Part of the excitement of travel for me is the journey itself. How we get there is sometimes as fun as why we go and what we're going to do. We are flying Korean Air so this afforded us the opportunity to fly one of the most advanced airliners in the world-- oh and by the way-- the largest! This big bird is the Airbus A-380. A behemoth double decker plane outfitted with a swanky all Absolute vodka cocktail lounge up top and a duty free boutique lounge on the lower deck. Unfortunately our tickets in coach did not grant us admission up the stairs to where the vodka flowed. Oh well, made the best of the duty free boutique if just for a place to stretch and window shop.
Once back at our seats and ready to tuck into the meal service "Lost in Translation" sets in. I'm so proud I've just ordered the Korean specialty Bibimbap (sliced meat and mixed yummy veggies and rice that you garnish with sesame oil and chili sauce). My tray is placed in front of me, I peel back the warm foil blanket to reveal a regular "westerner" meal! Do the flight attendants not know I can handle the heat? Please, please can I have the Korean food? I promise I won't turn red and run for the lavatory. The attendant is gracious and prompt once she realizes I am part of the 1%; a westerner with Asian taste buds. Thanks Anthony Bourdain.
My Bibimbap bowl hosted a delicious medley of mushrooms, rice, veggies, pickled cucumber Kimchi, and of course chili paste and sesame oil. Mix to your liking and enjoy!
Belly full and chili paste mini tube packed away to show off to friends when back home, I was now ready to risk being caught sneaking up the staircase to partake of the Vodka.
A quick connection in Seoul and then, if all goes as planned, Good Morning Viet Nam! We arrive in Ho Chi Minh city (still known by most as Saigon) late so we will battle the jet lag and dream of that wonderful butter roasted coffee bean java that awaits us in the morning!
*Further exploration: Bibimbap (비빔밥, Korean pronunciation: [pibimp͈ap̚]) is a signature Korean dish. The word literally means "mixed rice". Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) and gochujang (chili pepper paste). A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions. The ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating. It can be served either cold or hot. In Korea, Jeonju, Jinju, and Tongyeong are especially famous for their versions of bibimbap. It is listed at number 40 on World's 50 most delicious foods readers' poll compiled by CNN Go in 2011..