I've been in Korea since Monday. It's similar to Japan, but a little dirtier and the food has more flavor. I went shopping on Tuesday and walked around the alleys and streets looking for good deals on leather jackets and souvenirs. One alley I went down must have been the spice market, because it had large barrels of bright red, yellow, and orange spices. There were bowls full of kimchee, and a few stalls away, tables piled high with foot-long silvery fish. There were tables with plucked chickens (with heads -- how did they kill them?) lined up as if they'd died right there, in the middle of a dance. The smell was...interesting. The Korean women at the stalls looks at me with surprised expressions; apparently not many foreigners walk down to that section of town. I found the fruit market and bought a mesh bag full of mikans (that's the Japanese word, don't know for Korean word, for clementines). When I realized I was hungry, I went to a retauarant that specialized in bulgogi, but I didn't order that -- I ordered bibimbap, which was ok but had a strange vegetable in it that my stomach wasn't too keen on. Nauseated, I didn't eat much. By the time I got home, I had several bags I toted, eager to drop them on the floor of my hotel room.

I think I may go back out into town today and do a little more browsing and try some other national dish. The alarming thing about being in Seoul is that North Korea is just miles north of here... people are there, starving or freezing to death all the while believing they have it better than anyone else. It's not exactly uplifting.

Well... time to get up and go to the gym.

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