Final Day in Korea, Overwhelmed by Food, Guns, Unintentional Flirting

Final Day in Korea

Wednesday was a fairly laid-back day. I had to pay off my Samsung card, cancel my handphone, and withdraw as much cash as I could from my bank account (I left 952 won in there). After we’d done that, Good Man and I just spent some time together and Jennifer made a fantastic dinner.


Chicken Enchiladas


The food was so good and it was nice to spend time with Jennifer and Gym Guy over dinner.

The next morning Good Man and I headed off to the airport. I ended up having to pay an extra $130 for an excess baggage fee (I knew that would happen) but otherwise the flights were uneventful. Getting off in Minneapolis, someone wanted to use their handphone in a restricted area and an airline employee advised, “I wouldn’t do that. Electronic eyes are everywhere.”

1984,” I mumbled under my breath.

Good Man, at the Airport

Me, at the Airport


Today my mom and I went and looked at cars, as she wants a new one. Reading two Times and one Newsweek at the dealer, I realized that “green” has become a buzzword since I left, even if only in the news magazines. I also realized that I was bowing to the salesman and that cars are huge and colorful here, compared to Korea.

Cars by the Colorful


After looking for cars we went to the bookstore at the mall. It was an odd trip. In the parking lot four mall security guards were by a car, which held three children, the oldest being in first grade. Not a single parent breeder was around. As we were entering the mall, three adults left. They were the ones who owned the car. Three adults. Three kids. This was not some young mom already struggling with two kids in the mall. I hope they called CPS on those unfit “adults.” I was so angry.

Walking into the mall, I spotted this sign.


Accidental Flirting

At the bookstore I approached the service desk, as did another man. He put his hands on his hips and looked at me. He wasn’t wearing a name tag, but when I worked retail we would sometimes sneak our name tags off so as not to be bothered. He was looking at me as if he expected me to talk. “Do you have Taryn Simon’s An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar?”

“I was just about to ask you the same thing,” he said.

An actual employee had come behind the desk and I said, “Wow, I feel like I just unintentionally flirted with you.”

Later, a different employee was about as useful as a rice cake.

Overwhelmed at the Grocery Store

Finally we went to the grocery store.

Oh. My. Kimchi.

It was so overwhelming.

Cheap Watermelons
I never bought watermelon in Korea for less than ~$12

Too Many Salad Dressing Choices

More than sweet and gherkin!

Campbell’s Soup

Pasta Sauce



“International” Deoderant
spanish rose, jasmine orient, asian pear, kuku coco butter, flawless


The pizza and soda sections really freaked me out. There was Diet Coke, Diet Coke Plus, Cherry Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Cherry Coke Zero, Vanilla Coke Zero, Lime Diet Coke, Lemon Diet Coke, Caffeine-Free Diet Coke… And that’s only the zero-cal Coke…

Mom asked me to choose a pizza and I just kept staring. There had to be at least 40 varieties of pizza. And it wasn’t just the options, it was the fact that at least ten of each option was in stock. I just kept looking to the left and then the right. I couldn’t choose. Mom finally said, “Step away from the pizza.”

The deodorant. How many brands? And then each brand had a number of formulas and then each formula had at least four scents. What? Why?

And on top of that, at least half of the store had to be made up of high fructose corn syrup, sugar, salt, fat, and preservatives. There’s junk food in Korea, too, but this just seemed so…concentrated.

I kept mumbling, “There’s so much food. Why is there so much food?”

A Moment of Peace


Clouds in Black and White

North Center Lake