Tang Tang Chicken

June 20, 2010

In many of the restaurants in Korea the owners live in the back of the restaurant.  You can often see some of them sitting on their beds watching TV in the back of the restaurant with their children next to them maybe eating their own dinner.  It’s strange to me but I think it accomplishes two things; one, they are better utilizing the space of the building and two, with the long hours that many Koreans work it makes sense that they should just live at their place of work.  This is an idea that makes my skin crawl but I am also not Korean.  The merger of these two worlds came out in all it’s glory the other day when I went to get some chicken.

            This restaurant (Tang Tang Chicken) like almost every other restaurant will deliver to your house but since I don’t know how to communicate well on the phone I normally have to go in and wait for the food to be cooked.  I had just ordered and was sitting making weird faces at myself in the mirror when I noticed that I could see, in the back of the restaurant, a door leading into a bedroom.  I was thinking how strange it was that people lived in their own restaurants when a little boy came out of the bedroom bopping himself on the head with a piece of cardboard.  When he came a little closer I realized that he was wearing a shirt but no pants.  He continued to bop himself until he noticed me sitting there and suddenly got embarrassed and covered his face with the cardboard.   I don’t think he was embarrassed because he was naked but instead maybe he didn’t want me to be able to point him out in a lineup, “Yes officer, that’s the kid.  I was just trying to order some chicken and this little bitty flasher came into the restaurant and exposed himself, I just wanted some chicken, it was horrible” He began making his rounds of the restaurant, going over to inspect what his dad was doing at the grill, then to Mom who was folding boxes.  At this point he began to wave at me deciding that I wasn’t going to rat him out and turned to his mother again.  He clung to her leg and pulled at her pants and fussed at her.  Then putting aside all his earlier shyness or forgetting that I was there, he bent over to set his cardboard on the ground and was momentarily possessed. He began digging in his butt like a chimpanzee looking for termites.  At this point I had to put my head down because I was laughing so hard.  I was choking, trying not to laugh at the scene in front me.  The mother tried to swat his hand away and the boy simply took a few steps back and continued his progress, then got too close, was swatted at and stepped back to his safe distance. This little dance went on for maybe two minutes then just as abruptly as it began, he picked up his cardboard, turned around, waved again, then marched back into the bedroom bopping himself on the head as he went.  About then my chicken was ready and as I walked home I couldn’t help feeling an itch that I dared not scratch. 


One Response to “Tang Tang Chicken”

  1. whitney Says:

    Too funny!

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