Sunday, July 26, 2009

The secret Travel Bistro

This weekend Court and I went into to Seoul to sort out our VISA for visiting China.
We've booked our trip to China through a travel agent in Itaewon, Marco Polo, run by Marco Chang. He's a quiet looking fellow, with an unassuming office on the forth floor of a building with Burger King on the ground floor. He was sitting behind his desk in a floral Hawaiian shirt when we visited him.
He's certainly a man of many interests. Firstly, unlike many of the Koreans that I have encountered, he is interested in exploring the world outside of Korea. Secondly he is an avid saxophonist. He has Selmer Mark VI, which he has the serial number of memorised. He practices regularly. He favourtie tunes are Laura and Desperado.
Finally he is an entrepreneur.
Once we'd finished with the business of sorting out our VISA, he took on a conspiratorial tone, leaned in close and said, "I have a new business idea." In his tiny and office, the only one on the fourth floor, he looked left and right before putting a finger to his lips and saying, "But it's a secret."
Now sharing this with the world probably makes me a terrible person, but as the adage goes; any publicity is good publicity, so I see myself as doing him a favour spreading the word.
Marco Polo's new super secret business plan is to open a shop which, by day, is a travel agents, but by night, it transforms into a Jazz bistro where live music and good food awaits. Interesting idea. We then spent the next 30 minutes with Marco performing the role of advisers to the name of his new venture. Should it be called a Pub, a Tavern, a Restaurant or a Bistro? Bistro's fine. Next should it be Travel and Bistro, Travel & Bistro, Bistro and Travel or Bistro & Travel? Travel & Bistro. Should the '&' be big or small? Small. It was fun at first, but all the talk of food was making me hungry, so before he starting asking us to help him pick colours for the sign we made our excuses and had a kebab.

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