Korea’s Delivery Service
The Nation of Delivery
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A peaceful, relaxing Sunday afternoon at home seems perfect, until one’s stomach suddenly growls for survival. At this moment, it is only natural to not want to get up and cook a meal, but it is also impossible to ignore the call coming from one's stomach. From grocery shopping, cooking and then cleaning up afterwards, it could be a real hassle to make one’s own meal. Perhaps all these things are simply unaffordable due to one's busy life. In Korea, a convenient option for these circumstances exists: food delivery service.
The metal box and motorcycle
Korea, a historically agricultural nation, regarded food highly and followed strict table manners from days past. On top of this, Confucian teachings taught not to carry food or even lift them off the table. This may sound contradictory, as Korea is often dubbed as the “baedal minjok,” or delivery nation when translation. The trend first began around the middle of the twentieth century with the introduction of Chinese food and portable military food supply from America during times of war. Jjajang-myun is the most classic delivery food that set this trend in motion.
On the streets, in front of personal or franchise restaurants and in parking lots, delivery motorcycles with a metal box attached to its back can easily be found. Almost all food delivery is done with a motorcycle, not a car, to increase time and fuel efficiency. The diversity of food being delivered has greatly increased, literally, to include any menu item. Most restaurants today offer delivery service in an attempt to boost their competency, and, thus, not fall behind on the trend.
Delivery and culture
The delivery culture does not only bring convenience and advantages to people's lives but also it fosters an enjoyable and conventional culture. Most typically, the picnic culture has grown hand-in-hand with the delivery culture. Clement weather equates to picnic day usually at parks with friends, family, or significant others. Either hand packaged or delivery food is accompanied to the picnic, with the majority opting for the latter. The most popular picnic site in Seoul is Han River park, with the most frequently chosen menu being fried chicken and beer as its partner. “Chimaek” is a recently coined term referring to chicken and beer, and this word is incredibly often linked with another word, “Hangang,” Han River.
In addition, another trend has formed as a result of the flourishing delivery food service: late-night meals. Born together is yet another newly coined term “yashik,” meaning late-night food. Since food can be obtained with zero effort at anytime, people began to enjoy food late at night, usually after getting home from work. Lying on the sofa and watching television, it is tempting to reach for the phone and dial a number to order some food to satisfy the puckish belly. Apparently, more than just a few people feel this desire at night, eventually giving rise to yashik culture which was happily consummated by the delivery culture.
To further make it easier and handy, food delivery applications has entered the picture. With a smartphone at hand, one can painlessly skim through all the menus and prices of food available and that are ready to order and enjoy anytime and anywhere. School, the park, office, home, hospital, even at the beach, delivery food reaches every corner of the country and is a big part of the culture today.
Jeon Chae-yun firstname.lastname@example.org
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