Friday, June 24, 2005

ten minutes to spare

Ten minutes early for my lunch date. 1/4 of a block. GO!

Directly in front of me was the first parking meter I've noticed in all of Korea. I didn't realize they even had them since cars seem to just park wherever they want to. I'm not joking. People park on the sidewalk. People will park so that they are completely blocking in another car without thinking about it. This has become the norm to the point that people have cute little signs or hand embroidered pillows on their dashboard with their cellphone number on it. If their car has trapped you in the space, you just call them up on the phone and tell them to come move their car. I was tempted to put a 100 Won coin in it just to see if it actually worked, and to make sure I wasn't hallucinating.

Next, hungry out of my mind, I walked over to the sushi restaurant next to the rendez-vous point and looked at the pretty pictures of the food. Curious as to what they call some of these thing in Korean, I started to read the signs. Okay so I'm sounding out this one and it says "ra-e-suh rol," basically rice roll. There is a word for rice in Korean. As a matter of fact, they have several words for rice. "Bap" for when it's cooked and "sol" one for when it's uncooked. Why would you translate something like that into ENGLISH and then write it in KOREAN? It's not like it's a hamburger. I don't get it.

I wandered into the Paris Baguette, which actually is quite different than the Paris Croissant I visit more often, due to its close proximity to work (ie. it's in the same building), but they seem to be of the same chain or something. French bakeries are really popular and we have quite a few in the hood. I like the Koreanized French pastries the best. The green tea mousses, the sweet potato cakes, and the strange little pizza thingies or hotdog pastries (well, these last two I enjoy looking at them, eating them is a different story completely). After drooling over the chocolate cakes and raspberry fabulousness I wandered back to the street.

I was bored. I started to count the little yellow melons on the street vendors cart. I have yet to try these. I'm not exactly sure how to cut and eat them properly. I started to wonder... if all the melons on the cart were cube-shaped, how many little yellow ones would stack up to measure the same height as the watermelon.

By then my ten minutes had come to a close and I was so happy to go eat bori bap. Yummy. I realized after lunch that I had spent ten minutes taking pictures of totally random and bizarre things.

I think all of this insanity is a result of my recent insomnia and coffee drinking. I just don't sleep anymore. It makes me a bit nutty, but things are slightly more interesting this way.

By far the best catch of the day was found on the walk to work. Yes, it's true. It's a vending machine with a pay phone. I wouldn't have ever come up with this one. My first attempt to take a picture was foiled by some guy trying to engage me in conversation. I didn't understand a word he was saying, but what it came around to was that the phone doesn't actually work. Maybe it did once upon a time, but now it doesn't. Dude was trying to be helpful, but he wouldn't get out of my shot.

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