DAEGU KOREA

Watermelon Man!

September 13, 2015

neighborhood watermelon man #daegu #korea #southkorea #ig_daegu #watermelon #fruittruckkorea #eatlocalwatermelon manwatermelon manwalking home with a korean watermelon2015-09-13 06.00.41 1

why do I find this photo of Sly toting a watermelon baby through the streets of Korea so amusing?

my baby watermelon

babysitting the watermelon while Sly scanned us in to our apartment

korean watermelonkorean watermelonkorean watermelon

On our walk home from the bus stop after a rainy afternoon of shopping and eating in downtown Daegu, we stumbled across a guy selling a truckload of watermelons. Usually this part of our neighborhood — a somewhat busy intersection in between several residential high rise apartments — is filled with street vendors and pop-up markets on any given weekend, but since it had been raining off an on all day, all the vendors had closed shop. Except for Watermelon Man.

As we slowly walked by, bellies absolutely gorged from a late lunch feeding frenzy at Wild Sushi, we both came to the same conclusion: we wanted a watermelon. After all my yapping about Korean CSA boxes the one thing we had not received all summer was watermelon (though we received many other types of wonderful local melons). In the winter, the average cost of a watermelon is approximately $35 or more. Under $30 is a real steal. Watermelon Man was selling his watermelons for about $10 each. We knew we had to get one before fall officially arrived.

Just moments prior we had no intention of eating anything but lettuce for dinner, but after looking at a flat of perfectly round, bright green watermelons, we both turned to one another and said, “want to eat watermelon for dinner?” We agreed it sounded like the perfect plan.

Sly thumped about 10 watermelons while I scoured the truck bed for the roundest, greenest, heaviest melon. Watermelon Man wrapped up our melon in plastic twine and Sly walked home swinging our little watermelon baby. When we finally got around to eating dinner, we sliced up our poor little melon and ate it along side a plate of cheese and crackers and huge mugs of hot tea. The melon was filled with so much juice that the moment I pierced it with the tip of my knife, the watermelon split open like a can of Pilsbury biscuits. It turned out to be the juiciest, sweetest most delicious watermelon we have had in a long time.

Today we went back in search of Watermelon Man but he wasn’t there. Hopefully that won’t be the last and only time we see him. Come back Watermelon Man!

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4 Comments

  • Reply Young Soo Ahn September 13, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    The name,꿀수박(Honey Watermelon), sounds good, looks good and tastes good as its name depicts itself ! Those melons do not have many seeds either. Great story !

    • Reply veronika September 13, 2015 at 3:13 am

      Ah ok! I was wondering what “꿀” meant – I didn’t recognize it as watermelon… I’ll have to update this blog post now! Honey watermelon is a pretty accurate description – they were so sweet and not mealy/mushy like a lot of the larger varieties. Any idea why honey watermelons are so expensive here?

  • Reply funnelcloud rachel September 13, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    I love the string watermelon carrier! And the pics of Sly carrying the watermelon!

    (Also, $35 for a melon?!)

    • Reply veronika September 14, 2015 at 3:21 am

      Produce can be really expensive here, even local stuff. Greenhouse strawberries in the winter are $8 a quart on the cheap side.

      Something that is interesting to me is that Korea is close to so many countries with tropical climates yet we rarely ever see fresh tropical fruit here. Bananas are cheap in season but things like mangoes or rambutan is so expensive. You would also think they would import fruit from nearby countries in the winter too. Maybe this is a very American approach. It does make me very curious about their trade /import rules.

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