Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Last Week's Vacation Pt. 2

Monday came. A Japanese friend I met back in the States was visiting Korea with her sister for a few days. I was determined to see her for at least one of the days she was here. We met up in Seoul and spent most of the day shopping. After travelling by subway to Dongdaemun, we met up with another friend of hers and headed to this huge shopping mall with a million floors. I can afford to exaggerate. It was really big, and I think we went on almost every floor. We went to another, cheaper place with hawk-like shopkeepers who spoke the basics of at least three different languages (to attract all customers). They all call out to you and it's quite intimidating. Luckily, my friend's friend was a native Korean who knew how (and had to guts) to stand up to them all and guide us safely through their suggestive words. Did I buy anything? Yes! Surprisingly, I bought a pair of shoes and a blue wig (aside from the various food I usually spend tons of money on). The shoes.. well it's worth telling this story. It was the first stall I stopped at, and the guy was really determined to sell to me. I actually liked the shoes I looked at, but seeing as it was the first stall, I told my friend's friend... (we'll call her Kim from now on)... to let him know that I would come back after looking around. This guy would absolutely not let me leave. He kept taking a few dollars off the price and asking if I liked the price. I just wanted to look at the other shoes in the building! He kept asking, do you really, actually like the shoes??? Yes, and I would probably come back to get them if I didn't see anything nicer. Still, he got frustrated (I guess?) and jabbed some new numbers into the calculator. He showed it to me. It was almost $10 cheaper... 1/3 the price. I went ahead and bought the shoes to appease this man who might've keeled over in agony if I walked away without buying his shoes. Afterwards, Kim wasn't sure what to make of the scene, but she congratulated me, assuming that I'd successfully haggled down the price on purpose. No, I'm just indecisive and weak when it comes to shopping. Case in point: The wig. Well, I got a bit flustered. I mean, I'd really wanted a blue wig for a long time, but I really know nothing about buying a wig. I don't know what to look for. So this guy saw that I was interested and I just thought to myself, "what the heck," and let him talk me into buying it. After all the shopping, (rather, during the shopping) there was a lot of talking about tomorrow. Tomorrow, they were all going to the mud festival. I really wanted to go, but I was pretty sure I had an appointment the next evening. That meant missing out on an impromptu trip to the beach. So, after sending a few text messages, it turned out that I really would be busy the next evening and broke the news that I wouldn't be able to go the mud festival after all. That evening, before going our separate ways, we took pictures together, and I told my friends to talk tons of pics so that I'd be jealous of their beach trip. I saw the pics. I am still jealous. :) Tuesday was a dinner with some of the teachers at my school (and one who no longer works at the school.. the one who left suddenly). 6 of us formed a group, called "the different group" because we couldn't find anything in common to name our group with. Here is another small chance to build bonds with the teachers, and just hang out outside of school. I met with 4 of them, and we had pizza and watermelon and chatted in one of their apartments for a few hours. I ended up taking home some eyeliner. One of the teachers, long ago, kept asking me why I didn't wear makeup. So, while I was with them, I asked to borrow one of her extra eyeliner pencils and put some on to show her. After receiving her praise, I made a show of trying to wipe it off. I didn't look clearly at the label. It was waterproof. Darn. Wednesday was a farewell dinner with the other TaLK scholars in my town. Two of the 3 , actually, but I don't expect to run into the 3rd one. He's hardly in town when he's not teaching(long story). It was kind of hard telling them goodbye, and preparing myself to not see them so easily. One's heading back to California, the other to New Zealand. We actually shared a few adventure trips with each other, so I can say that I will really miss their company, their presence. 'Til next time, -Shirby

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