Gwangju World Cup stadium this year was the venue for the Kimchi Cultural Festival; a seven day celebration (without mud or mind altering drugs) of all things inspired by vegetables rotting in a ceramic jug. For anyone that does not live in Korea or shop the isles of obscurity at your local grocer, kimchi most commonly manifests itself as pickled Napa cabbage doused with chili pepper paste. It can be spicy, bitter, sweet, and served hot or cold. The taste is, generally, okay. Most Koreans eat kimchi everyday, and will tell you that it helps prevent everything from cancer to chronic masturbation. One of the exhibits at the kimchi festival went so far as to claim it was the “number 1 healthiest food in the world,” according to a U.S. Health Magazine. I can’t remember the publication’s name, however. It may not have even been named come to think of it.

Surprisingly, we only saw a handful of other foreigners here. This might explain why one event staffer followed us around all day taking pictures of us eating kimchi. My face will probably appear in some tourist promotion next year, plastered with a cheesy catchphrase.  “Say Kimchi!”

One thought on “in deep kimchi”

  1. I, too, worked and taught in Gwangju and I think we may have even taught at the same ECC. I did develop a taste for kimchi and Gwangju had the best kimchi in the entire country as far as I was concerned. I think my favourite is kimchi cheegay (kimchi soup/stew). I find myself missing Korean food quite often and all of the restaurants I’ve been to in North America just don’t measure up somehow. Maybe it’s the lack of baby pigs walking around the kalbi restaurants or the adjumas watching your every bite…..I’ve really enjoyed reading all of your posts as it’s taking me back to the “happy fun time” of South Korea! Thanks!

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