There’s one depravity I indulge in more often than I care to admit. On the street outside my building there is a small vendor selling these delicious Korean pancake-type things. I have asked what they are called at least a dozen times, and on each occasion I totally forget it. In any case, it looks like this:
This stuff is pure taste bud bliss. I’m not sure of everything that is inside it, but it’s some kind of batter mixed in with brown sugar. When you bite into it, your tongue encounters some delightfully sweet syrupy stuff. Sometimes it is a bit too hot, but when it’s perfect, it is PERFECT. Mmmmm.
Anyway, today after work I decided to purchase one of these delicacies. The lady at the vendor booth had just taken it off the griddle. She inserted it in the cardboard holder with a flourish and handed it to me. I gave her the required 500 won coin, thanked her, then turned around and entered my building. The elevator door was just starting to close, so I hoofed it and managed to snake my way in before the doors snapped shut.
Inside the elevator was a 40ish man and his 8ish year old daughter. This little girl showed no fear, and was staring at me with wide eyes. She walked over to me, uttered a loud”Hi!” and waved at me. I smiled and waved back. I stole a glance at the father and he shrugged at me helplessly. I’m used to this sort of thing, so I nodded to let him know it was OK. The little girl kept waving and smiling, and I kept doing the same.
Then I took a nonchalant bite of my pancake.
Remember when I said that they are sometimes hot? This was one of those times.
The hot syrup jettisoned out of the pancake, splattering my chin with it’s intense, searing heat. I yelped and grimaced and did the owie-burnie dance while my new friend’s expression transformed from grinning innocence to a kind of freaked-out perplexion. The elevator doors opened and they couldn’t leave fast enough.
I have always possessed the unique ability of being able to charm a person one minute and systematically scare them off the next. I’m happy to see Korea hasn’t dulled my talent.