Walk the line
Trip Start Nov 18, 2011
42Trip End Mar 02, 2013
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While it is not necessarily a "fun" trip, it is certainly very interesting to explore the DMZ. It is something you really should do. It was one of those experiences I will never forget and actually made me feel like a tourist in Korea.
The other touristy things I did on the weekend (after visiting the DMZ) included visiting the fish market. This is the second largest fish market in South Korea (the largest is in Busan, in the south part of the country). It is literally a large warehouse with rows and rows of tables covered in fish, shellfish and every imaginable seafood. Large and small octopus, pufferfish (yes, the famous, deadly fugu that Homer Simpson eats), snails, lobsters, crabs, puffy sea vegetables, the ugliest fish you've ever seen... This trip to the fish market was all in an effort to find a small octopus that we could eat alive! Found one and took it upstairs to a restuarant where it was chopped up and
placed on a plate, tentacles still crawling. You pick up a wiggly piece with your chopsticks, dip it in red pepper paste and chew, chew, chew! It crawls in your mouth and the suction cups stick to your
tongue and side of your mouth
know it's more about texture than taste and it's really more about the experience of having a piece of an alive octopus crawling around in your mouth. There have been cases of people choking to death on live octopus after they have imbibed too much soju, the local moonshine, because their muscles relax and the octopus closes its tentacles around their throats. These cases refer more to those individuals who chose to try the live octopus whole, which is another popular extreme cuisine to take part in while in Korea.
One more thing to cross off the tourist to-do list: a visit to Dr. Fish at the coffee shop in Seoul. First, place your order for your beverage and with a wink, "the fish", to the barrista at the counter and wait. Next comes the hot chocolate all thick, sweet and delicious. Then comes the free, serve yourself bread. Bread and coffee? Well, ok. Not the first two food items I would pair together, but this isn't any normal coffee shop. About 20 minutes later comes the call that "the fish" are ready. You remove your shoes and socks and sit by the window, overlooking the busy streets in Gangnam while placing your feet in tanks full of small, white fish
piranah-ish fish eating your feet. It's not surprising to learn that this practice is banned in Canada and the U.S. for being unsanitary. However, like I have said before, there are many things here in Korea that would not be acceptable anywhere else that has heavy health and safety restrictions. I must say though, that it is definitely an experience worth having and my feet did feel softer afterwards. Perhaps the strangest part of it all is that you can spend a lazy afternoon drinking hot chocolate among the book clubs and stitch-and-bitch meetings while having a fish pedicure all from the comfort of your neighbourhood coffee shop!