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Thursday, January 27, 2005

encouragement and hope from toast business

Mr Kim Sôk-pong's self-encouragement (c)Chosun IlboI'm not sure how many street vendors (nojômsang) are able to get encouragement from the case of toast maker Kim Sôk-pong, who is once again introduced in Chosun Ilbo, this time as an exemplary case for others' encouragement (or hope, hûimang; the article series is called Hûimangûn naûi him, "hope gives me strength"). It is mentioned that Kim's toast vending chain Sôkpong Toast has now 110 shops; quite an astonishing growth considering that last summer the number of vending stores in Kim's chain was 15 (Chosun article from July 2004); first it's easy to doubt that the growth had been that rapid, but that's what they say in the article, and considering what's been reported about the Korean economy for during the last one year, I can imagine that even that kind of businesses have been in demand. It must be a better choice than making pungôppang pastry, especially if there are people who are used to eat bread in the neighborhood. (In the small business terms that'd be yudong in'gu, "mobile population" or whatever.) Mr Kim, who has seen some hard times, has managed to create an upscale branch - uniforms and all - and it suits well with the changes in eating habits and trends in modernity as well.

The illustration by Chosun linked to the right: Mr Kim's self-encouragement, or "three ppô's": "I'm happy (kippô) to be alive, I got a lot of work so I'm busy (pappô, the one and only me is cool (yeppô). (The last one is a bit tricky to put in English.)

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