It was refreshing to stay at a family’s home instead of hotels and be shown around by true locals. For a fleeting moment, it felt like I was living in South Korea.
As I savoured the taste of my last home-cooked Korean breakfast, I never thought I could get so accustom to eating this way – rice for breakfast and banchan. I will miss seeing the Korean fried zucchini (Hobak Jun), king oyster mushrooms and dried squid fried in a sticky, moreish coating of honey, soy sauce and oil. This mini feast became like familiar friends in my morning routine, always paired with kim chi and nori sheets.
The final day of my Korea trip was filled with fond food memories of Osculloc green tea lattes and Jeju mandarins.
The things I thought would resonate with me were not the images of k-pop bands, k-dramas, plastic surgery, super-fast wifi or North Korean antics, people so often associate with Korea. Instead, it was the intangibles like the friendships made, family, the generousity and thoughtfulness in the people I came across and the tasty home cooked meals and street food found in the charming, little seaside towns and country towns far away from Seoul.
What a privilege it was to get a little taste of living in Korea. It was like food for my Seoul.