Do You Remember Ding Ding Dang? – Monday, November 27th 2000 (Korean Accounts 2000-2001)
This evening Nana and I went out with Roger who works at a school called Ding Ding Dang (note – in 2000, Ding Ding Dang was a major English academy franchise – certainly around Daegu – it now seems to have disappeared). We went to a marinated pork restaurant. I do like Korean food but it seems void of fat, sugar or salt though I am sure salt is used in the kimchi process. A Korean meal never seems to fill you and they don’t seem to eat large quantities of meat. There are restaurants everywhere, some serve noodles, or barbecues which can be pork or beef, or chicken but usually you don’t find pork and beef alongside chicken. Then there are places which serve kimbap (김밥) – fish stick or cheese rolled in rice and covered in seaweed. One of my favourites is ddeokpogi (떡볶이) which is various size noodles, with a boiled egg and cabbage served in a hot spicy sauce. This also has a strange fish strips in it, called odeng, made from powdered fish. Often a plate of ddeokpogi (떡볶이) is crowned with mandu (만두) pancakes. A big plate of this in a restaurant is usually shared and costs only a few pounds.
Tonight however, we had pork barbecue and all the side dishes but there was some kind of noodle side dish with very strange little green things in them which resembled scrunched up testicles and we couldn’t fathom which animal or anatomical part they came from. I have since discovered these are a sea product, mideodeok (미더덕) but I’m still not sure whether they are animal or vegetable. They are often found in kimchi-chi-gae. We drank a few bottles of soju and the bill came to 10.000 won each which is around six pounds.
On Monday I was back in school after giving Dong-soo his English lesson. I went to taekwon do in the evening and all was going well until I pulled a fucking hamstring in my left leg. It happened right at the end of the class. Almost at exactly the same time as I pulled it, Dong-soo told me I was to be graded the following evening by Master Bae.