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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Twice as Nice

It's a sad day when, after having studied intensively for a few minutes and gathered your resolve, you can put nearly every ounce of your Korean knowledge to use while trying to get a hot dog from a street vendor. I managed to use several phrases, like "how much is it?" "please heat it up for me," "I'm an American, so I don't speak Korean" "Ah, yes, please give me sugar," "No, ketchup isn't necessary," and Thanks." However, if there was a positive aspect to the experience, it was that when I asked her to heat it up, she simply took the already-fried corndog and dunked it into the hot grease-batter for another few minutes, resulting in an indescribably delicious double-decker corndog with TWO layers of fried dough.

Besides these C-dogs, I've also been eating lots of bananas. Mostly because they're cheap, but also because the store only sells them in gigantic 18-packs, which means you have to eat about 3-4 a day if you don't want them to rot.

What else...I think we'll be having some sort of Xmas party here. We're doing a secret santa sort of thing with the 5 workers here. My coteacher Gemma said that she's going to buy me a pack of condoms, and then everybody laughed at me. It's a very nice office atmostphere we have.

And now, some attempted links to pictures and video and audio:

Ok, that didn't work. Jeff, help me out here. Just to get you all excited: I've got a little video of my apartment accompanied by some fantastic commentary and a tinge of sarcasm, an audio clip of the supermarket, and pictures of the street I work on and my school from the outside.

Which reminds me, I meant to give a little description of the supermarket here. First of all, It's called HomePlus, it's owned by Samsung, and it's pretty huge. It's hard to compare it to a walmart, though, since it's on 4 floors (just like in Europe, they tend to build upwards here, since ground space is in short supply). The lowest floor is a garage, the highest is just some crap and miscellaneous sale items. The 1st floor is all food (both a food court and a grocery store), the 2nd is clothes and electronics and housewares and all that. The 1st floor is where you (IE I, an american) really feel out of place, both because of the numerous vegetables you've necer seen or heard of before (such as "dropwort"), the ridiculous price of cheddar cheese ($8 for an 8 0z. package of lousy cheese), and the store employees standing everywhere yelling at you. In the produce section, there's a guy with a mic hooked up to a speaker who keeps yelling things, probably about the sale items. And every aisle you walk down has a Korean girl between 18-25 in a short skirt stationed at the top, I suppose trying to tell you all about the specials. They mostly leave me alone, though one hovered over me the other day while I was trying to find detergent. Ah yes, back in the food section, there are also lots of free samples. Even though I stop by the store almost nightly on my way home, I haven't done my usual mooching yet, mostly because I don't know what the etiquette is at those little stations. Plus you have to pay at some of them, and I'm not sure I can tell the difference just yet.

So, that's that. Hopefully Jeff will figure out how to make the video and audio and other pictures available. Perhaps he will even post links in the comments. Once we get it working, we will all owe him many thanks for providing the necessary web space for this junk.

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