Pick Up the Mandu

Aug 04

My mom makes the best mandu. For those unaware, mandu is a Korean dumpling that closely resembles gyoza. Mom’s mandu are so freaking tasty — she makes them big and stuffs them full of meat and veggies. I can easily polish off an entire platter of the stuff (all while she alternately tells me I’m fat while piling more food onto my plate); it’s like little fried pillows of crack. My sister recently visited Michigan with her kids for 10 days. The night before she was scheduled to fly back to Seattle, my mom called me. Me: “Hello?” Mom: Hi honeyyyyy!” Me: Hey Mom, what’s up?” Mom: “You want some mandu?” Me: “Huh?” Mom: “I make mandu. I freeze some, give to Mia and she bring in her suitcase. She take some, give you some!” Though you may find this weird, this is something my mom has done all too often. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve served as an unwilling courier between my sister and my mom. Mia would send frozen crab or fish with me (packed in dry ice), and I’d have to lug it to the airport and through Michigan to deliver it to my mom, and Mom would respond by sending me home with a ton of clothes and crap for my nephews as well as a few frozen bags of corn or salsa. I always hated being a pack mule, so the idea of my sister in this role for once made me happy. (Plus, as aforementioned, my mom’s mandu is delicious.) Me: “Sure, that’s fine.” Mom: “Okay, good. She get in midnight. I tell her to call you when she get in. You meet her halfway from airport to her house and she give you mandu.” Me: “Wait, what?” I’m not going to meet my sister in some back alley at 12:30 am for a mandu exchange. This isn’t a drug deal, for crying out loud. Mom: “Yeah, you get the mandu from her.” Me: “Why can’t I just get them from her later?” Mom: “Noooooo, you got to pick up the mandu! Her boyfriend gonna eat ’em all up!” Me, sighing: “Okay, I’ll get the mandu.” I didn’t get the...

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