Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hi-Mart, the Magnetron and Me

My rival blogger and supervillain (who calls himself "Literaryhero" in a textbook example of irony) Andy has been bragging on insufferably about his cool new digs and his cool new work computer, blah blah blah.

Well, I just got a new microwave oven and a nice stand to put it on, so there, Literaryhero! Er, here:

It isn't actually new, but it's new to me. It belonged to S. and D., my Canadian friends who live in the building. They are moving back to Newfoundland at the end of the week, after living in Seoul for five years.

One of the great expat rituals is giving away/selling your shit that you can't take with you when you move. I had claimed the microwave a couple weeks ago. How much? "Whatever you think is right." I hate that.

So I dropped by Hi-Mart to price them out. Looking around downstairs, I saw the rice cookers, convection ovens and the electric fry pans. So I asked the nearest clerk, "Microwave?"

She looked at me like I have two heads. I hate that. Now, the Korean word for "microwave" is "microwave". Actually, it's "mic-uh-rowabe-uh" (마이크로웨브) but give me a freaking break.

I found the mic-uh-rowabe-uhs upstairs, where the no-frills model was about 70,000 W and the next one up was 95,000 W. Now, this was at Hi-Mart, which is an appropriately-named store if ever there was one.

So I gave them 50,000 W for the whole apparatus. In addition to the microwave itself, the stand has 1) another flat surface to put stuff on, 2) a drawer to accumulate junk, and 3) a cabinet below, which is now my liquor cabinet.

Nice folks that they are, S. and D. threw in a spare extension cord and some left over liquor. Now I gotta run to E-Mart and buy some microwave food.


조안나 said...

I love that microwave stand... I want it!

Tuttle said...

To quote The Who, regarding the Magic Bus, "You caaaaan't have it!"

The microwave is on a shelf that slides out. And I was able to fit the receptacle down along the side, so it's even better.

SuperDrew said...

The Korean word for microwave is '전자레인지" you rube! That means 'electric range'. Shame on you! (And don't make me take a picture of my brand new microwave!!!)

BTW - Friday?

Foreigner Joy said...

A microwave closet like you have is actually a piece of essential furniture in office-tell living. Without we are stuck putting that stuff on our TV stand or ....the floor.

I was happy this year when my place came with one. haha

Tuttle said...

Well, I copied that from my phone dictionary so talk to them you rube!

Friday, what?

SuperDrew said...

There is a difference between a 'microwave' (being an actual electromagnetic wave) and a 'microwave oven', which is actually 2 definitions down. L2UTD NUB!

BTW - Friday, I don't know, something. I'll try to hash something out and let you know. Unless of course you have something going on already.

Tuttle said...

But that's even worse; a range is a conventional oven with a cooktop on top--mine doesn't meet any part of that definition!

and anyway, a clerk in Hi-Mart doesn't know that a microwave oven, even if it's called a 전자레인지, cooks via microwaves? That's just as bad!

Friday's good, but I have to teach Saturday afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Blame the Samsung and the Japanese. '전자레인지' is actually the Korean pronunciation of 'densi(電子) range,' a borrowed Japlish word. Easier to pronounce, just like 'terebi' instead of 'television.'

Btw. it is a Korean custom to treat your friends with food when you buy something that you want to boast about. Emart now has some nasty fried rice stuff that is selling like crazy these days, I hear. I fry it with olive oil, though. Tastes far better.

-A Korean Student

SuperDrew said...

Blame the Japanese? I don't claim to be a word historian here, but since it is written in kanji the root would be Chinese. So, if we look at the hanja for '전자' it comes out as '電子'.

Anonymous said...

>since it is written in kanji the root would be Chinese

Written in kanji, yeah. But the Chinese use '微波炉' instead, which is the direct translation of micro-wave-oven. The word 'electronic range' was coined by Toshiba in 1959 and was borrowed by Goldstar (not Samsung, I found out) in 1981 when it began manufacturing the first Korean microwave oven.

-A Korean student