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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

GAWA Day #15: My Day in Seoul

I did it again.  Remember Silver Week in Japan, which totally demolished my plans to Shinkansen around Japan?  Well, arriving in Seoul I found out that this is about the biggest 4-day holiday in South Korea.  It is called Thanksgiving, or, in Korean, Chuseok, which, more accurately, was on September 27  But the holiday this year is celebrated from September 26 through the 29th.  (Note, next year, Chuseok is on September 16, which means it will most probably only be a 3-day holiday.)  I asked, why aren't they doing this in November, and the fact of the matter is that this has been happening since the time of the Silla Kingdom in 57 BC.  The must munch is songpyeon (right), a rice cake filled with stuff for dessert.

What happens during Korean Thanksgiving?  Everyone goes back to their homes and villages to have a feast, drink rice wine and honor their ancestors.  Most stores are closed.  Here, shopping is everything and major shopping areas completely shut down.

Anyway, today is September 29 and all is back to normal.  I have lunch scheduled at Jung Sik-dang, a restaurant I helped discover 4.5 years ago with Professor Kiryun Choi.  The chef, Jung-sik Yim, actually delayed his flight to New York to open his new restaurant (Jungsik--and already, has earned 2 Michelin stars) there, just to cook for us.

Jung Sik-dang is now the #93 Best Restaurant in the World, and is #10 in all of Asia.  There are now three Korean restaurants in the latter category:  #27 Ryunique and #38 La Yeon.  Here is a quote about the best restaurant in Korea:

On a recent weekday, ladies who lunch filled the second-floor dining space at Jungsikdang, oohing and aahing as each delectable dish arrived at the table. There was indeed a discernable noise of clicking, diners not shy to whip out their smartphones to take shots of the creative and often whimsical presentation.

I'm back from Jung Sik-dang, but will alert you to my next post, which will be entitled:

     My Best $200 Meal...Ever

Tonight I also take the elevator to the 7th floor and visit The Man from La Mancha.

Well, Tropical Storm Joaquin is doing some interesting things.  First, it will become a Category 2 hurricane, and move north along the Eastern Seaboard.  Where will Joaquin make landfall?  Stay tuned:

Why am I so unsure?  Here are some computer models of the potential track:


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