Monday, May 24, 2010

Expensive Lunch - Thursday, April 15, 2010

Late last night we got a teaser of good news. Mrs. Kim was headed back up to her sister's mountain cottage in the morning, to do some more work. She wanted us to come along for the ride. This is the chance I've been waiting for. First of all, it involves a train ride, second it was something new for me to see, and third it was an old traditional Korean house, very authentic and rustic. It ought to make for some great pictures or video. We were to go in the morning and return that afternoon, a day trip.

This morning when we got up, I was excited about leaving on our little trip, when Ok Hwa informed me that Mrs. Kim had changed her mind. She wanted to make the trip on her own, and she was spending the night, too. Oh, well, maybe next time.

After Mrs. Kim left on the ten o'clock bus, we had a lazy morning here at the house. After a couple of hours boredom set in, and we decided to go into town. We caught the twelve o'clock bus with no clear objective except lunch.

In town, Ok Hwa wanted Bi Bim Bab, of course, but I talked her into having hamburgers instead. We went over to the Home Plus building, and up to the sixth floor Cine Mall. There, we settled on Kraze Burgers, an upscale burger joint. The burgers were seven to ten dollars each, fries for two-fifty, a green salad for seven-fifty, and a couple of Cokes for two-fifty each. I don't know what came over me, ordering all this food, and at these prices, too. The food was good, though. The burgers were very tasty, but had a sauce, "Kraze Sauce", that was a little different. The fries were excellent, and so was the salad, although it had some more of that "Kraze Sauce" on it. The tab was 36,000 wan, about thirty-four dollars American. An expensive experiment in Korean fine dining that we will not be repeating.

Back on the streets we headed over to the Jungang Market to see what we could see. We are always drawn to this place. It's just such a visceral experience to stroll those bustling byways. It's like street culture on steroids.

We ended up over at the D/C dollar store again. The guy at the check-out counter recognizes us by now, and gives a courteous bow and a friendly "Anyasao" greeting as we come in. She needed some laundry soap, or something like that for the house, but always manages to find some pretty little thing for herself, also. This time it was a nice little hair stick, with a pretty little jeweled fob hanging off the end. Very becoming. I was surveying some future purchases I wanted to make, to take home for gifts. They have some pretty cool things there that some young people I know might like.

Heading back through the Jungang Market to our bus stop, we picked up a few vegetables for dinner, and she found a nice pair of those pajama-style house pants like she got for her mom the other day. They have an elastic waist and are gathered at the ankle by more elastic, but are loose and flowing in between. They look like comfy, modern harem pants.

At the bus stop our timing was right. We caught the 308 at 4:08, and were on our way back home. It was a bit crowded, and I had to stand most of the way. About half way out to the valley, an ancient, but elegant woman got on the bus. She looked to be about one hundred years old, but was in excellent shape. She was slender, tall, and strait, without that osteoporosis curved back you see on so many of the older women here. She was simply, but sharply dressed, too. She wore a pretty pink jacket with embroidered design, light colored tweed slacks, and city shoes with flat heels. She topped it off with a nice wool cap with a short brim. A very well put together woman. Her face was beautiful, also. I can imagine she broke many a man's heart in her younger days. When she got on the bus, everyone stepped back to make way for her, and several of the older ladies who were sitting got up out of their seats and offered them to her. I've never seen that happen before. She chose one of the offered seats and alighted with perfect dignity and grace, without any arrogance at all. I was in awe of her, and kept stealing glances toward her as we rode along. She sat perfectly composed, seeming oblivious to all around her. About half way up the Sacheon Valley road, she got off and headed up one of the little lanes toward some houses in the distance, queen of all she beheld.
A short slide show of Kraze Burgers, and the D/C Store:

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