Food stand = Food poisoning. That was my first impression because the food seemed to be outside for hours in a place where many cars pass by. The amount of black dust collecting on my window sill shows how unsanitary the food could be.
But I noticed that there was this one food stand in my neighborhood that always seemed to have at least one customer whenever I passed by. Since it seemed to be popular, I decided to give it a try.
On my first attempt, the stand was not there, probably because it was a weekend. That made me want to try the food even more. My second try was on a rainy weekday. There was a high school boy that ordered before me, so I had to wait patiently for two chicken skewers to be grilled.
When the lady was done with grilling the first one, she asked me what I wanted, so I pointed and said “Ee-go Ju-sae-yo (This please).” I paid her first, and she started grilling. I was glad to see that she cooks it well after I order it, instead of just handing me what was cooked hours ago.
Since I wanted to take it home instead of eating it there while standing, I said “po-jang (wrap it to-go).” I was afraid that she wouldn’t understand, but she smiled and repeated what I said. It’s a great feeling when local Koreans can understand what I want to say. Although it’s better to speak in a full sentence, it’s hard to get it out on-the-go, and it also seems to be easier to just say the keywords when they know I’m a foreigner.
Once she was done grilling, she asked me what sauce I wanted. She recommended me the BBQ sauce with cheese powder and mustard, so I went with that. My chicken was wrapped in an aluminum foil and tossed in a black bag within seconds. She said “Jal ga-saeyo~ (Please go well = good bye),” as I left. I don’t know what to say in return, but hopefully I’ll learn soon. Maybe a Thank you will be appropriate.
After I got all my side dishes prepared on the table, I took a bite into the chicken. The first thing that came out was a happy sigh and joyful “mmm~~.” Then the word “heavenly” crossed my mind. It also made me crave some beautiful white rice to complement it. Each bite made me repeat that feeling of happiness. Is there something that makes me addicted to that beautiful mixture of sauce?
I will definitely be back to this food stand. Maybe the lady will remember my face after several visits.