Lady Yangban couldn't make it to church with me last Sunday so I had to go alone. That was sad but I made up for it by doing some interesting stuff that afternoon.
Munching on Mexican
First, I went over and had lunch at Chili Chili. I had seen the sign across the street on the way to and from church for the last few weeks but I had always gone to lunch somewhere else with Lady Yangban. This time, I made it in and ordered a burrito.
There is an article about Chili Chili in the Joongang Ilbo. Here is part of what it had to say:
Chili Chili's menu, not unlike an Ensenada taco stand's, is short and to the point. You can choose from tacos, burritos, fajitas and enchiladas. Nothing costs more than 4,000 won ($3). For drinks, it's canned Coke or Sprite.
I agree that the stuff is good. It is very similar to some burritos I had one morning on a corner stand in Ciudad Juarez and at a small restaurant the served Mexican workers in Des Moines, Iowa (a lot of Mexicans have moved to Iowa for the agricultural jobs). For anyone who has lived in D.C., the burrito tastes a little better than what you can get at Burrito Brothers (But BB is good stuff, I practically lived off of BB bean and rice burritos while I was in grad school).
As an added bonus, the beans made for good belching, which allowed me to enjoy the taste again several times later in the afternoon.
Stumbling into a war zone
After lunch, I wondered over to COEX mall to look for a coat. I didn't find the coat but I did come across an interesting place.
It turns out that the convention center next to the mall was hosting the Warcraft 3 World Championship. I got there just in time to see the last 10 minutes of the final match. Some guy from Sweden beat some guy from Singapore and somebody had to pay for them to come to Seoul and sit in their little plastic booths. Here are a couple of pics:
The crowd checks out the action.
You can see the guy who got second place (upper left). He's going to kick himself when he sees part of the first place prize (lower right).
And here is the winner (the Swedish guy). Note the isolation booth on the left.
BTW, gaming in Korea is huge (socially and business-wise). Check out this article from the Guardian. A sample:
But you do not have to scratch South Korean culture deeply to find that games are held to be of major cultural importance here as well. More than 90% of South Koreans say they have played computer games, according to recent government figures, with almost half saying their favourite form of game was online.
Gaming here has never suffered from the perception, more common in Europe and the US, that gamers play alone, locked away in darkened bedrooms. While broadband is now installed in nearly 70% of households, gamers still flock in their millions to the abundant cybercafes to engage in online jousts.
Chang jokes that the older generations - like him and Seoul's mayor - have to join in game playing to keep up. "If I don't know the game I can't communicate with my son," he laughs.
Now I think I'll go to a PC Bang and play a game (in this cause Medieval Total War).