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.)