If “Your mother does not prepare squid properly” isn’t already an insult, it should be one now. And we have our very favorite Conan O’Brien to thank for the taunt: on his recent trip to South Korea, he stopped by one of the country’s PC bang gaming cafes and tried out the local snacks.
He was not without a typical amount of Coco-esque trepidation, of course. But when you’re an out-of-towner opening a bag of squid snacks or staring down a can of silkworm pupa, how could you not be at least a little intimidated? (Spoiler alert: Conan doesn’t even allow himself to sample the silkworm snacks.)
Conan also got a chance to try his hand at some of the games in the PC bang—hence the insult regarding Korean mothers’ squid preparation skills, which he made his cafe tour guide type in Korean to taunt the players of Counter-Strike.
All humor aside, Conan’s visit to the cafe offers a fascinating peek into Korean culture: both the idea spending fourteen hours at a gaming cafe (“But that was because I was drunk and didn’t have anywhere to go”) and the snacks that feel odd and exotic to many Americans.
Conan also spent time filming a music video, guest-starring in a Korean soap opera, practicing to become a Taekwando master, and adopting a pet octopus. In the process, he proved himself to be a fantastic traveler: interested and engaged, without being judgmental.