This week, Yeosu Expo held in the south-west of Korea draws to a close. I was fortunate to visit there in late May.
It was a very Korean experience. That is to say, a mixture of immense pride in their country combined with the promotion of good news stories about how big it had been. I hadn’t been to any other Expo, so I didn’t have much to compare this event with.
Before I left Australia, many of my Korean friends were particularly envious because it was held in Jeolla, a part of Korea that is famous for good food of a provincial nature. There is a special type of kim chi that is made in that region which is famous throughout all of Korea. ‘Gak-kim-chi!’ they urged me to try. Driving into Yeosu, I saw many of the small restaurants in the town where I knew I could find this food. We were ushered into the Expo, and then later to lunch at a local hotel, and there was none of this delicacy. Back in the Expo after lunch, I found most of the food was of a carnival style (waffles, ice-cream and the like). I couldn’t find any of the famous kim-chi, and so left for Seoul with the rest of my group without this experience. There is an upside to this story: I now have another reason to return to Yeosu, even through the Expo will have been concluded. Food might be a simple pleasure, but worth pursuing in Korea!