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The Korean Cafe

Story ID:7404
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA USA
Year:1945
Person:Stew eating Kid
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The Korean Cafe

My Trip to the Korean Café

In our office of
“Medical and Unit supply”
The Officers that were assigned to us
Were- short timers -and soon would say “goodbye”

On their way to their home and family
Enough points for a discharge
From this Mans Army
Fly home Free of Charge.

Captain Knight from Georgia
Was assigned to Supply
He’d do anything for us
What a terrific guy

One day the Captain wanted volunteers
To take a Korean friend of his to Seoul
Two of us volunteered
I got the Jeep and we were ready to roll.

In the Service
One thing that you learned
Never volunteer for anything
You’re sure to get burned.

We were warned not to eat
Any thing at a Korean café
They weren’t the cleanest
And you’d rue the day.

On the dusty dirt road, on the way to Seoul
This Korean gentlemen offered to buy our dinner
He said he knew a restaurant that was O.K.
I was sure it was a winner?

How do we tell this Korean Gentleman
We’re not supposed to eat
At a Korean café or restaurant
On some dirty street

Finally we said yes we’d eat with him
He was happy that we accepted his treat
He directed us to this Café
Just off the main street.

Our table was by a window
Shutters kept out the sunlight
I opened one for some air
I was repulsed at the sight

Two oxen were tied just a few feet
From where we were seated
You can imagine the smell
One looked at me and I almost retreated.

The Korean Gentleman ordered for us
It was like Dinty’s stew
I knew it was Ox Meat
But what was I going to do?

I was going to eat it
I’d not hurt the Korean Gentlemans feelings
I noticed the flys coming in the window
They were collecting on the ceiling

The bowl of goo came
I looked for a fork or spoon
Chopsticks only
Not a fork in the room

Then I noticed the waiter and his buddy
Laughing at me
They brought me a fork
Then I did proceed

The Korean Gentleman
Was really putting it down
He was almost done
So with a frown

I started eating
Heck it tasted pretty good
Maybe I wouldn’t get sick
I ate all I could

Never volunteer
My motto to this day
I didn’t get sick, but
Volunteering doesn’t pay

I weathered the storm
I came out clean and free
But I can’t face
Any stew served to me

Even
Today
Without thinking about those oxen
And that Korean Café.

Monte L. Manka 8-11-11