1:30 pm

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Ajusshi and his wife have insisted that we join them for lunch. We follow them to the row of tiny eateries near the station, where they order up a storm.

A huge pot of dongdongju (a variation of makgeolli) arrived first, followed by haemool jeon (seafood pancake). Both were really good. Then the vegetable bibimbap arrived. I didn't expect much from it because it was meatless. Haha.

The bibimbap was mind-blowing.

Whatever they had added in it to make it taste that good, it was magic. The vegetables and herbs tasted so fresh they must have left the ground that very morning. My favorite component was the shredded bracken.

Ajusshi made sure to speak in a Seoul accent initially, as most Koreans are wont to do when speaking in Korean to foreigners. He then got increasingly excited as he drank more dongdongju, and insisted on speaking in his version of English (consisting mostly of invented words) to us. When it was clear we couldn't understand him he would provide an explanation to me in Korean in a thick Gyeongsang-do dialect, expecting me to translate it for my friends. I just kept nodding and pretending that I understood what he was saying. Hahaha.

Found out from Ajusshi's wife that they'd met in elementary school, and grew up together. She giggled a little as she said that they had driven here from Ulsan to go on a "date" in the Korean countryside. Sooo cute :)

We fought (like, physically tussled) to pay the bill, but Ajusshi and wife won out in the end. Felt so bad about it but they claimed it was payment for our company. Ahhhh <3 I'm in awe that there're such good and kind people out there, and thankful to have the good fortune to meet them on our travels.

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