I have been traveling all day, and now I am back in Korea., and I am beat. I told you that they had a very Japanese breakfast available at the hotel, so I decided that perhaps what I should do is tell you about the breakfast at the hotel. Whenever I eat breakfast at a Japanese hotel, I seem to find the same kinds of things. The Koreans and Japanese both eat things in their traditional breakfast that don’t normally appeal to people from the west. I like a lot of the food they serve, but I am just not ready for it at breakfast. To me, the things they eat seem more like something you should be eating for lunch for dinner, but they are eating it for breakfast.
First, I will tell you about the breakfast at the hotel. I have eaten all the things I am going to describe to you before for breakfast, but I usually prefer Japanese food like this later in the day. However, the Japanese eat these kinds of things everyday for breakfast. When I stayed in the boarding house as a student, the obaasan (grandmother), the lady who ran the boarding house and cooked for us made these kinds of things, and I ate them. I never knew what kind of crazy thing she was going to put on my plate, but I was bold and brave and tried everything she sat in front of me. The hotel breakfast had tiny, tiny fish that you couldn’t even tell were fish because they were so small. When I was in the boarding house, at first, I thought they were little noodles, but when I looked close, I saw they had little eyes and were actually fish. I was used to the obaasan serving us a whole baked fish for breakfast, and I only ate the middle, not the head and tail, but when you eat these little fish, you eat the whole fish. There was wasabi, the green spicy stuff in a liquid form at the hotel, and you could have a salad and put wasabi dressing over it if you wanted. I love miso shiro soup, and they had it, but I just don’t want it for breakfast. Miso shiro is a fish based soup, but it doesn’t taste fishy.
There were lots of other things that I didn’t recognize, so I didn’t take their pictures or comment on them. The point is, the Japanese just eat really strange things at breakfast that we from the west never dreamed of eating. The first morning, I had a bowl of rice, but I didn’t put sugar and milk in it. I ate it with chop sticks like everyone else. I like it that way, but about half way through, I thought, “Sugar and milk is available, so why didn’t I just go ahead and put them in my rice?” If I had, it would have been really strange to the Japanese who were sitting at the other tables.
Both mornings, I found scrambled eggs. However, they would not be the kind you are used to. One kind looked like they had soy sauce in them, and they were hard scrambled. I have eaten them and even cooked them like that, and they are good, but not for breakfast. What they made probably had sugar in them too, but I never put sugar in my scrambled eggs, but it is a very Japanese thing to put sugar in your scrambled eggs. The other scrambled eggs, I found I ate, but there would be people from the west who might have trouble with those too. My scrambled eggs were extremely runny, only half cooked, I enjoyed them anyway. I figured better just plain scrambled eggs than scrambled eggs with sugar and soy sauce in them for breakfast.
I was also lucky enough to find toast, and I ate toast with butter and jam the second morning instead of the bowl of rice. They had pieces of ham and other lunch meat there, but I never was much into ham at breakfast even though I know many people in the west eat it. I drank orange juice and water. There was green tea, but I wasn’t ready for green tea even though I like it. I found American Lipton Tea bags and hot water, yeah! I got to drink hot tea with milk and sugar in it both mornings! They also had coffee, but I am not a coffee drinker. The place was full of strange food, food I would usually only eat for lunch or dinner. I have eaten most of it, even at breakfast, but I prefer a more traditional western style breakfast.