Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Come Mr. Tally-man, tally me bananas!

An enjoyable part of Korea's tropical-esque weather (see my last post for details) is the extended and fruitful growing season for 과일 (fruit) and 야채 (vegetables). Jeju-do, an island to the south of Korea is like a little Hawaii, so its growing season for mandarins and oranges lasts into the winter! Like the farmers' market back home, dozens upon dozens of ajummas and adjoshis line the streets on my way to school with their produce laid out in rainbows. They arrange their lettuces and cucumbers in fans, fill bowls high with dry beans and mysterious grains, and then wait for customers, all the while constantly working. Their hands are always working: picking garlic cloves, counting black grocery bags, stripping leaves from stalks, snapping beans. Handwritten signs on cardboard label and price their wares. I often find myself stopping to take a closer look at a funky object, wondering what on earth it could be---if it is even edible.

But they don't grow produce like they do here, that's for sure. I thought I had tasted some fresh fruit and veggies until I got my mouth on the tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries, grapes, pineapple, oranges, bananas, plums, eggplant, cucumbers, mandarins, and melons here. Everything is grown natural, no pesticides like many farms at home. The difference is in the juice, the taste, the rate at which produce matures once you get it home. You have to enjoy it quicker, just like everything else is 빨리빨리 (faster, faster!) in Korea.

If anyone asks me what he should try from Korea firstly I say kimchi, and secondly, the abundant fruits and vegetables this country has to offer. You just might surprise yourself with what you try.

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I noticed your livejournal address on my referrer list on WordPress and I had to check it out, being a North Carolina girl myself.

    You write so well, with wonderful imagery. And wow - teaching in Korea for a year.

    I will definitely be following this blog. And I'm honored that you chose to check out my silly little Sims story.


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