Sunday, September 20, 2009

Not as Lost When with Locals

Partnering with locals has its advantages wherever one goes, but it cannot be underestimated in Seoul. This city is MASSIVE, and it completely dwarfs NYC -so much for my naive assumption that since it's a city with skyscrapers and a decent subway system, the experience would be similar.

After my trek to Olympic Park and subsequent (+ endless) meandering back to my place, I collected myself and hopped on the subway to visit my Korean friends in Yeoido. This journey was basic in that it was a straight (albeit long) shot on the subway. Forty-five minutes later, I ascended the subway escalator and was greeted warmly by my friend Stella, the mother of the Korean girl I tutored over the summer while still in California. They're back in Seoul now, and I met the rest of their family -dad and brother. It was good to see familiar faces, and we had a nice visit. They treated me to a very chi-chi, traditional Korean lunch at the 63 Building, a local landmark. The meal was delicious, and would you believe I actually forgot to take photos of it?! Probably won't be going back anytime soon either as lunch was a small fortune. Afterward, Stella and her husband drove me to the electronics district in Youngsan where I purchased a new adapter for my laptop -crisis averted since I'd brought the wrong kind with me. From there we went to a supermarket where I bought some staples. Stella saved me from buying 4 bananas priced at 9,200 won (about $8). In my extreme fatigue I'd missed a zero, thinking they were around 1,000 won. Who needs potassium anyway? Ha. In fact, I am trying to do all I can to keep healthy. My eyes have been really bloodshot since arriving, and I'm not sure if I'm: 1. getting sick; 2. tired beyond belief; and/or 3. allergic to something in the air... I'm hoping for the best.

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