Smashed Eggs, Leaky Kimchi, and Cars Really Don’t Mix Well

When I opened the door of my car yesterday, I was greeted by a deeply pungent, rank odour that made me step backwards for a moment. It was slightly sour, spicy, and definitely off. Alas, I knew exactly what it was — but that didn’t make it any better. The 2-litre container of kimchi (my absolute favourite food) that I’d bought at the Korean grocery store had tipped onto its side on Saturday night when I was staying at my sister’s apartment and leaked all over the back seat. It didn’t smell too bad at first, but now that the temperature has warmed up, the fish sauce is beginning to reek.

(I really hope my husband isn’t reading this. Even though he already knows and is less than impressed…)

I immediately tackled it with hot soapy water and ended up cleaning my entire car, which is one positive outcome in this situation. I haven’t opened the door yet today to sniff and see if it’s any better. I’m too scared because, if it hasn’t improved, I’ll have to call up Wayson, the local detailer. That’s kind of embarrassing, since he’s already saved my car in the past.

Two years ago, I was driving my little brothers to music lessons. They kept chickens at the time and had to deliver one dozen eggs to some customers along the way. Then disaster struck. I saw the turn-off at the last minute and slammed on the brakes. My youngest brother had placed the egg carton precariously on the seat beside him and was not holding on to it, so it went flying off the seat and hit the floor. Most of the eggs smashed, exploding out of the carton and soaking into the floor. Instead of a dozen, their customer received three whole eggs and the rest got thrown in the ditch. When we got home several hours later, Jason helped my brother clean up the mess. They did a pretty good job, but then it was November and cold outside, so there weren’t many smells anyways.

A few weeks later, we went to Toronto for the weekend and checked into a swanky downtown hotel. The valet took our car away and parked it in the hotel’s heated underground parking garage. When it came time for us to leave, he delivered the car to the front door and hopped out of the driver’s seat with a forced smile on his face. We got in and promptly felt like gagging. The egg remnants had clearly come back to life with the help of some heat. It was freezing cold outside but we rolled down all the windows nonetheless and drove through the city with our heads hanging out. The stench was awful. Fortunately, Wayson took care of it and we’ve had no further incidents — until now.

What’s going on?! I’m usually so careful. I’ve had my fill of stinky cars after driving around in my mom’s van, which my irritated father nicknamed “the landfill site on wheels.” As a result, I vowed never to have a car that smells bad. Messy is tolerated, but odour is not. I’m mad about it, but there’s actually something concerning me much more: I really don’t want this to ruin my love of kimchi. Despite being a bit dry, I’ve already consumed a quarter of my giant container. And it’s awesome — almost worth the headache.

Pickled cabbage and radish in a spicy sauce = absolutely divine. (Photo:
Pickled cabbage and radish in a spicy sauce = absolutely divine. (Photo:

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