One night, I finished work a bit late and headed out to catch the bus. Once on the bus, I realized I needed to go to Emart to buy a few things. I had recently decided I need to take better care of myself, and so I was determined to go to Emart and buy vegetables. I had no vegetables at all in my fridge, and my new, more healthy self was not going to be satisfied with the little tiny bit of Kimchi that I ate at school with lunch. I therefore stayed on the bus a couple stops longer than usual and got off near Emart. I walked the last couple blocks and then wandered inside.
Once there, I forgot the vegetables and wandered upstairs to look at the turtles. I’m really tempted to buy a turtle from Emart, because they’re absolutely adorable, and they swim along in their little tank and try to follow my finger along the glass, which I think is super cute. After playing with the turtles and admiring the parakeets and all the brightly colored fish, I wandered back downstairs and collected a zucchini, a green pumpkin, and a few potatoes. Then I remembered that I needed coffee.
By then I was super hungry, and I was tempted to forgo the coffee, but I knew that I would really regret that decision in a short time, as in, the following morning when I woke up and remembered that there was no coffee. I went to the coffee aisle. The coffee is mostly instant, which is pretty disgusting, but I drink it at work anyway. At home though, I drink real coffee. I grind it myself every morning in my blender and hand drip it. Mmmm. I prefer Starbucks coffee, but at Emart, that’s not an option, so I had begun purchasing a brand called “Jardin” which tastes pretty good to me. A 1 pound bag is about $12, which seems a decent price to me, considering Starbucks is $18. However, this time, they were all out of the kind I usually buy, having only the light roast, and the hazelnut available. Hazelnut is not an option for me because I’m allergic, and I didn’t really want the light roast. I like medium and dark roast much more. While I debated my options, my stomach growled and I actually began to consider leaving without the coffee and drinking instant until I bothered to make another trip to Emart when they would hopefully have “my kind” of coffee. It was at that moment, that I caught sight of the most glorious thing: a whole kilo of “my kind” of coffee. Whole-bean espresso roast. Yay! A kilo was a lot more than I was planning on buying, but I pulled it from the shelf and when I saw that it was only $20 I was delighted ( a kilo is 2.2 pounds, so that’s more than twice the amount in the $18 Starbucks bag or coffee, or the $12 bag of Jardin coffee.). I headed to the check-out stand without further ado, my stomach growling again as I waited in line with my giant bag of happiness and the aforementioned vegetables (but alas, no turtle, I still haven’t committed to a pet, and probably won’t ever do so as long as I’m living in Korea).
Upon exiting Emart, and retrieving my belongings (including two textbooks) from the lockers in the entry way, I began to second guess my decision. Sure, it was my favorite kind of coffee. Sure, it would be really, really tasty tomorrow morning, and it was a lot cheaper than I had expected. But it was HEAVY. And I was SO hungry. I began to imagine how nice it would be to stop and take a little nap on the sidewalk; anything to set down that enormous bag for a while. Then I imagined that if I fell asleep on the sidewalk, I would just die of starvation in my sleep and never wake up. I would become that skeleton awkward duck that everyone just had to step around.
That Awkward Duck skeleton
Just as I was becoming extremely melodramatic and imagining my death by kilo-of-coffee-carrying and starvation, I walked past the door to Pizza Hut and came to an abrupt stop. It was at this point I realized that even if I managed to keep going and not lay down and become an awkward duck skeleton on the sidewalk, I would not only have to climb the humongous hill up to my apartment and get inside, but once inside, I would have to cook dinner. And how could I possibly think about cooking a healthy dinner with all those vegetables I bought when there was the heavenly smell of gourmet pizzas wafting out of the entry to this pizza heaven? I went inside.
Climbing the stairs up to the second floor restaurant took all the energy I had left. The silly waitress asked me how many people would be dining. I defiantly told her one, because there is totally nothing wrong with going out for pizza all by your lonesome. I considered the salad bar, but since it’s mostly comprised of kimchi and pasta salads, I decided it wouldn’t be worth it. I chose the cheesiest pizza on the menu and decided to add on the sweet potato mozzarella crust, because it’s my favorite. I ding-donged* the bell and the waitress hurried over. I pointed with the pizza with the golden-cheesy-goodness crust and she smiled. “Small?” she asked. I frowned. I hadn’t thought about size. “Large.” I said, decisively, ignoring her look of surprise. I told myself I would cook some zucchini when I got home, but in truth, I just ate four slices of glorious cheesy goodness for dinner, enjoyed myself thoroughly, and then stumbled home with my veggies and kilo of coffee, and put the coffee in the cupboard and the veggies in the fridge, where they would remain waiting for the day when the leftover cheesy goodness was gone and I would once again decide to cook healthy food.
Happy Awkward Duck after pizza
*tables in Korea have what appears to be a doorbell fixed to them, which you push when you’re ready to order, or need anything else from the server. It’s the smartest thing ever, and I don’t know why we don’t have them in the US.