Sure we like to mix thing up every now and then, hop flights to faraway countries to live, go on vacations when we have no hotel/flight/transportation reservations, and so on.
But when it comes down to the humdrum of everyday life, we tend to find something we like, and then exhaust it in a way that would make our goldfish want to jump out of his bowl just for a change in scenery.
Take, for example, our foodways.
After more than a year in Korea, we have figured out a system in ordering food from a local diner. (We have started a list of things we never would have experienced, learned, or eaten if we had left after 12 months.)
We had tried unsuccessfully to order from a diner in our old neighborhood last year. But unfortunately for us, they were quite popular and were always busy. And not in the mood to try to decipher our podunk attempt at speaking Korean over the telephone. Foreign languages are so much harder when you can’t use hand motions. They would try once or twice, because they do know us and are friendly to us when we eat at their diner, but then would say, “Soreeee. No.” Click.
But in our first week at the new apartment, Whit ran into a diner delivery man in our stairway who was posting magnet ads on every door. Turns out, he spoke a few words of English. And later that night, we called up the diner, ordered our bibimbap (spicy rice and veggies) and jjigaes (Korean stew) through his broken English and our very broken Korean.
That man doesn’t even work for our (it’s ours now) diner anymore. We’re not sure where he went. But we’ve ordered food from them every school night since that August evening when we moved in. Seriously. Every. Night. Oh. And the funny part of it all is that we don’t even know where the diner is located. It’s like a man on a motorcycle delivers our food from heaven every night, and then does the dishes for us the next day. More on this in a minute.
It works beautifully. Not just because of Whit’s ability to order in Korean. But mainly because we are their token foreigners, the strangey ones who order from them every night. Whit never even has to say his name or address. They just know from his “Annyong Haseo!” And within 10 minutes, a man still adorned in his motorcycle helmet comes pounding up the steps and rings our doorbell with our hot dinner.
Why else do we never get tired of it?
1. Despite the fact they have over 30 items on their menu, I order the same thing every night. Kimchi jjigae (hot hot spicy kimchi stew). Whit is increasingly amazed I haven’t gotten sick on it yet. I am too. Whit usually gets one of two or three things–usually consisting of kimchi and rice. The food is just really really good.
2. We don’t have to cook. Have you seen our counter space?!? Enough said.
3. Best part: We don’t do dishes. Seriously. Get this. They deliver the food in real plates and bowls, with silverware (the signature silver chopsticks and spoons), and then. Prepare yourself. They pick it up the next day. Didn’t eat all your food? No biggie. Just leave it out in the hallway. They’ll clean it.
Sound amazing? It is.
Oh yeah. And for both of us to eat: 7,000 won, which roughly translates to about $5.