We left Seoul late last week and drove South through the mountainous countryside to our new home of Daegu. It snowed for most of the trip and a thick fog lingered all day over the tops of all the mountains. At about the halfway mark we stopped at a typical Korean rest stop consisting of lots of food stalls, indoors and out, a convenience store, a couple bakeries, Dunkin Donuts (!!), bathrooms, and outdoor workout equipment for those that felt like working out in the snow. Sly and I braved the icy cold food stand corridor and ordered heapfuls of Korean food items. If it was served on a stick, we bought it – plump sausages, chewy fish cakes stuffed with tiny hard boiled eggs, spicy fried chicken balls, and a paper tray of pillowy balls of takoyaki topped with dancing shreds of bonito flakes . It was hard not to point and buy everything in sight. Everyone knows anything on a stick tastes good. Then we scurried back indoors to eat our junk food in the toasty warmth of the indoor food court.. The smell of baked goods — like the smell of waffles just before they turn a crispy golden brown — wafted through the air and, even though I was stuffed, I couldn’t resist dragging Sly to the tiny stand that sold fresh red bean stuffed pastry buns and plump rounds of mochi. We bought an entire box. “We’ll need *something* to munch on the rest of the way home, ” I reasoned.
We arrived in sunny Daegu around mid-afternoon and after a quick drive to get oriented, checked into our temporary lodging / hotel. Our first priority was checking our kitties into the kennel next door to the hotel since they were not allowed in any of the rooms. Upon seeing their accommodations — a very narrow tall ikea-like cabinet with a simple rickety latch that barely kept the door closed — we started pondering other options. There was no way Max wouldn’t escape from that cabinet. And there was no way I was going to lose my mind searching for him lost and hiding in Korea. Just as we were thinking of risking it and sneaking the boys into our hotel room, Sly’s coworkers offered to let them stay in their back room. For our kitties’ sake we couldn’t say no. Thank goodness for the kindness of newly-made friends.