The night in Chicago was a little bit unsatisfactory compared to the afternoon. There was also the fact that people sought food truck less at night, but there was also the fact that people that were considered to be a fan had already came in the afternoon. But regardless that not many people looked for them, the 500 lines of kimbap they made twice, sold out only after 3 hours had passed.
10 o’clock. Jo Minjoon was organizing the account book on the running truck. He wasn’t accustomed to it, but if he thought it to be a math homework, it wasn’t that difficult.
“We gained 1422 dollars today. But excluding the oil and ingredient fees, we gained roughly 800 dollars.”
“I don’t know if it’s much or not.”
Joanne talked with an ambiguous face. Jo Minjoon closed the book.
“We gained 160 dollars each. The whole day. Do you get it if I say it like this?”
“How much would it be in 1 year? 160 times 300, plus 60 times that and then 5 more…….”
“58400 dollars. But of course, it’s in the case you don’t take days off. So if you exclude those days, then you can think as you get 50 thousand dollars less.”
“……You are quick to think.”
Jo Minjoon glanced at the other team members. They seemed to be so tired that they were nodding while getting asleep. But it was fortunate that they had a driver. Because if they had to also drive at night, honestly the exhaustion wouldn’t be normal.
The truck was going to the northern parts right now. The destination was Waukegan. Normally, it was a place you could arrive in one hour from Chicago. It was a city without even hundred thousand of population, so they couldn’t know how much they would be earning.
“If it was summer, it would have been fine to go around the beach.”
“Quite the creep.”
Joanne put on an odd smile. Jo Minjoon thought what she meant, and soon opened his mouth.
“…….No. Who said that I wanted to go to the beach because of that?”
“Shut up. Let’s sleep.”
The one who didn’t let Joanne continue making fun was Anderson. He opened his mouth while leaning his head on the fridge. Jo Minjoon said dispiritedly.
“You have to squeeze out what you have to.”
“You will get lectured by Kaya if you get caught talking to a another girl.”
“…….It seems like you are having quite the fun?”
Anderson didn’t reply and just raised the corner of his mouth with his eyes still shut. Jo Minjoon replied to that smile with just an honest sigh. Ivanna seemed to have woke up and rubbed her eyes. Her swollen face made her look like a baby.
“Yawn…… Where are we right now?”
“I don’t know. John. How much more do we have to go?”
“It would be 20 minutes from now on.”
At Joanne’s question, the driver replied gently. Joanne looked at Ivanna. Ivanna grabbed her stomach and said in a depressed voice.
“My stomach hurts because i’m hungry.”
“Endure it. Then you will only get fat.”
“Tiramisu. Hot dog. Pepperoni. Risotto. Spaghetti. Kebab……”
“Stop! Why are you also bullying me!”
“They say that pain lessens if you share it.”
“You normally say that looking at a person that’s suffering alone……”
Anderson burst out of laughter with his eyes still shut. After only he finished laughing and even coughing, he opened his mouth. Joanne looked at him with an absurd face.
“What? Why are you laughing?”
“Ask that to the viewers when the broadcast ends. Because this scene will surely get to the screen.”
“Are you all awake? If we get to the hotel we will sleep then, so let’s start getting up.”
At those words, Anderson shook and woke up Peter. Peter that was sleeping without knowing what was going on in the world, got surprised and checked his surroundings with his half closed eyes.
“Wha, what is it? Did we arrive?”
“Not yet. But we will soon, so get ready.”
As they got out of the bus, there was piled snow in the windows, the roof or on top of the cars as if it had snowed recently. Anderson touched his hands with a flustered face. Anderson let out an admiration.
“This feeling, temperature……… It’s charming.”
“Why are you acting as someone who had never seen snow?”
“There’s no snow where I live.”
“…….oh, you said that you were from the west.”
Jo Minjoon nodded as if he had understood.
The place they were staying was in a motel. They had to save the money they had all they could. They didn’t have the money and leisure to sleep in a place like a hotel. And the rooms weren’t even individual, but 2 and 3 person rooms. Of course, they were boys and girls rooms. Before they headed to their respective rooms, Jo Minjoon said strictly.
“Don’t forget that you three are going to the market. You will probably have to get out at 5. So sleep well.”
But contrary to what he had said, he couldn’t fall asleep. It wasn’t that Anderson and Peter had bad sleeping habits. They didn’t snore, and didn’t grind their teeth. Only, he started to think many things in his head. Precisely speaking, those were words. What could he do to raise the income, and what to minimize the costs.
He had thought plentily, and even if he did think more and knew that it didn’t particularly change anything, he couldn’t stop feeling uneasy. The seat of the leader was like this. Those who didn’t know would feel this seat to be cool and honorable, but they rather felt more burdened.
‘Did I close the door?’
Jo Minjoon headed towards the door. The lock was closed. However, even looking at the closed lock, he couldn’t help but feel that it was opened.
With that uncomfortable feeling he returned to the bed, he just couldn’t get asleep.
He had already made the calculations of the income in his head, and he had also thought of the things that could happen from now on, so there was no way that he would fall asleep by using his head like that. Jo Minjoon kept thinking things that even he didn’t recognize in his head.
And then, the alarm rang.
His body felt so heavy as if it was pressed under a rock. Jo Minjoon slowly opened his eyes. He started to think that the time had already passed this quickly. He didn’t really feel as he had slept, but the flow of time was really fast to say that he was awake.
‘………I want to sleep more.’
Jo Minjoon blinked with difficulty and looked next to him. In the bed next to him was Anderson, and beyond him was Peter. They seemed to have woke up looking that they were wriggling, but they were still in a dazed state. Jo Minjoon let out a sigh. He had to at least wake him up. Jo Minjoon turned on the light and walked towards Peter.
“Hey, get up.”
“……..No, wait. I have something to think about.”
“Think about what? You are just sleepy. Get up. We have to go to the market.”
Jo Minjoon removed Peter’s blanket entirely. Peter struggled and got up with a dazed face. Jo Minjoon let out a sigh.
“If I were you, I would go a little bit earlier and rest later.”
“……..Okay. I will go.”
Putting aside the noise of the shower after Peter got in, Jo Minjoon lied down on the bed again and closed his eyes. He had to rest even a little more. Because he had to recover the most he could so he could endure this day.
‘What if I can’t sleep properly?’
“Minjoon, wake up!”
And his worry ended along with a bright voice. Jo Minjoon looked in front of him, still in a dazed state. Joanne’s bright blond hair got in his sight first. And her face was filled with a confident smile.
“I bought really good salmon for really cheap! I was able to buy it almost at the price of a processed good. With this, We will be able to make norimaki that’s more delicious than yesterday’s.”
“……….Didn’t you get out just now? You got so……..”
“What are you talking about? It’s already 8. Get up. Anderson went to wash himself.”
The sunlight was just as bright as her words. It was already morning. He felt rather sad. You originally don’t remember anything of having slept, but right at this moment, he didn’t even get the feeling that he had slept at all. Just a second ago, the memory of him trying to sleep and closed his eyes was really fresh, but for 3 hours to have passed.
However, he couldn’t get anymore late. Jo Minjoon hurriedly washed himself and went to the truck. The ingredients were almost identical to yesterday. Only the salmon was different. The frozen salmon belly fat showed a clear bright light and was proudly showing itself.
Although you would think that frozen goods would fall in quality, but salmon used to make tatataki or sushi, was the best eaten frozen. Because while it was frozen, the parasites and eggs in it all died. Jo Minjoon slowly read the window that appeared on top of the salmon.
[Salmon belly fat]
“……..Good. How much did you pay for it?”
“6 dollars for pound.”
“It’s cheaper than I expected?”
“The owner lady said that she was a fan of Grand Chef. And she also cheered for you and Kaya……”
“No, leave it at that. First, let’s separate what we are going to use in the afternoon and at night. What about the price of the other ingredients?”
“Well, excluding salmon, they are mostly similar.”
Joanne talked like that and shrugged her shoulders. Jo Minjoon looked at the salmon and fell in his thoughts. Yesterday, they bought a pack of smoked salmon and after applying sauce, used it as a filling, but today the story was different. Jo Minjoon looked at the salmon with a serious face. Ivanna gulped and said.
“I want to eat it as tataki.”
“…….I was just thinking about that.”
Precisely speaking, they didn’t want to eat tataki, but cook it like tataki. Because the better the quality of a salmon was, when it was used as tataki or sushi, the flavor got better. But of course, the difference wasn’t that big as you could compare it, but originally, in the tasting world, that small difference decided it all. However Joanne looked puzzled.
“You want to put tataki in the norimaki?”
“If you want to make tataki, then it would be better to go as sushi? Looking at the reactions yesterday, they were disappointed and said that it would have been good if there was some sushi. It wouldn’t be bad to put in a little. Oh, you didn’t buy urchin egg, right?”
“Yesterday was a disaster. I’m honestly surprised that it got all sold out. People’s hands didn’t tend to go that way.”
There was no need to focus on a menu that didn’t do well. You wouldn’t know if you found the fault and improved it, but compared to urchin egg, the recipe of it wasn’t even finished. And most important of all, he wondered how he could improve a recipe which they didn’t even like the urchin egg itself.
The cooking proceeded just like yesterday, with each having their own share. The selling location was in the city. Although Waukegan was a small city that didn’t even have hundred thousand people, they thought that they would be able to profit with the food truck.
“Will people come like yesterday?”
“I think that there would be like yesterday’s night. So we won’t be as busy as to not have time to rest, so don’t feel nervous.”
Jo Minjoon replied like that and got out after opening the back door. It was as he had expected. There were some customers lined up, but it wasn’t as long as the line in Chicago.
He opened the side doors and he went to the counter. The extra rice was already prepared.
“What’s the recommended menu of the chef?”
It was the question of the first customer. The smile that person had seemed to be more interested in Jo Minjoon’s reaction rather than actually the recommended menu. Jo Minjoon smirked and replied.
“If you have a normal sense of taste, I recommend you the pork barbecue. Also, trying the korean norimaki wouldn’t be bad at all.”
“Okay. Give me the two of them.”
Most of the customers had good will towards them. The greater part of them would be fans of Grand Chef, so maybe it was an obvious thing.
But of course, there were people that simply wanted to eat norimaki, but there was also a person they didn’t understand at all. It was that kind of customer they were so worried about and didn’t want them to come.
“This. I want a refund.”
The person who talked like that was an asian girl with a strong chinese accentuation. At that moment, Jo Minjoon couldn’t control his expression and looked at her with an absurd face. The norimaki in her hand had only the end part remaining.
“I want a refund.”
“……..Did something strange come out?”
“It’s not tasty. It’s weird. The flavor of the tuna is weak. In my hometown, if you presented something like this, you would have to immediately close your doors.”
Only then did Jo Minjoon feel that something was wrong. The clothes she was wearing seemed to be quite expensive and luxurious, but the atmosphere she had was nothing close to being luxurious. Even while standing still, she was tottering as if she couldn’t balance herself, her eyes were sunken and her way of talking seemed to be like a drunk person. On top of that, what she was holding right now wasn’t tuna avocado. But tandoori chicken.
Is she drunk, or……..
“What do we do?”
Behind him, Joanne whispered. Jo Minjoon hesitated for a minute. He too, had worked in a restaurant. He knew well how he had to act to all kinds of jerks. Even if they did something unfair, or something unthinkable of, it was better to back down.
That was reality. Because when that customer returned to her home and post a weird comment on the internet, the sales would instantly drop. On top of that, it was better to clean the situation quickly rather than fighting with the customer for some money.
However, the problem was leaving a precedent. Maybe, if they did refund the norimaki with just that much remaining, if another customer did the exact same thing, they would only have to accept it. Because if they said why can he and I can’t, then there was nothing else to say. But of course, the number of customers that did that wouldn’t amount to much……..
Jo Minjoon let a sigh inwardly. He opened his mouth.
“I’m sorry, customer.”
< Customer and more customers (2) > End
Translator’s note: Regular chapter!
Thanks for reading and for your support!
Translator : Subak