07 April 2012

Soong Choo writes: We are flying to Seoul today. Got up and felt really good this morning, slept six hours straight for the first time in days. Finally beat the jet lag (hope I haven't spoken too early), which is just as well as I am really looking forward to Seoul for many many reasons but above all, it's the food if truth be told.

I have made a list of places that I want to go to and it works out that I have to have on average 4.5 meals a day, even with staying on in Seoul for another 6 days, which is what I'm doing (just as well). I was trying to prepare myself for this task by losing some weight before I got to Seoul so that I could really pig out and still have clothes that fit me but I think I failed judging by the notch on my belt buckle this morning (I blame yummy Chinese food!) Like most Koreans, I love food and I ADORE my Korean food .

Just landed in Seoul (Incheon International Airport). Incheon is the main gateway to Korea and is also a very important port for Korea's imports and exports, but for me it has a personal significance as the birthplace of my grandmother who I think laid the seed for my existence as a musician living in London (thanks Gran!). Incheon was the birthplace of Korean Christianity with the arrival of Anglican missionaries at the turn of the last century and my grandmother became a Christian in her teens in the 1920s and came in contact with western culture, education and music. When she got married and had my dad, who is now a retired linguist, he had a lifelong love of the English language and classical music and so when I came along he was very supportive and encouraged me in my musical education.

Anyway I think we're near the hotel and back to the food. I am taking 17 people to a traditional Korean restaurant (HanJung Sihk) that my mum has recommended so it should be great, well I'm looking forward to it and I deliberately didn't have the airplane meal and now I'm feeling a bit peckish.

Well, the food was amazing (thanks mum!), we were late getting there after an 'interesting' journey via the subway (which needs a separate chapter!), and the food started to arrive as soon as we sat down (it was pre-ordered by my cousin the day before) and it just kept coming, dish after dish (I lost count after about 10), not sure myself what all the dishes were but it was fantastic! So one down and 36 meals to go!