gonna make some bread up in here.

Today I set off on a mission to find the “baking district”.  I got directions from Aliens day out and studied my subway map.  Feeling pretty confident (except for the tiny bit of directions that were in Korean) I set off to find me some baking goods.

The subway was a piece of cake (no pun intended) even with the transfer—my first solo transfer!  Once off the subway, I made my way through the station looking for the correct exit. Once out on the street, I walked past a line of yarn stores (just as the directions described!).  The next turn was going to be tricky though, as this was the part in Korean.  I had tried to copy down the symbols but got frustrated so I only had the first three of six.  I walked until I came to an intersection where I was forced to turn right into a shop filled ally or take stairs to the underground shopping area.  I decided to give the ally a shot.  Soon I was surrounded by baking tools and ingredients—most of which I recognized!  I browsed the shops and used my Korean to ask “how much” about all the different yummies.  I purchased some whole wheat flour (Bob’s Red Mill—eeessshhh, it was expensive), dried cranberries, and some yeast.  Then I made my way to a shop that sells OVENS!  I couldn’t help myself.  I asked how much and the price was right, so I bought it!

This is when the story gets good.  I buy this oven, it’s only a toaster/convection oven, but it’s a good size. The guy looked at me like I was crazy when I told him I was going to get it home on the subway.  He tried to get me a cab but I had no idea how much it would be to take a cab all the way home so I started carrying this thing down the street.  It had gotten dark since I went into the shops and I was a little disoriented when I came back out to the street.  I hailed a taxi, thinking I would just take it to the next subway station so at least I could cut my transfer.  I started to get in and told him where I wanted to go and he shook his head and pointed to the other side of the street.  Out I climbed, oven in tow and started walking.  I ended up in the underground shopping area and saw signs for the subway so I followed them, stopping every 50 steps to put the box down and readjust.   I made it to the platform and onto the train without too much trouble.

Then I had to transfer. Wow.  I made my way off the first train and followed the signs for the other line. When the train arrived I knew it was going to be crazy.  It was jammed with people and there were a lot of people waiting to get on.  Soon as the doors opened, people started pushing their way in.  I picked up my box and tried to flow with them.  Once on the train, I put the box down in the first open spot I saw.  Unfortunately, the people behind me could not see the box and only saw the open space in front of me so everyone started to push me!  Eeeeekkk!  I started falling forward and struggled to catch my balance.  Finally, the pushing stopped but everyone looked at me like, “WHY YOU CAUSING SO MUCH TROUBLE, BLUE EYES!”  At each stop, people shuffled around me to get off—looking at me, looking at my box.  For the first time since being in Korea, I was too hot.  I felt like I was in the oven. By the time we got to my stop, the train had mostly cleared out and I was grateful to not have to fight a crowd getting off with my oven.  Each time the train stopped and the doors opened, a gush of cold air came in.  Aw–back in the freezer for me! Who knew taking a subway at rush hour in Korea with an oven would be such a hassle????

I followed the crowd towards the exit but decided to pull over and let everyone pass before I attempted the stairs.  I must have readjusted a zillion times to try to find the best hold.  Wouldn’t you know…FINALLY, someone offered to help!  This young chap came running up there stairs and pointed to the box.  I sighed and smiled and handed it over (keeping a close eye on him–I wasn’t about to lose another oven).  He carried it down the stairs and through the card swipe for me (which had been a huge struggle on the way into the station).  He carried it all the way out to the street for me and helped me get it into a cab.  I say “Thank you” in Korean a thousand times a day but I was so flustered I couldn’t remember how to say it so I kept saying “Thank you…Thank you sooo much.”  I told the driver where to go and within 15 minutes I was home—this time, the oven made it home.

My arms were still trembling when Josh walked in the door (home for his break) and saw the oven.  I told him the story and he said something to the effect of, “That’s why I married you…” haha. I’m sure there were other reasons but it was nice to hear after such a journey.

I’m in the process of making bread but I think I killed the yeast—as I accidentally got fresh yeast—its looking pretty stinkin’ flat.  Aw well, Josh will eat pretty much anything and I just so happen to like flat bread!

Other tidbits:

Booked a trip to Japan!  I will be traveling alone by train and ferry to go see my friend Aya.  She came to ASU on a study abroad program a few years ago and is now back in Japan teaching. Its an overnight ferry and I think I get a bed.  I’m going to pretend I’m on a cruise (minus the exotic food and entertainment).

I’m going straight from Japan to meet Josh and some friends on Jeju Island for the Lunar New Year.  Well, I’m taking the ferry back to Korea (overnight again) and then getting on a different overnight ferry to Jeju—lots of cruising for me! Jeju is like the Hawaii of Korea….except its cold right now.  They are going to do quite a bit of cycling and I’m going to enjoy running in a new place.

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3 Comments

  1. mjorgey said,

    January 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Oh my gosh. I totally killed the yeast. I’m too embarrassed to even share how I went about managing my fresh yeast. It went against everything I new about yeast and I did it anyway. The bread turned out flat but we enjoyed it anyway 🙂

  2. Anna said,

    January 21, 2011 at 2:31 am

    I LOVE the subway/oven story…Nathan and I laughed out loud–with you, of course =) You are so brave and adventuresome! Love it. Have fun in Japan!

  3. mjorgey said,

    January 21, 2011 at 5:07 am

    It was pretty ridiculous, Anna. My arms are still sore. ha.


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