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Sunday, November 16, 2014

FALL CIRCLE PACIFIC ADVENTURE: Day #14--Niger, Korean Barbecue and on to Walker Hill

First, let me welcome my 216th country:  Niger, a landlocked country in Northern Africa, gaining independence from France in 1960.  There are 17 million people, 80% Muslim, and only 145 megawatts of electricity.  Hawaii has less than one-tenth the population and more than ten times the electric capacity.  The good news is that obesity is only 2.4%, versus the USA at 70%.  The bad:
  • 63% are below the poverty line
  • the life expectancy is 54
Tourists do come here, and hippo watching on the Niger River is popular.  Nomad women near Lake Chad:


Well, not a comfortable segue to my Korean barbecue lunch, but I walked across the street to what was described as the best kalbi restaurant in Seoul.  First, I had trouble finding it, and, second, when I walked in, I was the only customer.  Everything went wrong.  No one spoke English.  The order I made turned out to be beef tartar for two people.  Finally, I got the standard barbecue, with a bunch of side dishes.  No rice.  Apparently, you need to specifically order this.  Someone does all the barbecuing for the table.  Just as I was about to leave, a few customers walked in.  The meal was okay, but hardly the best.

I had quite a breakfast at the Sheraton D-Cube City.  Check-in is on the 41st floor and there is an adjacent restaurant that rivals the Walker Hill W Hotel for breakfast.  Many stations and great view:


I made a kimchee Caesar salad, selected my fixings for udon/saimin-type noodles with an assortment of vegetables and mushrooms, which they they cooked, plus a miso soup/rice with an egg over easy.

There is a movie complex on the seventh floor of this building, and Interstellar begins showing at 8AM.  I'll catch the 10AM feature and sample the popcorn.  Then, on to Walker Hill for my final night in Seoul.  Tomorrow, I'll feature the issue that most festers the relationship between South Korea and Japan:  Comfort Women.

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