Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day Three Part Three: Buying Necessities at E-Mart

Korea has E-Mart and not Wal-Mart. But they are basically the same.  The  major difference is that E-Mart has a lot more of each category of stuff and the store is 5 levels high! It has escalators and elevators. I think it is awesome. I felt like a kid in there! Oh my gosh! All of the choices of candy and snacks and hello kitty pajama’s! Hello!!! Hello Kitty Pajamas! Yeah. It was that cool. My Sungshin Buddy picked me up at school and we walked to the Metro together and took off to the land of E-Mart. There were tons of people shopping there that day. I don’t know if thats because it was a Saturday or if E-Mart is just that Awesome, but I had a blast. Did I mention that the prices are dirt cheap? Yeah I got a whole pack of Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash for just 15 U.S. Dollars! Here take a look at a pic of it. Okay, so if you noticed the small English font that says “Anti Aging”, well do not be alarmed. If you ever plan on coming to Korea you should keep in mind that most Asians have very dry hair and that the water that comes out of the faucet has lots of iron in it. This combination means that most Korean Shampoos and Conditioners are going to be:
a.) Moisterizing
b.) Anti-Balding
c.) Oil Conditioned

Now, me personally, I have naturally oily hair. So, I have to wash my hair every night to keep it silky. I don’t even need conditioner because the oil gets smoothed down to the lower parts of my hair with a brush or comb. So, here I was in this awesome magical grocery/all stuff ever store and I DONT want moisterizing shampoo. Oh geez, that was hard. Well,  not really, my buddy Da Young was able to ask the sales woman (which they have in every section of the awesome E-Mart and yes they give free samples to lure you in ; ) 
It was just funny because the only shampoo that got rid of oily hair was the Anti-Aging hair. Now, to me, that is just weird. I mean, isn’t it pretty much common knowledge in the  US that teenagers are just plain oily? It could be our diet, but it’s not like I eat fried foods every day. So, what ever, I am the old teenager here and proud of it. “Yeh? Whad you say Sonny?” JK JK. The shop keeper was really glad that I bought the shampoo that she helped me find, but she was also kind of giggling because of my diagnosis....old. haha. Anyways, she did give me awesome FREE samples. (yes, I am Scottish...we love free what? haha) 
She gave me Body wash and a small bottle of shampoo as a gift. It was quite nice. hehe.... hehe....

Onto the towels, because remember what I didn’t have when I got here? Yeah. Towels. I got a simple soft lavender set that I quite enjoy. I would have preferred Turquoise or Aqua Marine, but alas, it is better than drying off with a sheet. “What?! What nutcase would do that?” ...uh hem....yeah. So...

I got face wash, a much needed pillow, and some tooth paste. During our journey to the Land of E, I saw four different groups of foreigners just like me. It was rather odd because I usually don’t see any. Da Young agreed and said she hadn’t seen any since she came here last year. (What?.....”You must be a foreigner magnet.”) Quote from Da Young. Idk, but it was really weird for me too, even though I am technically the alien here. I saw two really tall European guys in the rodent section. Two really tall African Americans in the wine section. A whity Mc. White-White getting of the Subway. And a family of three at a Korean restaraunt five minutes away from my dorm. None of them were really approachable at that time and besides I am here to learn Korean, so I didn’t think it was really a good idea to like introduce myself to them. They all seemed to have their own thing going on- like me.  I will most definitely go back to E-Mart when we move into our Apartment, so for now I won't be able to post any pictures of it, but I definitely will later (나중에 ) 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Well, my friends, it has been a while since I have written, and for that I am truly sorry, but let me just say that when you don't bring an international outlet adapter it is hard to charge your many fold appliances. Thankfully, my room mates are kind enough to let me borrow theirs! Wow. I know right. So, I did order one online and it will arrive here soon, at which point I will be able to blog more. Yes! (Asa!) Thats what the Koreans say. hmmmm...okay. I feel like I should fill you in on a big one about my housing situation, but I am a little nervous to start this one without much time before I have to leave for Church. So, I will just fill you in on yesterday and a little bit of my hopes for today.

Yesterday morning, I was happily surprised that I didn't wake up until 9:30. That is a record score for me here! Usually, I wake up at five or six am on the dot! However, it was also a day where I had an appointment to meet with my friend Yesenia and her buddy Jung 10:00 am. Yeah. So, I quickly shoved some decent clothes on and ran out the door. I am sure the Ajussi at the front desk thinks I am a lunatic now because I am pretty sure that I said

Me:     Gamsamnida Thank You  감삼니다

... instead of

What I should have said:    Annyonghigeysayo. Good bye. 안뇽이게세요.

Which basically means I said thank you instead of good bye.

Wow! Okay.

Ajussi: 'Weird American chick.'  "Bye Bye."

So, I ran (okay, jogged....)

no...I just walked really really quickly...

to the subway station and met with Jung Min and Yesenia. We have formed a group where three times a week we get together and help each other with our language problems. Yesi and I help Jung Min with English and Jung Min helps us with Korean. It is a great system and we have a lot of fun doing it.

Specifically, Jung Min took us to the Seoul Art Center where we could use tables and chairs for free. There was a variety of beautiful Classical, Romantic, Baroque, and 20th century music playing in the back round as we each wrote our dialogues and corrected our pronunciations. After spending a relaxing and fulfilling hour at the Art Center Jung Min suggested that we practice our Korean in real life context. So, we went into shops and repeated prompted phrases to the shop keepers. We learned phrases such as:

1. Do you have size 250?
2. Do you have this in another color?
3. Do you have this in another size?
4. Can I try this on?
5. How much is this?
6. Where can I
7. Where should I put my trash? (relavent for restaurants that are styled like Panera)
8. Can I have one Kimchi Bokkeumdi and two Bulgogi Bokkeumdi please?
9. I am lost.
10. How can I get to Sungshin University?

It was really funny. At one store called ABC I asked the shopkeeper if she had a grey men's T-Shirt in another size and she looked at me like I was nuts and said, "That is a mans shirt." I simply, smiled and replied, "I know, but I want one in a small." Oh my goodness. I was certainly not going to wear it or buy it, but I needed to practice my language skills, you know?

One of our stops along the way was an absolutely divine cafe called Paris Croissant. It was definitely my favoriite stop during the morning and I didn't hesitate to take millions of pictures and even snatch a Cranberry muffin for myself. One Americano, and two danishes later we were stuffed with nourishment and laughter. For it was during this time that Yesenia and I filled Jung Min with stories of our school back in America. We went on for ever about Apple Day, Kwanza, the Fashion Show, and Junior Dads- smiling the entire time. It is so strange that you can meet a person and only know them for a week, but feel as if you have known them for a life time. I have not had this occasion occur often, but with Jung Min and Yesi, we are like old friends.