Gary by campfire

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Seoul Pancake

Apologies to Rainn Wilson for the pun on his wacky, wonderful website. But facing a 13-hour layover in Seoul, Korea, I was ready to disclaim any further responsibility for anything.

Then Zabine and I got a clue: We remembered our Vietnamese home-stay host telling us of a terrific five-hour tour of Seoul we could take from the airport. Even if this tour hadn’t been a once-in-a-lifetime prize (and it was), we’d have seized it just to pass the time. (Do the math: Our 13-hour wait was sandwiched between a five-hour Hanoi-to-Seoul flight and a 10-hour Seoul-to-Seattle flight. Sleep, sorta-kinda included, but not really.)

Seoul is vibrant, high-tech, bursting with life and color. Koreans love balloons and bright paper lanterns. We visited a downtown river restoration project, the palace compound of ancient Korean kings, and a Buddhist temple. The palace struck me as harsh, austere, and lifeless. By contrast, the river and the temple were kaleidoscopic in their beauty.

Our tour included lunch at a vegetarian restaurant where most of our group ordered – beef. (Yeah, I know.) Their loss, my gain: I went with the brown rice and steamed vegetables. Not only was the dish indelibly yummy, it even provided protein, in the form of a raw egg yolk perched right there on top. Speared it with my chopsticks, I did. (At least there’s something I do deftly with chopsticks.)

Please note below the photo of Zabine with Haechi, who symbolizes the City of Seoul. If you click the thumbnail, then zoom in close enough, you can even read the fine print: “Haechi, Seoul’s symbol, is an imaginary creature that helps realize justice and enhance safety and happiness.” Count us in!

3 comments to Seoul Pancake

  • Shiraz Gol

    Thank you Gary for taking me to Seoul Korea with your good choice and beautiful pictures.

  • linda long

    Looks like you had a wonderful tour. Love the pictures and all the great color.

  • Sherlock Graham-Haynes

    Hello Gary,

    I rather like your nice and very innovative use of Rainn Wilson’s “Soul Pancake.” From what you have shared here, and, from what Zabine has told me – including her mad ride on the back of a motor cycle through frightening and on-coming traffic – it truly felt like “Seoul Pancake” to me!

    Thank you for sharing brother!

    Sherlock I. Graham-Haynes

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