February 27, 2000, continued
Because of the no-shoes thing, you have to dress in a different order to go out–which feels weird, and really is disconcerting. You can’t put your shoes on until you’re wearing your coat and hat. Coming home, you remove your shoes, then take off your coat, then put away your briefcase and the groceries.
I was doing email in my office for about two hours, and it got cold. The wind was blowing noisily outside. Before I left the building, I used one of the “eastern” toilets, in the floor, balancing with one hand on the tile. I managed okay this time, but I don’t know how it could be done with a dress and pantyhose. I’m not going to try it.
There was no toilet paper, but I had Kleenex. And there were no hand towels, but I had my men’s handkerchief, thanks to Janet, who suggested buying a supply of them at Wal Mart before I left. An excellent suggestion!
I think I am going to like it here–except the young people are so well dressed, sleek, thin, feminine women with beautiful hair and long fitted jackets. And the ubiquitous cell phones. Yes, I should have invested in them, as that investment broker at home suggested.
I went to the coffee shop again today. I love it–a couch to sit on, coffee, nice relaxing atmosphere (except the rock music), people to watch, be with, and a great place to read.
My young waiter spoke English shyly, and it was sweet. He said, “May I please have your order,” or something; I couldn’t quite hear him. When I said excuse me, he quickly switched to Korean, something ending in “chuseyo” (please). I didn’t understand, so he went back to English. I said thank you when he brought it. Smiling, he ventured, “You’re welcome.”
When I left, I decided I had to be brave and try Korean, so I bought a loaf of bread at the bakery on the corner. I said “Kamsa hamnida” (thank you) and “Anyong hi keseyo” (goodbye). This is fun!
I miss my daughter though.
I so enjoy your little glimpses into Korean life, Lynne. I do have one suggestion, though. Since most readers are not fluent in the Korean language, it would be a good idea to put the translations in parentheses so we know what you are talking about in Korean.
Oh, of course, you’re right! Thanks. I’ll start doing that.