Monday, 12 October 2009

Seoul Dream of Samarkanda

Last Saturday I went with my russian friends to Dogdaemun District in aim to watch the game between Russia and Germany.

The owner of the Uzbek restaurant was supposed to be waiting for us at the subway exit, but did not appear. We found the place on our own after 1h and something of hopeless walking.

After we arrived there the owner said that there was never any ORT channel in the neighbourhood. "But we phoned you and you said that we can watch the game here" Nikolai said to the owner. The latter repplied: "No way. Noone called here. definately not you."

Then Nikolai calles the number he previously dialled and the cell started to ring in the mans pants.

Suddenly another Uzbek aproached and spared his collegue saying: "But I know where you can watch the game". I replied: "You will be a gentleman and lead us there" in russian. I am not really sure if I had spoken properly as he asked: "Ana, kto eto? Who is she?" Nikolai replied: "Ana Paliaczka. She is Polish". The Uzbek said to me: " Paliaczka, Ty oczien krasiwaja, kak Tiebia zawut? Polish Lady, you are very beautiful, what's your name?" I replied to him that I would tell him my name only after he drags us to the place. On every corner he kept saying "Eto usze za iglom, U Tiebia jest numier tieliefona? That's just around the corner, do you have a phone number?" Nikolai kept repeating him to lead us.

Eventually we hit the main street near Dongdaemun Stadium Station and he said watching the pavement: "I don't really know where is the place" and to me: "Krasavica! Beauty!" ....and escaped!

The game would probably be less exciting without that adventure putting that we lost. Oh...we lost, means this time Slavic team lost the game. We shared common Slavic sorrow after. But Ukraine won with England, hurray!

The Central Asian Community in Seoul is quite huge and has its own district called Dongdaemun exactly. Near the exit number 5 from Dongdaemun Stadium Station a tourist approaches totally different world. Especially for a person from Poland the cyrylic alphabet around is very familliar. There are plenty of restaurants with variety of East Eauropean- Central Asian Food. Mongolian, Kazakh or Uzbek cuisine. Russian desserts and dumplings, milk tea and variety of traditional hats and dresses next to the modern city noise.

Some of the restaurants are run by Korean Kazakh or Korean Uzbek. How is this possible?
During the 30's batiuszka narodaw Josif Vasillionowicz Stalin had his own policy to the whole world, not just Poland. Some of it's policy contained dragging native Soviet Koreans into Central Asia steps. According to the 1989 population registry there were still at least over 100 000 of them both in Uzbekhistan and Kazakhstan. Now they go slowly back to Seoul upgrading its multinational character... dream of Samarkanda in the middle of civilisation. Never to be forgotten!

Next post is coming soon.

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