--this time a spicy trout and seafood soup. I felt so ill.
I ran off into the night to find the bathroom. When I got there I discovered that I was really in the country. Not only was it FREEZING, not only was the toilet a squatter, but it was also just a hole in the ground. The smell was so overwhelming and I felt so awful I just bent over the little cliff and spat the nastiest chunks of my life. I was sure I was dying. Right then and there I thought I was dying. I figured, well, I made it to Asia. That's cool.
For the rest of the night I was sick. The guys took me home to find a room full of their relatives eager to converse--of course I had no idea what anyone had been saying all night, so I just felt worse.