Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Vacation Time

On Tuesday I was up all night with a terrible stomach ache. I thought I was down for a couple days, but thankfully by Tuesday evening I was feeling better. Maybe the cure was the soup my Korean friends encouraged me to eat for lunch? (I think the sausage dinner I had Monday night might have been the cause). Anyway, I was well enough to make a final shopping trip to a nearby music and book store. SY agreed to meet me after work (I think she wanted to check up on me and make sure I was really better).

She had previously told me that this music store was a really big one, and I could find almost any CD I wanted. And she was right, it was a pretty big place, comparable to large music stores in USA and others I have seen in Japan. But I was completely unprepared for the bookstore. It was HUGE! I wasn't initially planning to buy any books, but SY pointed out that I could get some grammar books. She asked the clerk where to look, and we were sent to the foreigners' section. I should say separate book store - at this place, just the foreigners' section was as big or bigger than any bookstore I have seen in America, and it was just one small portion of the whole bookstore! Amazing - today, my friend CH told me that a couple of years ago, he heard that this book store was the largest in all of Asia!

We picked out a grammar and vocabulary work book for my Korean studies. SY bought a package of western movies (either DVD or VCD's, I couldn't be sure) sold especially for learning English. Apparently they have included the English subtitles for these movies, and linked them to Korean translations. As I understand it, you can pause the movie and look up the equivalent Korean phrase. There were many sets of movies, and she chose one that included some old classics (I think the 1970 movie "Love Story" was the reason she chose this set).

Just Like Elementary School Posted by Hello

Speaking of foreigners, I forgot to comment that Saturday night, SY's friend HS noticed a receipt that I had sitting out on the microwave, and started laughing. It was my monthly newspaper receipt, and under the CUSTOMER NAME blank on the form I was identified as FOREIGNER. We checked a laundry receipt next, and there my "name" is my apartment number. Funny.

Well, today I have been packing up and getting ready to leave for a short vacation home. Tonight I meet our graphic artist HJ to pick up our namecards, and review some brochure details. Then early tomorrow morning I'm off to Incheon Airport for the trip home. Checking the itinerary today, it only takes me 2-1/2 hours to go from Seoul to Huntsville. That is in contrast to the almost 48 hours it takes to get here!

As the Stumbling Engineer stumbles home, this is the last post from Seoul until April. Annyeong....


Momma Stumbler said...

Does that enormous bookstore have any beginning books on Mandarin? I'm determined to be able to read & write & speak at least a little when I get back. I'd sure be happy if you could pick me up a set of workbooks for mandarin. That looks like just my speed! I've got the Pimleur CD's to learn to speak. I'll even send money. ;>) Can you use or exchange Chinese yuan?

Momma Stumbler said...

Or the ones from Hong Kong?