Sunday, September 24, 2006

i geo mweon-ji aseyo?

The local California Roll restaurant is back in business after its recent renovation, and I've already been there twice to grab my favorite cashew chicken dish, which rocks.

My Saturday meal went smoothly (the appetizer arrived a minute after the main course... not to worry, though), but when I went to the cash register to pay, something funny happened.

While standing next to the register, I glanced down and noticed that the resto was selling little bottles of American apple cider-- Martinelli's, to be exact. That's a fairly well-known brand where I come from. As I hadn't had apple juice or cider in ages, I asked the cashier how much a bottle would cost. "Two thousand won each," she said. A ridiculous price, but I paid W4000 for two little bottles, along with W13,500 for my cheese roll appetizer and kick-ass chicken dish. (As you might guess, this was the only meal of the day for me. Or maybe you wouldn't guess that.)

The cashier, a college girl, indicated the apple cider and asked me in all seriousness, "Do you know what this is?" I had to laugh, because she asked the question in a tone that implied I might not know what I was purchasing. I assumed my patented Friendly Amusement Expression and repeated her question in a mocking tone: "'Do you know what this is?' Ha!" The girl was embarrassed and tripped over herself to explain that she thought I thought I might be purchasing alcohol or something. "I wasn't trying to insult you," she said twice. I laughed and said it was nothing. I was simply amused.

Imagine what it would be like to hold a bottle of kimchi up to a Korean and ask, "Do you know what this is?" Heh.


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