Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ordering delivery

I finally did what I've wanted to try for 6 months now. Order delivery by phone. It's amazing how the simplest tasks from home become monumental feats in other countries. While the actual task of ordering is quite simple, it requires some knowledge that you don't use everyday... and enough language skill to deal with unexpected questions.

Knowing your address is not exactly that easy. Since most people don't know street names, it's useless trying to give a street address. Generally, you need to know the name of your apartment building (if you live in an apartment like I do), your apartment number followed by 호 (ho). Generally you don't need to know your dong (neighborhood name) and gu (city section name) to make a delivery. Frankly, I've been living here a year and I always forget what dong I live in because the residency listed on my alien registration card is registered as my school's address. But, fortunately, if you get an take out ad from a restaurant on your door (I get 10-20 per week... generally I just toss them) they will know where your apartment is and all you need to tell them is your apartment name and room number and they will know where you are.

We decided to order delivery last night because there were torrential downpours all day until quite late last night. I just took the umbrella off my head to get in the car for 2 seconds and got totally soaked. I was so scared to order delivery because, while my Korean skills are getting much better, I still don't deal with unexpected things well. Besides the fact that speaking on the phone is so much harder than speaking with people in person. So, after my boyfriend forced me to call, I only agreed to do it if he listened along just in case there were any unexpected problems. He wrote me out a script to read from, since I tend to get flustered and forget what I want to say when I get nervous... especially with numbers, which I can barely do in English, forget about in Korean. A few times I got lost but he pointed to what I needed to say on my cheat sheet and I managed to get through the entire conversation without him needing to take the phone from me and talk. Half an hour later the pizza I ordered arrived at the door and we enjoyed the first delivery that has ever come to my house.

Here is a general conversation:

Restaruant: blah-blah restaurant imnida (such and such restaurant)
me: pedal dweiyo? (do you deliver)
Reatuarnt: ne, odieyo? (yes, where to?)
me: blah blah apartment building, apt# 호 ho (apt. name, apt number followed by: ho meaning room)
Restaruant: mwo tulyeoyo? (what can we get for you?)
me: goguma crustuh largee du-gae chuseyo (sweet potato crust pizza, two large size)
Restaurant: topingsu? (Toppings?)
me: bulgogi hana hago painaple hana chuseyo (one bulgogi pizza, one pineapple pizza)
Restaurant: ne, man pal chon won imnida ( ok, thats 18,000 won)
me: olmana kolyoyo? (how long will it take?)
Restaurant: samship pun (30 minutes)
me: ne (ok)

I'll get the Korean up later for this, but I have to get to work!


  1. haha I totally understand that feeling! I'm sure the pizzas even tasted better knowing you had order them yourself! ^_^

  2. I wish I agreed with Anon there, but you ordered a sweet potato crust pizza with pineapple. Sure, it beats starving, but if you can call and actually place an order for what you want ...

  3. i think it's "mahn ppal chon won" instead of "shi pal chon won" for 18,000won.

    otherwise, good job.