Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Semi-Typical Day In Korea

Rephrase: A semi-typical productive day in Korea. Most of my days are highly unproductive.

This morning started out as an epic failure. I’m not a morning person. I’ve never been a morning. And I most certainly don’t pretend to be a morning person. And apparently my friend, LA, isn’t a morning person either.

Today, we had similar errands to run and since we both needed to take care of a few things at the vet we decided to meet at Dr Lee’s office in the Manyeong-dong E-mart.  I spent substantial time running around my apartment trying to locate my lost debit card. (Which I have never used by the way. I actually just learned last week that it’s a debit card and I’ve had it 8 months.  I finally accepted defeat and grabbed the only cash I had, 17,000 won (~$17) and headed out the door. I wasn’t planning on spending any money anyway.  17,000 won will be more fine. Halfway to E-mart I get a call from LA.  She forgot her card and had no cash to pay her taxi driver.  (Oh great, we’re both completely out of sorts this morning.) Once I arrived at E-mart, we paid her taxi driver and headed inside.  Before leaving my apartment I had thought ahead to grab my bank book because it can normally be used at the ATM same as a card.  FALSE.  “Cannot read magnetic strip,” the machine says. Blah. I quit. I’m going home.  And thankfully the little bit of cash I had on me was just enough to cover both our cab rides home as well.

We decided to remove the vet visit from our agenda because neither of us had the cash to pay him and we decided to head to our respective homes so she could drop off her dog and we could both reboot. 

I just had the taxi driver drop me at the bank so I could just run in and get a new card.  (*Yes, it is that easy here.  A banking blog has been on my  list for a very long time. I’ll get to it someday.)  I got a new card, coffee and a Rotiboy bun (I’m so not a fan), and headed to the subway and waited for LA.

We went straight to E-mart Traders (think Costco without a membership) because we wanted to leave the kids there this weekend while we do a Temple Stay. They have a really posh dog hotel for 20,000 won a night.  The lady helped us fill out the forms and we paid in advance.  Because my total was over 50,000 won (I have two dogs) she gave me the option of splitting the payment over two months.  I like having that option.  I didn’t take it but I appreciated that it was offered.  I’ve heard of that happening in other places but this was the first time I had personally been offered that.  I can definitely see how that could come in handy.

I still had one more errand to run and LA still had plenty of time before work so we decided to go hunt for lunch. A few blocks from E-mart Traders we found a nice little Chinese restaurant.  (Oh, I miss Chinese food!)


Sweet and sour pork, jjajangmyeong (noodles in black bean sauce) and mandu.  Delicious! What a fantastic lunch and inexpensive.  This restaurant was a nice little find. We suspect because of it’s location they probably don’t see a large foreigner crowd.  They even gave us child forks in case we couldn’t use the chopsticks. I love Korea.

LA went off to work and I headed towards the dog shelter.  The restaurant that gives me dinner for Charlie each night had been giving an exceptional amount of galbi lately.  In turn, I had acquired a ridiculously large amount of galbi in my refrigerator. So, I decided to take it out to Ms Jung at Daejeon Paws.  Her dogs would appreciate it.

I made it back home in time for a quick nap with the boys before work.  Despite the mad laziness that Korea has brought into my life, there is a major benefit to working at 3 pm.  On days like this I am able to get quite a bit accomplished before work.  Even when the morning originates as a complete failure, I have plenty of time to reboot and start over and still get done everything that I need to get accomplished that day.

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