Friday, March 27, 2009

On the Virtues of Having a Girlfriend who Works in an Agricultural Training Center that Imports Pollens for Strawberry Growers.

Korea is a country that has 45 million people all packed into an area of Indiana. In the twilight of my college years I had a Korean aquaintence who would always talk about how great Korean things were. He would always be like, "Hey Jim, have you ever had Korean apples?" I would say, "Yes." He would say, "They are great, aren't they?" I would say, "They are the same apples that you get here (In Kalamazoo, Michigan)." He would say, "No, Korean apples are better."

When I arrived in Korea, I found that many people had similar attitudes towards many things. Made in Korea equaled made in heaven. And while there are many fine products made here, this sort of nationalism can become quite nauseating in a hurry.

Nauseating is not the feeling, though, that I experienced when I tried my first Korean hydroponic strawberry. Far from it. It was about like eating the experience of having puppies cure all of the worlds worst diseases.

The strawberries came in a big white box. Big boxes are always great because they usually mean gifts. Even when big white boxes deliver things like medical organs, someone benefits. But in this case the big white box contained two separate packages of exquisitely cellophaned strawberries, all about the size of a small kiwi.

These strawberries were all thanks to my GFF who works in a company that imports pollen and soil substrates for Korean fruit farmers. Since she can go to straight to the farms and meet with the farmers, she can get the special quality fruits that usually go to Seoul to be sold in department stores for about $25 dollars for the small flat you see above. That only means that I could enjoy my strawberries without feeling the guilt of having spent $25 for a freakin strawberry.

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