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Wednesday, 23 May 2007

The Fresh Waffles and Cream Lady in Hongdae

Some people follow the mantra that hard work pays off (well, it does most of the time). I believe in this too most of the time and so does the following waffle lady in Hongdae. If you haven't spotted her little waffle shack yet, you should. It's one of the most popular snack stalls in Hongdae and it's located up the hill on the same side as the Giordano store.

What's the secret to her success? Well, for starters she sells fresh made waffles with your choice of cream or ice cream as a filling--for only 600w. Usually, most food stalls charge 1000w+ for something similar (like in Myeongdong). So her money making plan is to sell waffles by volume by working super fast. It's quite amazing watching her pour the waffle batter into her three waffle presses, taking the cooked waffles out to cool, making the waffles, and at the same time accepting cash and giving change.

Let's say she is able to sell two to three waffles a minute, with no washroom break and working as fast as she can. How much money could she potentially make? Here's my shady math at work:

3 waffles @ 600w each = 1800w in one minute
1800w x 60 minutes = 108,000w/hour (about $108US)!!

Let's say it's a busy night and she works non-stop for three hours...that equates to 324,000w! Not bad for barely a half day's work. Obviously there are other factors that come into play, but this little scenario is just for fun. Maybe I should be making waffles instead of teaching...hmmm...

Here's the tiny shack she operates out of...notice the three waffle makers:

Some colorful posters are adorned on the walls, enticing you to choose the ice cream filling instead of cream:

I decided to go for the ice cream filling...I shared half with a friend. For 600w it was pretty tasty, but I don't know if I'll be eating these every week:

Our Korean friend told us she is always smoking busy and we were lucky to catch her when the line was small. After we got our waffles the line had ballooned:

...even acid rain doesn't stop these 600w-waffle-loving-university-students:

Last, but not least here's the video of her in action. Keep an eye on her meticulously calculated movements to maximize her waffle making consistency:

Are there any other waffle places in Seoul I should be eating at too?


Anonymous said...

WHOA it looked like you pressed the fast forward button in the video!!
What is she spreading on? Butter and... pink frosting?

Mrs J said...

i was curious as to what she was putting on the waffle before she put the cream or ice cream on.

Anonymous said...

Hello Gdog,
My little sister is a big fan of your blog, she even got me hook! How long have you been teaching in Korea? I’m curly learning the language here in Oregon, one day I might test out my Korean skills whenever I get the chance to visit Korea.
Any how, we look forward to read, watch and look at more wonderful pictures!!!

The waffles looks good.

Gary said...

anonymous: I told ya she was a machine!

Mrs J: I believe it was syrup because it didn't taste like butter. Talk about one sweet treat.

Anonymous: Wow, thanks for the heads up about my new fan base. I'm from Vancouver Island in BC so technically we're neighbors from the Pacific Northwest!!

Anonymous said...

Hey There - I love your website, its super informative and its really making me excited to teach overseas. My partner and I are planning on leaving this summer. Any tips on finding a job? Did you use a recruiter?

Tara from Toronto!

Anonymous said...

ho its cool!
i'll be making my way to seoul in December! cause i just won myself 2 Bboy tickets! yeahh.. can't wait for the term to be over! and pooof* i'll be there! : )))
seems like koreans like to queue just like singaporeans! who are kiasu and afraid to lose out, so they go for everything that people are going for too! :D

Anonymous said...

So I see her wearing gloves but she doesn't take them off when she accepts money, which means that all the bacteria is spread over the waffles.

Which is completely unsanitary.

Anonymous said...

Hello Gdog,

I recently started reading your blog, and love to follow your story. You do such a great job.. I Live in Halifax, Canada. My girlfirend (ainslie, of which i put her blog address) and I taught in Hondae from the summer or 2005-2006 at Mapo ECC. We had such a wonderful time. So I love reading your blog as I can relate to most things you are doing and eating.

Gary said...

Tara: thanks for visiting the blog! Anyways, we got our jobs through a direct application to our company's website. You can email me if you want more info. I would suggest checking out the forum's on Dave's ESL Cafe, but beware of some of the negativity that exists there. Do your research and ask lots of questions!

lu: I'm just like you then, because I always follow the "monkey see, monkey do" mentality...if there's a line up, I'm going to join in, haha.

anonymous: yup, that happens a lot in Korea and Asia too. It's like the gloves are just to ease your mind. So far I haven't gotten sick...

John(ny) Walker: Thanks for the kind words. We visit Hongdae here and there...it's fun to watch all the people puke at night all over the place! ;)

Anonymous said...

No matter how good that waffle might taste, it's a complete germ-laden waffle. So disgusting to not take off the gloves while handling money or washing hands thoroughly. I would never eat food contaminated in front of my eyes. Wake up people!

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