It is closer to midnight than 11 and the world is slowly settling down into that warm, blankety zone of sleep and relaxation. Then, from the darkness outside my window comes a melancholy, undulating cry that rises and falls over and over in dreary repetition. Clearly it is a crazy person. Someone, call the police, there is a madman wandering the neighborhood, yelling at the top of his lungs at midnight.
nervous lazy to call the police, but the man keeps wandering around. Ugh, fine, I’ll go talk to him. Putting on my coat, my shoes, picking up an umbrella as an afterthought in case he attacks me. Down four flights of stairs.
Me: It’s almost midnight. What are you doing?
Apparently Crazy Man: I’m selling chapssal ddeok. Do you want to buy some?
Me: Why on earth would I want to buy ddeok at midnight?
Apparently Very Enterprising Man: I don’t know…maybe you’re hungry. Maybe you want a midnight snack.
Me: Well, do you sell anything else?
Man: No, just ddeok. Now are you going to buy some or not? I have a lot of people to wake up and annoy.
Me: No, go ahead.
Man (taking a deep breath and walking away): Ddeeeeeoooook!!!
I go back upstairs, the man’s caterwauling farther away now and muffled by the neighboring buildings. I open the fridge. Nothing appetizing. Hmm, I would like something to eat. If only I had some fresh ddeok…
(This fictional story is based on actual events and this is a real thing in Korea. Below is a video I shot last night of the man walking past our apartment after 11pm.)
November 22nd, 2013 at 9:17 am
They have that even now in Korea?
It was quite normal in Singapore back in the 1960s – any vendor tries that now and people might take the water hose to him or worse – yeah, many of us go hungry at night 🙂
November 22nd, 2013 at 10:45 am
I think back in Canada you’d get mobbed or shot for going around at night yelling anything.
November 22nd, 2013 at 11:34 pm
just loved the story David. that poor fellow must have a very desperate need of money or a fiend at home 🙂
November 23rd, 2013 at 12:05 am
I’m not sure who sells them. If I ever go down to buy some, I’ll ask him.
November 23rd, 2013 at 7:24 pm
better don’t! 🙂 the second one can be a raw place.
November 25th, 2013 at 7:18 am
The seller’s call is kind of lilting — or at least, for a few seconds from this distance! 🙂
November 25th, 2013 at 7:34 am
It does have a certain melody to it.
November 26th, 2013 at 10:22 pm
November 26th, 2013 at 10:27 pm
I think if I can find him again, I’ll run down and buy something and interview him a bit to find out more about that sort of thing. If I do, I’ll write it up here.
November 26th, 2013 at 10:40 pm
Sounds like a plan…..:) I’m glad we don’t have that here because as a nation we have enough problems with obesity as is…lol