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The Hot Chile Bean Paste Container (REHASH)

Main Ingredients:
• Children
• Archaeologist
• Hot Chile Bean Paste
• Pickles
• Book

Spice Pack:
• 1/3 smidge of despair
• ¼ cup of annoyance

I remember the very first moment I wanted to become an Archaeologist. I really liked to wander around my neighborhood and pick up little ‘treasures’ which made the other children really jealous. At the young age of 8, the ‘cool kid’ thing was excavating at the forest near our houses and finding miscellaneous items like old coins or beads from a broken bracelet that I would keep inside of a clean hot chile bean paste container.

My hot chile bean paste container was equivalent to a pirate’s treasure chest. In big letters, it had ‘dwenjang’ written in Korean, which I told the kids meant ‘treasure’.

One day, I was reading the Magic Treehouse book about the San Francisco earthquake. Completely enraptured in Jack and Annie’s adventures, I failed to notice my arch nemesis, Peter, taking my treasure chest.

I was distraught. I ran to my mother, crying and wailing causing a scene. I asked for justice and threw my hands up at the gods for forsaking me, for tormenting me.

Then she patiently brought out a clean pickle jar and said I could use this as a substitute.

A PICKLE JAR? I explained to her that the hot chile bean paste container was a suitable treasure chest because it was not translucent. It concealed its contents, making it mysterious.

She did not understand the significance. That container was my prized possession. And in that moment I swore that I would become an Archeologist, so I could prove to Peter and my mother the real significance of finding (what I considered at the time) artifacts.
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