Posts Tagged ‘waiter’

Being left alone in unfamiliar country, unable to speak the language, not really knowing where you are is pretty daunting.
The unfamiliar brush strokes of Hangul easily confusing me, too scared to go into any restaurant and to be stared at. God it’s hot. Nobody has tattoos, nobody looks western, help me! The Asian bakery, Paris Baguette maybe… What is the sauce lathering this thin pastry crust and is that a pickle?… I’ll take two it should tide me over till the morning. I’ll just watch endless films in bed, should I call my friends? I don’t want to be a burden, I came out here to do something new and I am lying in bed. I don’t want to rely on my friends, I need to do this for myself. I’ll get a shower and have a walk to see what I can find and try some new food. Is that sushi? That looks tasty. This place looks interesting, shall I go in? Maybe I’ll just keep walking, what about this place?. Hmm there seems to be quite a few people there, maybe, no. I’ll try the other place it looks a bit quieter. Less eyes on me. What’s this? I need to take my shoes off? Sorry what are you saying?
‘Eat, food’
I mime shovelling food into my mouth she is speaking too fast and in a language I don’t understand, am I allowed in here? She’s looking around for someone, a bigger someone? An ‘X’ is made with her arms and then pointing to a dark room.
‘You’re closed?….. You’re closed.’
I mimic the gesture of the ‘X’. It seems they were closing, I put my shoes on and walk to the another restaurant. It seems to have calmed down since I last walked past, there’s only a small family in the corner.
The staff are apprehensive, as am I. Do I need to take my shoes off? No. Everybody seems to be wearing something on their feet, okay let’s sit and have a look over the menu. Mmm this looks nice from the picture, is it dog? The waiter comes over I point at the price and he points at another one, I don’t understand, so I smile and nod, the waiter goes away. Returning I find that I have ordered a form of ghalbi (Korean barbecue), he throws it on the cooker in front of me. I can do that, as I watch him turn over the browning meat, it smells good. Won’t he just go away so I can eat? I know how to cook meat, god I’m hungry. He leaves me with tongs and the responsibility of cooking my own food. I am left with a feast of meat and vegetables, I eat like I have never eaten before, relax, pay and head back to home to bed to watch movies.
Tomorrow I’ll do something new…
N.B. Ghalbi I later learned is a meal best shared.
© John Brownlie 2010