Kyong, Like Me!

Oct 07

Kyong, Like Me!

My brother John informed my mom that he was heading to the Korean grocery store to pick up some groceries, and, as usual, she gave specific instructions on what he was supposed to buy for maximum Asian deliciousness. This time around, she tried to force him to make a vanity purchase.

Apparently there’s a brand of Asian rice called “Kyong” or Kyong-Gi” or something. Kyong happens to be the first name of my little Korean mom. Upon hearing about this product, she got very excited and told John to buy it.

Mom: “You buy Kyong rice! Like me!”

John went to the Korean grocery store and scoured the rice aisle but found no Kyong rice. He called up Mom to tell her they didn’t have any.

Mom: “Whaaaaat! You sure?”

John: “Yes, I don’t see it.”

Mom, suspicious: “You look?:

John, sighing: “Yes, of course I looked.”

Mom: “Ask manager.”

John: “I don’t know who the manager is.”

Mom: “He short Korean guy. Dark hair. Little skinny guy.”

John: “Mom, you’ve just described every man who works here.”

Eventually he was able to find the store manager. With Mom still on the phone, he approached the man.

John: “Heyyy…so, uh, my mom is the pepper woman.”

The manager’s face lit up. My mother has quite the reputation. “Oh yeah! Pepper woman! What’s up?”

John: “I’m looking for the Kyong-Gi rice.”

The manager went to the rice section and inspected various pallets. At this point, Mom insisted on talking to the manager, so John handed over the phone. A detailed conversation ensued in Korean while my brother looked on. The manager looked at John and said in English, “Ohhh, that’s your son! He really tall.”

After more dialogue, he offered my brother his sincerest apologies for being out of Mom’s vanity brand of rice and offered a comparable product. No word on whether the manager “mysteriously disappeared” after John’s trip to the store, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Nobody messes with the Cha’s Kyong-G rice.


  1. I meant to ask you, what does your mom think of the Cabbage/Kim Chi shortage happening right now? Heard about it on NPR yesterday.

    • Rebecca /

      I was unaware of this travesty. I’ll ask her about it and report back.

  2. Martha /

    Bwhahaha!! Delicious post. Kyong-Gi rice-level, really.

  3. Darrin /

    I’m with your mom on this one. I would trust her judgment when it comes to maximum Asian deliciousness. Love your blog, BTW.

  4. Daniel /

    Loved this. The last time I stopped at Korean Grocery (small one, in Bellingham WA) to pick some things up for my mom back home, I ended up calling her for guidance and she demanded to speak to the woman who ran the store since I don’t speak/read the language. They chatted in Korean for 15 minutes while I followed the owner around and she threw various things I can’t pronounce into a cart. On my way out, she tossed several boxes of K-candy into a bag “for my little brothers, who will be home tomorrow”… who knows what they were talking about? =)

  5. Sara Keogh /

    Man, this sounds so much like Karen’s mom. They are movers and shakers, these women. And mighty fine cooks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *