Category Archives: language

Man Sells Rotisserie Chicken

Since the onset of fall, which is really winter here in Korea, a man has been selling rotisserie chicken on the corner of the next block from my officetel (an efficiency apartment, the name from office and hotel). He sells a whole chicken for 6,000 won (about 5.25 USD), and two for 10,000 won. About a month ago, I bought one, went home, and attempted to make a chicken sandwich, but it was so good I devoured most of the chicken before I could make the sandwich. But this is not really why I’m writing.

After buying that one chicken, I’ve since said hello to him, in Korean, which is by no means difficult, as well as giving an appropriately slight bow, which I no longer find strange, every time I pass by him and his small truck. It crossed my mind tonight that it would be nice to have a conversation with him, however brief it might end up being.

I imagine it would first be necessary to give a simple introduction of myself. Then I could ask how he got into the business of selling rotisserie chickens on the street. Then I would end up going home with another chicken, which really wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

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Life resumes as normal

The following is an attempt at a short first person account of seeing my sister off at the airport. First person account, it should be said, minus all first person pronouns.

She’s gone now, made it through the line, through the agony of flying standby. She received a seat before going through security, was given the choice of sitting next to a window or the isle. On recommendation, she took the window. Her indecision, though at first mistaken as simple indecision, came from the need to get on the plane, the focus not on where she will sit, but that she gets to sit at all. And so it goes when flying for nearly nothing back to the United States. A benefit with any luck not wasted in the future.


Severe case of wanderlust. Sitting in Incheon International, ear buds in, salsa music flowing from iPod to brain to feet, it hits. Coming to Korea was not enough. Just not enough. It should have been, but it isn’t. Sitting, feet kicked up, watching passengers from Korea, from France, from the United States, from everywhere fuels the drive, creates more lust for travel. Lucky then that flights have been booked, rooms have been reserved. The Philippines. Boracay. In less than twenty days. The sun, the sand. A drink, a book. Perfection. Now, though, the waiting, waiting for the bus back to Daegu after departure.


Colorful Chilsung on Ice


The day turned out to be what I would call pleasant. I went ice skating with the fourth grade, hundreds of kids, I don’t know for sure how many, dressed in gloves, mittens, hats, coats, dressed as polar bears. We walked in long lines for about for thirty minutes to the indoor skating rink. I learned how to say stop in Korean, I used it on two students who were walking behind me, it worked, but I can’t remember it now. Starts with a g sound. To my ears, it’s a g sound, but really the sound is somewhere between g and k, somewhere between and lost to my ears, not at all tuned to this language. At the skating rink, I learned a few more Korean words and I practiced a phrase I learned the day before, all while sipping cha. I like cha, especially in the fall and winter, and I’m supposed to be able to say that, that being  I like cha, in Korean, but I can’t remember the English spelling, I can’t visualize the English equivalent, those words that look all mixed together, words not really words but letters that represent sounds, sounds that if not produced exactly how Koreans produce them will take you to the wrong destination while in a taxi, or to a blank look on your Korean friend’s face, leaving her saying, What? What? It’s baffling sometimes, this language, being here, walking thirty minutes with hundreds of students to an ice skating rink, but as you can see, my days still end in something that I would call pleasant, even when most of it was spent in a haze, me trying to adapt, adapting.