-Cycle 2, Dinner 294-
26 (Wed) October 2011
at Mandu Hyang (만두향)
This restaurant offered mandu (만두) steamed, boiled, or deep-fried. The name of the place means "dumpling (mandu) aroma (hyang)," which sounds marginally less strange in Korean. On the upside, the skins were hand-made, as appropriate at any self-respecting establishment proclaiming to specialize in mandu. Hand-made skins, in contrast to factory-made (see 2.278 Steamed Mandu), are denser and chewier and tastier. On the downside, the filling was somewhat bland, more tofu than meat and not enough seasoning, even for a someone who prefers the subtler style of North Korean mandu (see 2.201 Mandu Guk). And though the deep-frying added a nice crisp to the texture, the flavor of the oil was unpleasantly overpowering.
Then again, I may not have been in much a receptive frame of mind at the time, given that I was threatening my wife with grave bodily harm.
As announced ever so obliquely in yesterday's post, we are expecting our second child.
We visited the hospital this evening for a checkup and hopefully good news about the child's sex--in that order, I would've thought. The ultrasound initially showed the fetus crouched over to obfuscate a clear view of the crotch, prompting the mother and the doctor and the nurse together to poke at the tummy and beseech the little thing to spread its legs, all the while giggling giddy with anticipation like they were playing a goddamn peekaboo game. We saw glimpses of an ambiguous cylindrical shape, which at this early stage could've been a small penis or a large clitoris. "That doesn't sound good, either way," I remarked, in complete seriousness, unintentionally eliciting more giggles. After a few minutes, I asked, "How about pausing the fun for a moment and determining first whether the baby appears healthy?" Yes, thankfully, healthy. We then saw the scrotum, a sure sign, and realized that we would be having another boy.
With that, the festive mood suddenly turned funereal. The mother wailed in anguish, the doctor and the nurse consoling her as if the exam had revealed the kid to have tusks. "Noooooooooooo! It can't be! What am I to do? Woe is me! How can I go on?!?!" "Don't worry. It'll be all right. You can always have another." Another?!?! Could we please focus on this one for now?!?! What the fuck was the matter with all these people?!?!
I was disappointed myself but recovered real quick and settled into an anoesis of pure gratitude. While I'm not the most positive of people, I am a realist. We flipped a coin and didn't get the call. Alas. Fuck it. Let's be happy that he doesn't have tusks.
Over dinner, I got fed up with the wife, who kept whimpering and wondering aloud what she possibly could have done wrong to deserve such a miserable fate. I swore to her that I would strangle the breath out of her if she didn't shut the fuck up and rejoice.