"Hangover Soup Alley"
After sessions drinking bbaegal (a particularly lethal Chinese spirit made from sorghum distilled to 150 proof) there was many an afternoon when Uncle Donald awoke with a mighty hangover to end all hangovers. However, fortunately in this traditional society there were cures at hand.
For example-- one place and one place only in all of Seoul, apparently, specialized in tung gol, ox spinal cord, blanched lightly then dressed in soy sauce, sesame oil, and spring onions. "Very rich in vitamin B," says Donald fondly in recollection. Tung gol may well have been a great delicacy; more often than not, though, he and his drinking pals would head out to Chongjin-dong, an area behind the American Embassay where there was a small lane known as "Hangover Soup Alley". There dozens of shops inevitably stayed open well after the hour of curfew (for this was during the period when all citizens were ordered to be off the streets after midnight). But there, in poky, dark little shacks, the men could lustily down bowls of haejangguk-- "hangover soup" made with fresh poached ox blood, a potent pick-me-up, before venturing out into the streets once more to dodge the imagined and sometimes real bullets of martial law Korea.
Please send any comments about this website to: