Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ordering Delivery In Korea

Last night I decided to be adventurous and order delivery from one of the many magnetic take-out menus that appear on my door.

By which I mean it was raining and I was lazy.

So I flipped through the biggest booklet, and found a page with no pictures, but a lot more to choose from than fried chicken or chicken schnitzels.

I googled for the area code to phone them. In Daegu, you put 053 before the number on the menu. No one tells you this. You're expected to just know it.

Behold the phonecall!
Subtitles provided in italics.

Woman on phone: 유보세요.
Yo, 'sup.
Moi: Erm, um, annyeonghaseyuboseyo. kimchi mari baedal juseyo?
Er, um, hellohi. (meal) delivery please?
Woman on phone:  오옂단아이나니이도아누뵤자.
Sure. Where would you like it to be delivered to?
Moi: Er. I can't speak good Korean. Again please?
Annoyed woman on phone: 어딜아러나어러리너.
Where do you live? For god's sake, learn some Korean. I hate my job.
Moi: ????!!!
Woman: 집!집!집!
House! House! House!
Moi: Oooooohhh riiiiight. House. <address in Korean -
Woman (interrupting): sdlhfsjkdjsjkshdjf. Hangs up.

She'd cut me off before I could tell her my apartment number. So I wasn't sure if the delivery was coming, or what would happen. So I figured I'd go down and wait by the door until the delivery guy shows up, or get chicken if he didn't come within 30 minutes.

It was very cold, very wet, and it had now taken me over 2 hours to find a meal, phone and order it.

Well, he wasn't coming. It turns out the last bit of speedKorean was 'We don't deliver if the order is under 10 000 won.' Which I only discovered because my lovely neighbour friend called them to check.

And then she gave me wine and spaghetti instead. So, this time was a failure but it still felt like winning.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that Korea is not an easy place for people to live in, if they are living alone. This probably comes from the fact that most single people live with their parents. Min said that people who live alone walk to the takeout place and get takeaways there. So, next time she orders takeout we're going to do it together. Otherwise I'd have to order 3 meals to make it over 10 000, and then I'd have too much food.


  1. Yeah, I was never brave enough to order from those menus, though my friend Amy (who was much better at Korean than I was) ordered for us a couple of times.

    I did find a pizza place near my apartment when I was there, and walked in the first few times before calling them to order. As soon as I called, they recognised my voice and hung up on me, only to deliver the pizza 20 minutes later.


    1. Hahaha! Nice! I am hoping to develop that kind of relationship with Mexicana Chicken that is near me. But the night of this post, they were nowhere to be found; their door was wide open but they'd been abducted by aliens.

      Hopefully next time I order from them I'll know how to say 'single portion' so I don't get another chicken feast aimed at feeding 4 people.