The Note that saved the Day

Blogging University, International Travel, Musings, Photography

The neighborhood looked unfamiliar. The pedestrians we had come across did not speak English. We ducked into a small cafe. The interior resembled the “Starbucks” look, but it definitely was not Starbucks! Once our coffees were ready, the young waitress came over and chatted us up. Her English was quite good. Turns out she had spent a couple of years in Canada, studying the English language. She told us that a lot of young Koreans participate in this program. She also shared with us that young Koreans prefer to drink coffee rather than tea.

Insadong, Seoul

Insadong, Seoul


Inside the restaurant

As we talked, we mentioned that it was difficult at times to convey the message at restaurants that we are vegetarian.

The friendly, young waitress smiled, got a piece of paper and wrote carefully in Korean:

“Please don’t put any meat, fish or seafood into our food. We are vegetarians. Thank you.”

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This small piece of paper turned out to be extremely helpful. Except for a couple of clams floating in a bowl of soup on one occasion, the note saved the day. Every day! Despite the fact that Koreans seem to eat a lot of meat, we had no trouble finding tasty things we could eat. Especially with the note.

Personally, I had not been very familiar with the cuisine, but quickly came to love and appreciate the flavors, textures and seasonings. I even took a class on how to make kimchi.

We also couldn’t help but notice how genuinely friendly and helpful the Korean people are. And curious about us, what we liked about their country and where we came from.

If you’ve been on the fence about South Korea, it is a super destination. Lots of history, palaces, temples, art and even a tea museum. We had a great time and hope to go back some day.




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My passions in life are vegetarian cooking, gardening, photography, writing, good books, traveling and nature. Thanks for stopping by, Sabine

15 thoughts on “The Note that saved the Day”

  1. Here from Writing 101. Lovely photos and such a cool story! Gains bonus points in my book because kimchi is delicious.


  2. rockchk37 says:

    Interesting note! I loved the pictures and your descriptions. I never wanted to travel to the orient, but you have changed my mind. Your writing is clean and crisp, yet flows smoothly.


    • Thank you for your kind words. I hope to travel more in Asia because I love the experience of something completely different and new. The one thing I don’t do there is drive.


  3. Your pictures are so beautiful. I’m glad you took the opportunity to share a true story involving a note of helpfulness.


    • Thanks! In this busy world, it’s refreshing to come across kindness. I thought it would be good to write it down, as to not forget this moment. Also thank you for stopping by my blog. I’ll check out yours this weekend.


    • Korean food is quite tasty and different. Good thing we have a great Korean restaurant in town. I also got a couple of cookbooks and occasionally make a dinner myself. My favorite meal we got at the airport there, a mushroom and tofu stew with the Korean miso equiphalant and the usual side dishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ZD McGee says:

    Such striking photojournalistic coverage of a clearly wondrous Asian destination, complete with charming narrative of practical solutions to travel challenges – on the fly! I enjoy creating those whenever possible when I’m on the road. Feel like I was along!


  5. Asia has never really appealed to me, but you are beginning to change my mind. The food look delicious, (yum yum). I know the feeling too well of asking for a vegetarian meal and what turns up has traces of meat in it and lots of vegetables!


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