Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crap: A Giant Crushed Asian

Thanks to the national craziness that is the Korean college entrance exam (see Adam's post for a great explanation), this week has been extra- wacky -- but mostly for the better!

Today, to my surprise and delight, my homestay father appeared at my desk while I was waiting for the next bus and told me he was leaving early, and would I like a ride home. Yes, please! I really would, since it's see-your-breath cold outside, and I didn't relish the thought of waiting at that not-quite-an-actual bus stop (I'll put up a picture sometime, but it's an unmarked and unremarkable slab of concrete the same height as the curb across from my school) until BusDriver McGrumpypants gave me a ride to the subway stop, waiting for a subway, and walking 15 or 20 minutes home (depending on how much New York speed and attention to right of way is observed) in, again, blow-misty-breath-to-heat-blue-nailbeds cold.


When HSF asked me on the way to the car if I liked "crap," I wasn't entirely sure how to respond. He must have seen my face, because he rushed to clarify. Spreading his arms wide, he repeated "crap, biiig crap. Big, big crushed asian."

Pause. Don't laugh. Don'tlaughdon'tlaughdon'tlaugh, don't even smile,don'tsmile. Okay, smile, but turn it into a knowing smile, not a hysterical terror-of-gotham smile.

"Maybe we will go to the fish market on the way home?"

Aha! Maybe, in all of its Korean glory, can be many things. It can, for instance, signal that perhaps one's homestay father is not suggesting you may enjoy the exceptionally large fecal matter of an Asian to whom force has been applied, but rather that you might like king crab. Ah, maybe, you're too good to me.

So we go to the market, and it's, like, way old school. Fortunately it's indoors, unfortunately that doesn't do a whole lot, heat-wise. But I don't care, I'm there like a kid in a candy store, pokin' around at stuff (but not literally, 'cause, ew). Because while I get totally wigged out around meat, and I hate passing butchers or restaurants with shop windows all filled with heads and ribs haunches and identifiably mammalian, uncomfortably familiar parts, fish markets with their big squid eyes and tiny tiny shrimp and wacky flat catfish? That's pretty awesome. None of the sea critters on display look anything like puppies (or I) do on the inside. So even though we had to wait almost a half hour for them to steam this behemoth crab, I'm still happy as a cl--well, you get the idea.

The guys at the market box up the crab for us in a super elaborate Styrofoam box, and while I know it's gotta be big because we've only bought one crab and there's 4 of us (HSM has yet to eat dinner with the family, she's been "on a diet" for 3 months), I haven't actually seen the thing yet. All I know is that the box is huge, and that the crab cost a whopping 109,000 won. And by the time we get back to the 'hood, I have to have HSF drop me off because I'm late for my first piano lesson [More on that, including getting totally schooled at a song from "The Fantasticks" by a 7-year-old, later].

So when I finally get back to the house, I have my second pleasant surprise of the day - homestay family has waited for me to get home to dig into the UberCrab.

So, without further ado, here's dinner. Crap: A Giant Crushed Asian.

NB, alternate titles for this entry included:

What Iz Zees? I 'Ave Missed One!

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Crustacean

Honey, I Have Crab

Not The Claw, The Claw!


Mr Kim (USA) said...

This post was:

(a) LOL funny
(b) dangerous to drink while reading funny

HINT: see coffee coming out of my nose.

Adam said...

omg i died a little. a small bitter part of me was a little disappointed when no actual asians were crushed.

(ps if you hadn't imagined based on my halloween costume i love your first alternative title)

Zia Lucia said...

I agree with Mr Kim (USA) -- this post is funny!

At least for you, mis-hearing the phrase "A Giant Crushed Asian" was due to an "accent," -- I, however, sometimes hear things out of wack because of a hearing problem... kind of like Gilda Radner's old lady character on SNL.