Well, babies. Phone the local news stations. Liz just made it through an entire weekend without one single drop of alcohol. I can't remember the last time that happened. There were a couple of close calls, but somehow I made it through. Just wasn't in the mood, really.
Just a head's up -- the red buses are lovely, but if you're planning to use them to get to Dongdaemun in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday, don't wear boots with heels or a neck warmer, because you'll spend the entire time straining your back, thigh and arm muscles to stay upright while also sweating profusely about the shoulders, as you barrel down the highway and then jerk along in stop-and-go traffic all through Hongdae and Sinchon. Not pleasant. As W put it, when I managed to somehow jostle my way to sending him a text message (while we were both in our respective individual public transport hells) about the man next to me who was somehow managing to go about his moisturizing routine, "climate control = fail. personal space bubble = fail." That about sums it up. Poor W had managed to get a seat -- over the hump.
We eventually did make it to Dongdaemun, where we first settled down for coffee to recover from our traumatic journeys. Then it was coat shopping time. Nothing better than wandering around a million floors crammed full of crap asking all the vendors for "big size" and "small size". Guess which was for whom. Lovely. And I got to prove my point to W about how there's a disturbing trend in female coats in Korea at the moment of having short sleeves (? hello -- it's a coat). But we did eventually find lovely coats, and W got a scarf "서비스" because he hesitated. His sales lady had the best laugh ever -- it actually sounded exactly like "ha ha ha ha ha!" Mine was a no-nonsense 아줌마 who tugged me into a coat with no fussing whatsoever.
Then it was on to Itaewon for dinner with a few other lovely foreigners. During all of this, I had been in touch with JH, back and forth, about her exam, which she claims didn't go well at all. She needs this score to make it into a university in England next year. She was busy drinking away the pain in Hongdae while I was having dinner. After, around 10, I decided to catch a cab to Hongdae and catch the bus from there. I'm lazy and middle class these days -- what do you want? I phoned her from the cab to see if she was still around. She was immensely drunk, and I figured would be heading home by the time I arrived, despite the fact that she shouted down the line about how excited she was I was coming and how she was going to wait for me. Well. My first clue came when she phoned me back almost immediately after we hung up from arranging the meeting the first time to ask me where I was and if I wanted to come to Hongdae. Haha.
Sure enough, by the time I made it through Saturday night traffic and phoned her from the station, she was on the bus headed home. She phoned me this morning to ask what had happened, after discovering a few of my texts on her phone last night. She didn't remember talking to me or if we had met up or not. Poor girl. At least she made it home safely.
I was thinking again yesterday on the cab ride home (that's right -- I waited for the bus with about half a million other people for nearly half an hour, and with no sign of it, I figured I had little chance of actually manage to squeeze on the damn thing when it finally arrived anyway, and it was nearly 11:30, so I just cabbed it all the way home -- I think I'm almost a grownup), about what Phone People we all are in the ROK. More specifically, what a phone person I've become. I once went without a phone for over a month in New York. And I rarely had it on/charged/with me. I went out without it all the time. I suppose that made sense when we were all living with each other, or very nearby each other, had classes with each other, etc. But the point is, my phone bill is getting monstrous. And I never thought I'd have that problem.
Ho hum. Sunday afternoon. I have a bit of a cold. Like the really sneezey kind that makes you feel like you're five years old. Good fun. I think I need more coffee.