Thursday, October 10, 2013

What I Got at the Market

While downtown at the outdoor market, I needed to buy two carrots and two cucumbers.

Instead, the woman gave me four carrots and four cucumbers.
A head of lettuce.
Six chili peppers.
And a handful of green onions.
For $6.
"Service-uh," she tells me.

These exchanges bring me joy not just because I got a ton of food for a cheap price, but because I got to have a small adventure in the process. The moment when she looks at me wearily, I say, "Anyoung haseyo!" and she perks up because I am speaking her language. I point, she says things in Korean and reaches for a bag. I ask, "Olma ayeo?" (how much?). She holds up fingers. I repeat. Hand her the wrong bill. She gestures again. I get it right. She smiles. Before handing me my change, she waves her hand in front of her face, points at me, and fumbles out the word, "Beautiful." Yes, I agree. She is.

She says other things to me in Korean. I smile. She laughs.

And the world feels a little smaller.


Karalee Rhuman said...

I can relate to this, and that makes me smile.