Friday, August 16, 2013

small discoveries

I went shopping today, and made a few small discoveries.

1. The main drag of Hayang is only a minute or two on foot from where I live. Shops, restaurants, banks—you name it, it's there.

2. One market in particular, called Point Mart, had been pointed out to me by Frank the night he dropped me at my building, Healing Town. Point Mart, it turns out, has a global ATM. This is crucial, because it means I can access money from my PNC Bank account without having to search far and wide for a global ATM. Catholic U. is going to furnish me with yet another Korean bank account (I already have at least two: a Shinhan account from my time at Sookmyung, and a Finebank account from my time at English Channel). My new bank will be the Bank of Daegu, or something like that. Guess I'll have to get cozy with the bank staffers: I'll be visiting them once per month to wire $1000 home.

3. Prices in Hayang are not exactly cheap. I was startled to see an el-cheapo brand of shampoo that cost W7800 per bottle. In Seoul, the same bottle of shampoo would have cost W5000. I thought small towns were supposed to have a lower cost of living. Apparently not.

4. Crossing the street is an exercise in diplomacy. The expectation, in Hayang, is that drivers may have to yield to pedestrians, especially if they're older ajeossis and ajummas. This violates every Seoul-ingrained instinct in my body. I marveled as buses stopped for old ladies who brazenly crossed the street, one hand raised palm-outward toward the bus in a magical warding gesture. Then I shrugged and tried the same trick, and it worked. Yes, it worked—even for the goddamn foreigner.

I'm about to go back out into the heat to explore CUD's campus. I live very close to the campus's hu-mun (back gate), and from what I hear, all the buildings I'll need to know about are within a few minutes' walk. Well, we'll see about that. Given how hot and humid the weather is, I'm planning to arrive early to all my classes so as to have a cool-down period. I don't need to be scaring my students with a bunch of under-breast and ass-crack sweat.

More discoveries await, and I'll be taking photos as I go. Expect pics soon.


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