Friday, December 02, 2005


In the fall, when you ride the train around through the countryside in Korea, you see flecks of orange for miles and miles. On the slow train to Andong, I was able to make out that these flecks were all pumpkins and persimmons. They seem to grow like weeds here.. SK is just blanketed with food when you think about it.. I don't see how anyone here could starve. The pumpkin vines often trail up onto abandoned rooftops in the middle of nowhere, and pumpkins sprout all over the roofs! Koreans also eat the pumpkin leaves, I've heard.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the persimmons. Koreans seem to eat them *very* raw here. They like them hard and hardly sweet. I was at one of the corner stores down the street a few weeks ago and the sweet adjummas behind the counter, who had been giggling and probably conversing about my foreign presense the whole time, handed me a persimmon slice with a grubby hand as I paid for my groceries. Isn't that the awesomest customer service ever? Oh, one of the other grocery stores near us gave us a small branch of delicate and pretty weed-like flowers too.. the kind that kids pick for their mothers from the roadside. (That's the kind of personal touch thats missing from.. ahem.. large corporations :P)

I digressed again! Back to persimmons. Yes. Persimmons. So after I ate the slice, I said "Masheesiyo!" Which means 'delicious.' The ladies grinned and stuck a whole persimmon in my bag. It was rock-hard though. I let it ripen on top of the fridge for two whole weeks! And just yesterday it was soft enough to eat (by my standards) and so much sweeter!

"Persimmon Ghosts"


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