Monday, April 19, 2010

Kim and Kimchi in Seoul

Greetings from South Korea where Kim is by far the most common family name ( and Kimchi is the country's best known food. With a German wife, I know well the role of  sauerkraut in the German diet but it doesn't begin to compare with the importance of pungent Kimchi in Korea.  It seems that no Korean meal is complete without it and I had no idea that one could prepare cabbage in so many different ways ((

I was in South Korea once before but since my cultured better-half wasn't with me then, I  paid little attention to the nuances of Korean history beyond the fact that the country was divided into North and South Korea following WWII.  From visits to several museums and palaces, I now see Korea as "the Poland of Asia" -- a pawn of history due to its unfortunate location between two powers. Japan and China have played dominant roles in Korea's history just as Russia and Germany have played in Polish history.  I am embarrassed to admit that until now I had not realized that Korea belonged to the Japanese Empire until 1945. which I'm sure all the rest of you remember from school!!


From a tourism point-of-view, there is more to see in Seoul than we expected, including several royal palaces and excellent museums.   (  Unfortunately we didn't make it to the DMZ ( but the US military presence in Korea is still much in evidence.  (  Most Koreans appreciate Americans and seem to emulate our lifestyle more than most Asians. 

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