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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Life in Korea: How Do Vegetarians Survive Korea?

Initially, I was a little grossed out when the food, a pile of raw chicken mixed with cabbage and other vegetables was placed on the hot plate right in front of me.  I was eating out, celebrating the birthday of a fellow teacher, Kelly. But since I hadn't had any issue finding something that suited my vegetarian diet in my two years of living in Korea, I wasn't worried.

I inquired about what I could get from the menu at a popular Dakalbi place in Shin Jeju, Chun Ton Myun Tong Dakgalbi. And while the Korean women who were a part of the dinner party were busying themselves trying to find out what, if anything, was available for me to eat, I chatted with my friends.

All this time, the food was cooking at our table and it started to smell really good and every so often, a chef would come over and stir things up a bit.  What was I going to do?

It took a while to sink in, There wasn't any thing on the menu that I could eat.  My last meal was around 2 pm and it was now almost 9 pm and I was starved.  Maybe it was the fact that I hadn't eaten anything in the last six hours.  Maybe the fact that there wasn't anything on the menu that I could eat.  Maybe it was the fact that it smelled so good.

But low and and behold, 'Meat Night' was born; a night when my vegetarian diet gets shuffled to side and I experience another side of Korean food, the meat.

Here's how it went down this past Saturday.

And so it starts
Maybe ten minutes later
It's smelling pretty good a this point
Where's my chopstick??
The initial bite
It was good, but very spicy
Tried it wrapped it in some lettuce
And stuffed it into my mouth
All of it
About an hour later

Well, I'm back to my vegetarian diet... until the next meat night that is :)  Are you vegetarian?  How do you plan to survive in Korea?

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