Sunday, October 09, 2005

DVD shopping, Namsan, and more food

Sunday with the folks. It's been great having them here in Korea. Time passes far too quickly.

Mom and some of her Korean friends (all members of the Washington Korean Women's Society, of which Mom's the president this year) had a girls' day out while Dad, my brother David, and I roamed around on a quest for two DVDs: (1) "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," starring Robert DeNiro and Kenneth Branagh; and (2) "Equilibrium," starring Christian Bale and Taye Diggs. I'll be showing both DVDs in class this week: "Frankenstein" for the freshman English class on Tuesday, and "Equilibrium" for my high-intermediate level reading class on Tuesday and Thursday. The reading class had been working through Orwell's 1984; we finished it last Tuesday. Not many students had shown up to watch the Hurt-and-Burton version of "1984,"* so I'm showing "Equilibrium" in class, where there will be no escape.

Damn, that movie was hard to find! The three of us started our search at the most logical place: the jeonja sangga (electronics market) and Jeonja Raendeu (Electronics Land) next to Yongsan Station. Before reaching sangga and Raendeu, however, our first stop was a stand full of bootleg DVDs just outside the Yongsan Station exit. No dice. They had "The Incredibles" and "Astérix," but not "Equilibrium." A second stand also had "Astérix," but Christian Bale was apparently in hiding.

We moved on to another, very shady-looking stand; they pretended to have the DVD, but when I looked inside the DVD case I saw it was empty. Good thing I asked if I could play the DVD first. The guy grinned and said "Just a minute," then made a show of crossing the street and rooting around his cars for the missing DVD. He came back and offered us another sheepish "Just a minute." I gave him his minute, during which nothing of substance happened, then decided that, since he was bullshitting us, I might as well bullshit him. "I'll be back," I said, then left with no intention of coming back.

The short walk from the subway station to the electronics market and Jeonja Land was peppered with DVD and VCD stands. None of them had what I needed. A slightly more legitimate video store inside Jeonja Land had "Frankenstein," but didn't have "Equilibrium." Feeling somewhat guilty about dragging Dad and David along on what was turning out to be a fruitless quest, I ended up leaving them to their own devices for an hour so I could continue on my own. Inside Jeonja Land, I traversed several thousand kilometers of floorspace and finally-- finally-- found a DVD store that carried "Equilibrium." At first, the store dude claimed he didn't have the DVD. "That's too bad," I said, and began looking around, anyway. Store Dude suddenly got off his ass, moved toward the shelf I was looking at, and said, "Ah, it seems we do have it." Pure theater. I played along, paid a reasonable price, and found my dad and brother soon after.

We three next went back to my place so I could change shoes, then off we traipsed to Namsan. Getting there involved walking to Hyochang Park Station (about ten or twelve minutes' walk from my residence), taking the subway to Beot'igogae Station, and doing my easy walk up the mountain. Dad and David handled themselves well. Dad insisted he'd broken a sweat, but from what I could see, he didn't look all that sweaty. Dad took some pics at the top; eventually, I hope to blog some moments of my time with the folks (assuming Mom lets us display any pics of her).

Dinner was on base, and effectively nullified all the hard work we'd done huffing and puffing our way up Namsan. But it was quite good, especially for the price we paid. We had company for dinner, too-- Mom's longtime friend, Mrs. K.

Now I'm home, and have given up on the idea of doing my laundry this evening. I've got an extra change of clothes with which to face my Monday classes (imagine their horror if I showed up naked), so abandoning the laundry project doesn't weigh heavily on my conscience.

I'm considering calling it a night sometime before 11PM-- a true first.

*The astute will have noted that I routinely put book titles in italics and film titles in quotes. With the above two renderings of 1984/"1984," you aren't seeing an inconsistency.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When in doubt think: What would Bubba dew...?