Categorized | Random

Another Day – Another Adventure

I am still trying to get my sleep schedule where it needs to be. This jet lag is still kicking my butt. I decided early this morning, and when I say early I mean 4am-ish, that I would try and venture down to the Emart in town. This is like a Walmart. I need things like an iron, hangers, etc…
Let the adventure begin….
I took a long look at the bus/subway system and figured out how to get there since it is a long way from where I am. The subway itself is about 3.5km away (that is 2.17479917 miles for all of you non kilometer knowing Americans – yes I had no idea either and figure only 2 people who read this will). So I set out on a really nice day to walk to the subway. It was a great day for a walk (60 degrees, sunny, light breeze). Little did I realize how hilly this city is. That 2+ miles was looooong. I stopped a way into the walk at a Crazy for Burger to get some lunch. Let me just say two things about Crazy for Burger. First, I am not crazy for their burgers. Second, I am not sure it was even real beef I was eating. On a side note, the french fries I have had here are really good. They are thin (like string fries) and not greasy at all. This brings me to side note numero dos (I figure if I can’t speak Korean yet I can add in a little Spanish to make me feel somewhat bilingual). I am using the American Express slogan for Pepto Bismol now, never leave home without it.

And now back to the story….

It was a long walk but I have said I want to get out more, see the city, and losing a few pounds in the process would be nice. Along my walk I passed a Burger King and Popeyes Chicken. They are both on the bus route that runs by my apartment so if I need a taste of home I know where to go. So I made it to the subway station by following a bus route that I knew went there. Next time I’ll just take the bus. Anyway, the subway was very nice. It is not very expansive but on the two lines it runs, its has plenty of stops. The cost was nice too. It only cost 1100 won one-way (or about .94c American or .9977 CAD for my lone Canadian reader – I hope I did that right) Anywho, it is a nice subway system they have and cheap for a one-way fare. After transfering and riding one of the lines almost to the very end, I reached Emart.

Emart is very similar to Walmart. They seem to have everything there. I was mainly in search of an iron, so I can look presentable next week when I start work. By the time I reached Emart, I was very tired so I didn’t do as much shopping as I would have liked. I only picked up a cheap iron (and by cheap I mean about $15US or $16CAD). I hope it lasts me a year. I also picked up a little TV tray type table. The wooden type where the legs fold in. I have used them in the past before back home and they are very versitile. I wanted to pick up a few more things but was too tired to keep shopping. I did notice they have just about anything I would need. Fruit was very expensive. Bananas were about 4800 won for a batch of say 4-6. That is really high when back home they are what $1/lb? Anyway, I will be returning at some point so it is nice to know where it is.

The interesting part was the ride home. I waited for a cab (I was too tired to walk back to the subway carrying my newly aquired goods) and did not have to wait long to get one. Prior to leaving I had checked out Galbijim.com which has a lot of good info on SK (it has a really good wiki on Daegu here if you are interested in learning more about where I am) to get my barings and figure out what to tell the cab driver. Well the phrase I had written down did me little good. I was trying to tell him to take me to a large department store called Dong-A, which is right across the street from my apartment. Apparently they do things more by landmarks than by streets. The problem with this was there is more than one Dong-A. He had a cell phone and immediately called an interpretor to find out where to go. After a short while he calls again after realizing there is more than one Dong-A. The interpretor and I try and figure out which one I am going to and we are off again. I am getting to see a lot of the city which is nice but I have no idea where I am. A few minutes later, he calls again. He is still confused on where to take me and after a 3rd converstation with the interpretor we think we have it. He pulls a scary u-turn (it is common here for them to u-turn in the middle of the street at a red light). They are pretty crazy drivers here but not as bad as other places I think. A lot of honking goes on but not the lay on the horn honk that I would do back home when someone cuts me off. It is more of a short beep to let the other guy know you are either there or coming through. They are constantly changing lanes and driving in two and whatnot but not too hairy. So after a long round-about ride home, I finally make it and I am 17,000 won lighter (probably a 5-8k cost if he knows where I am going in the first place I am betting). It was another experience to say the least. I just knew I was going to get dropped off in some out of the way place nowhere near where I needed to be, but I got home safely.

So now it is about 4pm here as I sit in a huge room full of young Korean men playing computer games (they are REALLY into that sort of thing here). I have decided a few things today. First, no more KFC. I ate it again last night because I was too chicken to go try something new. It is intimidating ordering when you don’t speak the language. If there is nothing to point to, it can be impossible I think. Secondly, no more Coca-Cola. I am making a commitment to eat better and try to lose weight, plus I need to experience new things. I used to be a stuck-in-the-mud never try anything new guy (some may think I still am) but I am learning. It seems after the divorce I have found myself open to new things. I mean who thought I would be in SK? So I have a place picked out I want to try. It seems it is some sort of Korean chicken place (the pics look like Chinese food type chicken dishes). I just hope it is open by the time I leave here. It was closed on my over as some of the local places only open late, but stay open very late. There is also a Korean BBQ place down the street I want to try. I hear the BBQ here is good (of course it will not be as good as say Whits or Clems or the greatness that is the Salt Lick) but I am excited to try it out.

I think tomorrow will be a slower day. My feet and legs hurt from all the walking, so I am going to take it easy I think. Do some laundry, iron maybe, and watch a movie. Just relax and try to get on a better sleep schedule. Hopefully I’ll get out with my camera as well so I can show everyone my neighborhood and just how different it is than back home.

That’s all for now. I will leave you with one of my favorite bits from SNL.

…..and now Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy

If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting themdown? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

About Eric Bynum
I taught ESL for three years in South Korea and now I am looking to set out on a new journey after just finishing my teaching certification in the US. I hope to continue teaching and traveling and you can follow his journeys here.

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