27 (Sat) September 2014
at Sawol eh Boribap
-Sinsa, Gangnam, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with the Family, SM’s family
The Prodigal Son Returns to Pay His Respects (Day 1 of 3).
In town for the weekend to care of a few random personal matters, more details to follow.
Sawol eh Boribap (사월에 보리밥) is a Korean restaurant chain. Currently 8 locations around Korea. Meaning “barley rice (boribap) in (eh) April (sawol),” the restaurant’s signature item is a bowl of steamed barley rice surrounded by various vegetables, mixed together prior to eating – essentially the same thing as bibimbap. The menu also offers dishes that include meat and seafood. Though never a sensation, the restaurant has quietly built a solid reputation through the years with simple and traditional dishes, healthful and high quality ingredients, reasonable prices.
Colleague SM is also in town for work (something not concerning me). Accompanied by husband and baby. I invited them to dinner.
Choosing an appropriate venue was a struggle, however, because SM is a fake vegetarian. As a sworn crusader against fake vegetarianism, I couldn’t enable her lifestyle choice by vegging out. Then again, we are in Korea, where the cuisine is largely based on vegetable dishes, so avoiding vegetables out of spite -e.g., by going to a barbecue restaurant – would’ve been silly, especially as I was playing host. I had to come up with a place that would make us all happy, in both principle and practice.
The food was quite good. Some veg here, some meat there – a happy medium. Nothing flashy, everything reliably tasty. Everyone seemed happy. SM remarked that it was the best food that they’d had in Korea thus far – whether true or not, we did clear the table. Good times.
When launching the blog nearly five years ago, I’d given scant consideration about the consequences of posting certain information here, such as names of people, activities, organizations that I was involved with. Having kept a low profile, both professionally and personally, I didn’t anticipate that anyone would search me out. Even if they had, most of the subject matter was local and relatively insignificant. But now with my work at WHO, I’ve been finding myself increasingly the subject of googling, inevitably leading to the blog, which now often touches on bigger issues with international ramifications. I have to be more careful. For starters, I’ve decided to stop using people’s full names.
(For more details about the food, see WHAT)
(For more details about the venue, see WHERE IN KOREA)