I Can’t Chopstick

Korean BBQ

Recently I had my first authentic Korean barbecue experience. When I say authentic, I mean I was the only white person in the entire restaurant. Including the group that brought me.
Which, don’t get me wrong, is fantastic. Every person eating and working there was Korean, all signs as well as menus were entirely in Korean. And next door was a 24 hour Korean spa where, apparently, you can pay $25 dollars to hang out in a comfy robe in this huge spa for as long as you would like. I never knew this kind of wonderful Korea town existed so close to my home.
While I was thrilled with the authenticity of the experience, I also had to spend a lot of energy making sure I didn’t look like a total and complete idiot.
#1: They, obviously, only give you chopsticks. This place is authentic as hell, you think they’re going to willingly give you a fork?
Ha. No. They will make you ask for it. And if you do ask for a fork, you will most certainly be the only one int the entire restaurant who is using a fork. So I suck it up and obviously they are silver chopsticks which keep slipping, because I am barely competent with the cheap wooden ones which probable have a great deal more traction and aerodynamics and some other science that makes it easier for them to stay in your hands.
#2: Seriously, guys, what is in those little bowls?
They bring out a ton a tiny bowls filled with indeterminate veggies and seasoning and (why god why?!) slices of some sort of seafood in one of them. There is nothing more gag-inducing than expecting a pleasantly crunchy and spicy sliver of cabbage or some other shit, and instead bite into a mush, fishy slice of something that came out of the ocean.
#3 While I admire other cultures’ ability to enjoy entire meals without so much as the thought of a carb component, I am not cultured enough to appreciate a meal entirely made of meat.
Oh, and this ballin soup. It was all delicious and hot and wonderful, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t get some fries on the way home (even if I was too full to eat more than nine of them, my salty, starchy needs were satisfied).
#4 I have never been more aware of my lack of any apparent ethnic diversity.
Guys, I am so fucking white.

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