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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