Saturday, August 16, 2008

As Written Yesterday Morning

Currently it is 11 a.m. on Friday morning, and I am sitting in a Korean bakery with an empty cinnamon roll container (somehow I reasoned it healthier than the fresh donuts) and an empty carton of strawberry milk (honestly, it was either that or chocolate milk.) As I sit here pondering a sugar coma (nap), I am watching 2 street vendors. The school is on a busy street (4 bakeries in 1 block, post office, fire station, police station, 3 convenience stores of the same brand [GS25]), so for what is 300 meters (and continues another 300 meters past the bridge), there are fruit, vegetable, fried food, clothing, and hair scrunchy shops operated out of vehicles that never leave the street. Well, except mandoo guy. I think he is off celebrating today, 1 of 3 independence days, all from Japan.

I am sitting and watching these women, starting to wonder if they are friends or enemies. They spend most of the day sitting with one another, setting up shop and stacking their fruit in perfect little pyramids in baskets, hoping someone will buy some--or all--and free their minds momentarily over the meager electric bill. What else makes me wonder is the fact that much of what they are selling is the same. Nectarines, tangerines, the starts of the region's famous apple crops, onions, and some squash varieties. Usually they have mass amounts of garlic, green onions, and potatoes, too. On the other side of the bridge are the people selling fish and ell exposed for the brave buyer. There is even a little old man who makes his living selling shucked garlic. I think I admire him most of all. He found his niche in thi garlic-loving market, and he makes a go of it every single day. Almost all day, too. I remember watching him set up shop at 10 a.m., and taking ti down as I walked by at a quarter to 8, with most of his cache gone.

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