Friday, February 15, 2008

Seoul and the good saint V

As far as I can see, there are a number of customs that one observes on St Valentine's day. The lady will expect:


And you are lucky to get away with leaving any of those out. I did leave one out this year: Flowers. So the other elements had to be good. And I think they were. For a present I got Anne a big box of a particular Turkish Delight from Greece that she really likes --

-- and also promised her that I would buy her a ring with a sky-blue stone in it the next day.

For dinner I took her to a local Korean restaurant. I am a great fan of Korean food. It is always an excellent restaurant and is notable for the variety of side dishes that come with your Bul Gogi (or whatever main course you order)

So I arrived there last night with Anne in good confidence of a first-class dinner -- only to find that they were "under renovation". I made quite a grimace when they told me that, however, so they took us in anyway -- as they did have "friends and family" dining there despite being "closed".

And the meals were great -- an even bigger variety of dishes than usual! And there were quite a lot of Koreans present. We could almost have been in Seoul.

But the crazy thing was that they wanted to give us it all for free! Their taking us in was entirely an act of grace! I did of course leave some money anyway but it was all a most interesting experience -- and Anne loved it! She likes things that are out of the routine.

Long live the Republic of Korea!

And while we were in the restaurant I did see a rather extreme example of the "yellow peril" at work. In Australian history, "Yellow peril" refers to a fear of Asian immigration but I am using it in a sense common among American college women: Lots of Asian ladies rather fancy big burly Caucasian men. And with their characteristic patience and politeness they often get what they want. So Caucasian college women do sometimes feel that all the good men have been lassooed by clever little Asian ladies -- the "yellow peril".

And one couple near Anne and myself were a rather extreme example of that. The Asian lady would have been about 5' tall and slightly built while the fair-skinned blue-eyed Caucasian guy was about 6'2" and solidly built. And the lady seemed distinctly bright and cheerful! The guy looked a bit confused though.

And my own son (strongly-built, 6' tall and blue-eyed) also finds that a lady of Asian ancestry fills the bill! I have posted earlier about that but I might note here that I entirely approve of competition!


We went into "Monty's" (Brisbanes's biggest pawnshop) the next day and found a ring with a large rectangular-cut sky-blue topaz in it so Anne got lucky. I had told her that I would only buy her a ring if I could find one with a sky-blue stone in it. But by going to Monty I maximized the chances of success -- as they have a huge range of rings from all eras.

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