After Korean class and a lovely lunch with the ladies, I went Christmas shopping and to find a nice purse that is large enough to fit my study materials in because I was sick of going downtown with my nice new coat and a backpack. (Side note: Oh god, is the next step to crave something other thank my falling apart New Balance sneakers for my feet? Has Korea turned me into a fashion zombie??? Maybe, but for now, I choose comfort over style for my feet. I need them for kicking butt on weekdays.) I finished both tasks quickly to my satisfaction and decided to reward myself with a hard-earned trip to Kyobo bookstore for happy browsing and a caramel macchiato with some relaxing Korean study time with plenty of people watching when my mind wanders.
Anyhow, the Starbucks inside was rather busy, so at some point a gentleman interrupts my studies to ask if he can join me since all the other seats are taken. Am I ever glad he did! His name is Greg and he's originally from Las Vegas, but lives in Indonesia now. He used to teach in Korea, but now he runs an import/export business for southeast Asian musical instruments and Indonesian jewelry. He was in Daegu visiting old friends after successfully selling all his wares in Seoul last week.
He had worked as a music teacher in the states for years before coming to Korea, so we had a lot to talk about. We discussed everything from politics to philosophy to art. And then we parted ways--he was headed to a jimjillbang and I to purchase a new digital camera at a store a friend recommended--but it was a friendly, enjoyable conversation. It's one of the things I love about life as an expat here--the positive random encounters. Most of which seem to occur in Kyobo. Even my bizarre non-date was entertaining. I think I will have to make it a regular part of my routine!
Anyhow, I went to get my camera. The store was this little Mom & Pop operation in one of the underground malls (there are several downtown). It took me a couple times wandering past to find it, but then I did. I'm glad because they were super nice to me (you know, because I spoke Korean... like five words of it). And I bought the nicer of the two Powershot models I'd been looking at. It is the fanciest camera I have ever owned in my life. But it's really easy to use. I will take it to Gyeongju tomorrow and see what it can do! I'm excited!