The Joy Of The Unknown

When someone loves to travel, that person would realize that traveling can be a life changing experience. Many of them do not happen solely by visiting a new place, but it can be because we ate something so out of this world that it changes the way we see the world. OK, maybe that would be hyperbolic when put into words but that is somewhat true.

I remember back in the days when traveling was something difficult to do. Airline tickets were expensive, VISA was hard to obtain, and people were not into traveling in general. I could only read about other countries through Nat Geo magazine that my granddad subscribed for me. Even countries as near as Japan and Korea seemed so distant at that time. Thank God the time has changed and I had many opportunities to travel. One thing when traveling is involved, a person needs to be adventurous. I’m not talking about bungee jumping or getting on a truck driven by a coca-munching driver, but it is about wanting to see different things and eating new things as well. I cannot stand it when someone travel from my country and keeps consuming Indomie throughout the days. I mean, come on. There are other foods that you can try and you will probably like it. Trust me, I’ve been there. Ok, enough with the intro and let me get to the story 🙂

Lately many Indonesians wanted to go to Korea. I know that it probably was motivated by the K-Pop invasion. Don’t get me wrong, that is actually one of the reason that I used when I nagged my sister about going to Seoul. But the decision to go there did not come as simple as that. It came with a wager that I should eat a live octopus. I have been watching many episodes of different travel programs on TV about how the Koreans love to eat octopus while drinking beer. But for me, that is way beyond my league. I mean, I don’t even eat sashimi. Let alone a live octopus. It seems like eating an alien. They are soft, chewy, still a baby, moving, and all that tentacles….I am afraid that I will choke to death. But a bet is bet.

On my last day in Seoul, I asked my friend to take me to the octopus joint. And there was absolutely no way out. They only sell live octopus and live octopus on a grill. No backing out now after it’s laid in front of me. A plate of freshly cut octopus that was still moving on the plate. And it tasted amazing. It’s not slimy, not that chewy just like eating calamari. And I also got the grilled one. Two live octopus smothered with gochujang and sprinkled with chopped leeks put on a grill plate and cooked straight on top of a stove. The spicy gochujang gave the octopus a bit of a kick while the leeks for me sort of covered the fishy smell that you normally get from seafood. Eating those 2 things was an out of this world experience for me. It opened many doors and made me see the world in a new perspective. Somehow it made me not afraid when traveling and surely, I can eat sashimi now.

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