On Korean Donuts and TCK’s: 500 Words | Day 3

Welcome to Day 3 of a 31 day challenge to write 500 words or more.  For more on that click here:  goinswriter.com


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“I hope we go through Korea.”

“That’s what my 10 year old daughter said when we first started talking about the whole family going back to China for a visit.

“Why?”  My wife asked although she was pretty sure she knew the answer already.

“Dunkin’ Donuts.”

This reply came in a tone that implied a silent, “Oh yeah baby!”

I feel like two bits of context might be helpful.

1. We used to live in a Donutless world

When we lived in China (although this is changing now) there were no “real” donuts to be found.  By “real” of course I mean the kind we have in Merica.  Freakishly fattening sugar carbs, deep fried and topped with a glaze of more freakishly fattening sugar carbs and then (if you so choose) sprinkled with colorful bits of sugary carbs which are of course, freakishly fattening.  It’s one of our crowning accomplishments as Americans — not so much the invention of donuts (which is disputed) but the consumption of them.  We love us some donuts.

And in China there were none.

That’s why we got giddy anytime we had a connecting flight in Korea.  If you landed in the right terminal and had enough time between flights you could exchange some Chinese money for some Korean money (at a horrible exchange rate) and run to the Dunkin’ Donuts where you could purchase a dozen Korean made, Merican style, rings of pure, deep fried sugar fat.

Oh the bliss.

And if you flew through Seoul you didn’t dare come home without a box o’ donuts to share with your closest friends.

Sugar Shack 1

Just for reference — this was my birthday cake this year.

2.  We now live 6 blocks from Donutopia

It’s called Sugar Shack and our family rule is that we only go on Saturdays.  It must be that way because if it were not we would eat these marvelous fat rings at least 2 meals a day.  Then we would go to McDonalds just so we could have something a little healthier.

Sugar Shack was just declared by USA Today as one of the Top 10 donut shops in the country.

The country of AMERICA.

This place makes Krispy Kreme feel like you’re sucking on a lightly glazed sweat sock — and Dunkin’ Donuts?


We have been to Donutopia and there is no turning back.  We are ruined for all other donuts and this place — this glorious place — is moments away from our living room.


This made it baffling when our daughter verbalized that her highest travel priority was a stop off in Seoul for a mediocre, deep fried dough hoop.

We were perplexed — that is until we recalled that our daughter is a TCK.

Third Culture Kids often have the beautiful ability to let different things be different.  No comparisons.  No pros and cons, goods and bads, rights and wrongs.

Just different.

Her life in America is one thing and her life in China is another.  She doesn’t have to find the balance or rationalize one as better than the other.  They are separate.  Both have plenty of good sides and scores of bad sides but it doesn’t make sense to compare them to each other.  It’s like asking why your apple juice doesn’t taste more like oranges?

Because they are NOT THE SAME THING.

I love that.

Sometimes I wish I was a TCK.  They are so very cool.


And those are my 500 words.



  1. Thank you for having started the 500 words a day challenge. It just sparked me doing the same and since you are one day ahead of me it is a great motivator. Not to mention I like what you write!
    I’m just very new at blogging and for accountability purposes wanted to post in a blog so just made one but so ugly so far!!!

    • Hey Catherine. That’s awesome. I’m loving 500 words so far because I just get to write without caring what anybody thinks or how it looks. Have fun.

  2. I have lived in China for 8 years now, and I totally understand about the donuts…I remember the first time I found a Dunkin Donuts in China, even though the donuts themselves were mediocre (compared to American made donuts) I almost cried they were so good… and I always feel warm and fuzzy inside when I have a layover in Korea, because I know there is a Dunkin Donuts… 🙂 Even when I’m coming from America, the land of donuts it still get excited. Reading this post from China I feel a little jealous right now about your Sugar Shack. Eat one for me next time you go – at least someone will get to enjoy it!


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