My friend Bryan and I tried to put this to right whilst waiting on the bus the other night.
One of the things you often get asked if you live overseas is “what do you miss from home?”. You know, the wee things that make life just that bit more tolerable. Or, something that’ll help you get from one ‘parcel’ to the next. I remember when I first came to Korea it was nigh on impossible to find or buy simple, everyday items like deodorant (Korean’s don’t use it), or spices for cooking, or for choice of a better word, Western-styled restaurant food (just for a change from Korean food). These days, different story. I don’t smell as much. I use celery salt, fennel seeds, and I don’t know what I’d do without the quintessential ground oregano when I’m following Jamie or Gordon’s
shitty awesome recipes (yes, Ramsey and Oliver are both on TV here too). And of course, the vast array of foreign restaurants in and around Seoul is staggering compared to what it used to be.
That said, we decided that #1 on our list (for that night at least) would be the Fish Supper. There’s a new restaurant opened near my house, something like ‘Sydney Fish’n’Chips’. Ate their once, it was decent, reasonably priced, but something was still missing. Maybe it was in the name? Who’s Sydney?
As we stood there waiting, we regaled ourselves with where we could find the best one ( B-Anstruther -good- but over-priced. C- somewhere in Ayrshire- Girvan maybe?), and how there’s nothing quite like seeing it wrapped up meticulously in paper, then newspaper. Why you should never have condiments put on it before you get home (with the exception of salt and vinegar of course). The waft of freshly cooked fish, the big fat chips, good but not too crispy batter, unwrapping the paper, then diving in. Simplicity itself.
With that sorted, and it being the Festive season, we decided to see if we could find 3 Wise Men and a Virgin on our way to Itaewon. Not a chance. So we ended up in Stompers instead.
Over several beers , shots, and open-mic styled renditions of Xmas favourites, we then decided that we also missed the proper pronunciation of things. Ecclefechan, Culzean, Auchtermuchty, Tighnabruaich, Sanquhar, Scone, and, well I think you get the drift. Feeling just a bit more self-righteous with ourselves, we left our drinking partners to muddle over the meaning of shoogly, puggled and aufurfuksake and their apparent inability to make whole sentences just by using swear words.
There’s work still to be done…