Since running my own business the past several months, my usual meal is instant noodles. With either fresh hot peppers from my garden (now filled with overgrown weeds cuz I’m too weary when I get home to cut the grass out there) or my favorite ground hot pepper in a jar, Pacific Red Hot.
The product’s description on Amazon.
Last night, I had eaten the 2nd-to-last instant noodle bowl in the boxed case. So in order to save the very last one for later, I decided to eat some real food for dinner tonight. My menu? Fried Spam, rice, and a stew with chicken and potatoes (made by a family member, of course; I only fried the Spam; that’s enough “cooking” for me, as I can hardly even keep my eyes open as I type at the moment).
Right before I was about to devour my meal, I told my family about how I had avoided eating the stew for the last coupla days cuz I was just too darn tired to separate the bones off of the chicken. Can you believe that? And the chicken pieces aren’t even the normal chicken size ones, but little ones.
Reminds me of when an Aunt of mine (who used to grow Asian pears on a piece of land that she had owned) had told me about how she had heard that young-aged Koreans don’t wanna buy those large-sized pears anymore, just because it was a hassle for them to peel it. Oh, how I can relate.
Some nights, I just grab a handful of M&Ms (with peanuts) from my refrigerator and chew on them as I crawl into bed. Yes, I didn’t brush my teeth. Yes, there is a high chance that I will get 9 fillings again at the dentist like I did a coupla years ago. Oy!
This morning, I didn’t have any early morning orders to prepare again, so I was able to get up at my usual time of 3am, in order to be at my mini rice-making factory by 4am.
My shop is located within a building that also leases out to restaurants, bars, and a grocery store. Across the street, there’s an automotive supply store, a medical supply store, a storage facility, and another grocery store.
That other grocery store opens their business at 5am sharp. What I like about that store is how they have bright lights in front of their parking lot. Really brightens up my side of the road as well, so if ever I need to go outside later on to get sumthin’, the parking lot is all lit up from that store.
Because that store opens at 5am, I often wonder what time that store owner wakes up in the morning. At 3am or 4am, like me? Or maybe she lives behind her building and can get up at 4:30am and walk on over to the front of it to open its doors?
I remember the first time I had entered into that store in order to get me a few sodas to drink (now I purchase a coupla cases of water and maybe a soda to keep in stock in my shop; cuz cans that say 99 cents on them in that store sho aren’t 99 cents, but more like $1.50; it’s common, though). When I had set my beverages onto the counter, the store owner barely looked up at me. She was in the middle of watching one of the latest Korean TV dramas. Boy, was she into it.
Good thing my drinks made some noise as I put them down, so she noticed I had come in. She turned to me for a sec and then told me how much I owed her. I dug out my dough from my pocket. After handing it to her and receiving my change in coins, I could sense her wanting to probably say to me, “Okay now, scram. This is the juicy part of the show. Can’t miss it. Better not buy nuthin’ else, chick.”
Since about a month ago, I’ve had an early, early bird customer bang on my shop window. As mentioned earlier, I usually begin my rice cake-making process between the hours of 3 – 4am. So the first time I had received a call right at 4:00 in the morning, I couldn’t believe it. It was a man who was just about hollering into the phone, and he was demanding to make an order for a tray of one of the rice cakes. I said, okay, and for him to pick it up around 9am. He hollered how come it was gonna take so long?! I told him cuz I have to prepare for other orders that had come in before him and that was the time I could have his order ready. The fella was unhappy, but said okay. Click.
That was the first time I had met this man. Can’t remember his name, although another Aunt of mine had told me his name about a week ago. She said she knew of him because he has an older sister whom she knows well.
What makes this man memorable is that he doesn’t appear to have any teeth. So whenever he speaks, he does a lot of spitting. I wonder if there might be a possibility that he may not have good hearing too because he’s always yelling whenever he talks.
So whenever fella wants to buy some rice cakes from me, he bangs and bangs and bangs on my store window around 4:30 in the morning. One time, he asked loudly how come my front door was locked. I told him because we weren’t open, like I tell him every other time he came before 8am, which is our actual open time (when them rice cakes would be finished all being made).
But I guess he always forgot my answer and always bangs on my window whenever he’s having another rice cake craving again. Or had overheard another person whom he knows mention that they’re craving a certain rice cake, and he’d come over to order some for that person. Aw…what a friend he is. But I just wish he’d come over to order or buy ’em at 8am, instead of at 4:30am, when I’m ultra-busy trying to grind heavy containers of rice.
In regards to heavy containers. Every time I carry a 50 lb bag of rice to wash, I always lift the bag from the middle, which makes me have a better grip of the bag. Then it wouldn’t just be my fingers holding the heavy bag at the top, but my basically hugging the big bag against myself as I carry it.
So far, it’s been a successful no-injury process for me daily. But a few days ago, my back felt weird. As soon as I had lifted the rice bag, I felt like this odd feeling in my back. As if a section of my lower back had shifted down. But like a square-shaped shelf being pulled down, if that makes any sense.
As soon as I took a step forward, I grimaced to prepare to feel big pain in my back from the odd feeling I had gotten. But nothing. No big pain. Just the same amount of back pain as I usually had from all of the heavy rice lifting I do everyday there. So I continued to head to the kitchen sink and still no difference. Hmm…that was odd. What a weird feeling that was. Like a shelf moving down or sumthin’. Maybe it was my back auto-shifting to prevent damage?
I was just greatly relieved that I hadn’t damaged my back. Because that would certainly be a significant drawback to my business, as I have to continually lift containers of rice into my grinder, onto and out of the steamer, and into the other machines. Whew. Praise God!
I’d like to share with y’all a pic of our bestseller. It’s called the Yongyang Rice Cake.
Ingredients: rice, salt, water, sugar, kabocha squash, sunflower seeds, raisins, dried cherries, sliced almonds, and lotsa beans (black beans, red mung beans, garbanzo beans, red kidney beans, black-eyed peas, green peas, and white/navy beans).
Have a safe and enjoyable Autumn season, everyone!