Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Korean Street Waffle Adventure

Our most recent day trip took us to Dongdaemun. The kids and I trolled through the endless fabric market, and hit up an amazing sock shop. Which left us hungry for a snack.

We usually just fallow our nose until we smell something yummy. This day it was waffles! We came to a corner and spotted a little snack counter with waffles, and little egg sandwich looking things. Earlier in the week I had a friend tell us about these waffles that you can get at little stands by the subway, and how amazing they were. 

 All tummies agreed, so we ordered. Now my Korean language skills are improving, but my vocabulary is still limited. I relied on the trusty "point, and nod". The little 할머니 (halmeoni, grandmother) was very excited to see the kids. As most Korean's find my little blonde monsters to be cute and exotic. I said waffle, and she understood. She lost me though when she started to ask what toppings we wanted. I just smiled and nodded. While she slathered on a topping that looked like a cross between frosting and butter on one half. On the other she added something that is like a thick honey. 

 Meanwhile, Danika filled me in on her first hair pulling incident. With the commotion of what to order, and the excitement of waffles distracting us, a middle aged gentleman came up and tugged on Danika's hair. (I suppose Korean's do this out of sheer curiosity. Like a kid pulling Santa's beard at the department store.) This is something that we were warned about once we moved here, and tried to prepare them for. Luckily, the kids take it in good humor, or at least I remind them it is a compliment. On the other end of the spectrum, they often receive little gifts from vendors when we are out shopping. I had stopped to buy some trim at one place, and before we left she cut them eat a piece of different cording and made them bracelets. One gentleman gave them an ice cold bottle of tea, because it was so hot in the fabric market. 

Halmeoni finished our waffle by folding it in half, and then cutting it into half again. Wrapping each part in a little paper card, and handing them to the kids. We walked to the side of the counter and rested for a bit at the rickety little tables and chairs. The kids were all smiles with gooey buttery waffle goodness filling their bellies. Not five minutes into eating their waffle and Halmeoni walked around the corner and brought them an ice cold drink. She gestured for them, and they both replied, "감사합니다"(kamsahamnida, Thank you.) Of course both the kids had asked me what it was, and I told them it must be iced tea. Danika took the first sip, and made the funniest face. I quickly took a fallow up sip, and it was iced coffee. (Leaving me thinking, "just what I need, my kids cracked out on coffee") Looking up at the sign it says, "Waffles & Coffee". What a perfect combination! It was definitely a "duh! mom" moment. So, I got to enjoy a very good iced coffee while they finished their waffles.

With our bellies full, we started to wash the sticky from our hands with our water bottles, and begin to pack up our belongings. Danika and I both had just about hit our coffee limit for the day when Halmeoni came around the corner with a second cup of iced coffee for us. We both looked at each other, and did a full tummy groan. We graciously accepted it, and divided it between the two cups. At that point we devised our escape plan. 

We are very thankful for the gifts that people give us, so we took our coffee to go. Drank as much as we could stomach, and disposed of the rest. One thing I have enjoyed about Korean culture is the giving. They give and receive from the heart, and you can see that in their every day passion. It is that simple.


1 comment:

  1. Just plain awesome! Reading this is like being right there with you guys.