Sunday, May 25, 2008


Cabbage soaked in salt
and washed only to be bathed
once more with rich chili,
julienned radish and ginger

chopped scallions
and a dash of sugar
to balance the flavors

genuine kimchi at last!

Wrapped in red spicy sauce,
it welcomed me at dinner
as soon as I disembarked
from the plane greeted
by the cold Korean spring night
and the hot bulgogi soup.

My palate sated by flavors
practically unknown to me
like the silver chopsticks
I couldn’t handle well,
skillet atop rounded coals

where my pre-cooked meat
is heated anew. Side dishes that go
with my rice which I wrap
in leaves of mint and something else,
or the cold, tasteless soup that I
thought could have been
for my dirty hands.

But, authentic kimchi at last!

It was there at dinner
when I arrived, then at lunch
and dinner again the second, the third
till the last day!

Alas! I had kimchi with every meal
now that I am home
if someone feeds me that
now, I shall not be amused!

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