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We provide English language training to local and foreign students (EFL/ESL), English teacher training (TEFL/TESOL), computer literacy training, skills development workshops and study assistance (tutors) to school learners up to degree level.
Eat. Play. Teach. Blog entry #10: Getting wet by Georgina Selander
Wet by Georgina Selander
We all know that movie scene. It goes
something like this:
a)A shaggy-haired teenager hops
over the neighbour’s fence to visit his girlfriend and….
b)A dumb robber (think Home Alone) attempts a stealthy break-in
…out dashes a snapping yap-dog – breaking
the silence and incriminating the intruder.
Last Sunday, after spending most of the day
in bed, I decided it was time to venture outside. It so happens that the
highlight of social entertainment in my town boils down to a few cramped bars
and a handful of supermarkets. Being a Sunday, my boozing options were limited –
so shopping it was!
So off I went, trekking up the hill, over
the intersection, past the elementary school and towards the local GS25
Being the highpoint of the day’s enjoyment,
I wanted to take my time – spend a leisurely hour or so roaming the aisles,
consulting ramyeon packets, trying to decipher the Korean wording on packages,
or pretending to be planning a recipe for a well-to-do husband waiting at home.
No such luck. Korean store attendants have
a habit of following you around – a most overly helpful habit. (Beauty stores
are a nightmare when you just want to try on all the free samples and a teller
follows your every move. In these cases, I end up feeling obliged to buy
something useless and cheap that I don’t really want – like a tacky lip icekey
The first interesting sight – a repeat
source of amusement in these instances – was the fish counter. If you can get
over the smell and the eyeballs, there’s always an interesting creature or two.
A common sight is live octopus (eating squirmy raw octopus is in fact a Korean delicacy). There are usually also some phallic-looking sea cucumbers or an aquarium
On this particular trip I discovered a group of squids, bobbing up
and down in the cold water. I watched them for ages, until my front-row seat
was taken over by an equally interested 4-year old.
Next stop: the meat counter. I’ve recently
located chicken breasts in Korean supermarkets – a versatile ingredient to have
in the fridge (and a regular meal back home). Just moments after locating said
chicken, a handsome Korean man strolls over.
“Can I help you? What are you looking to
Considering there are only whole chickens,
breasts and beef strips on the shelf, this conversation is really unnecessary.
“Umm I just want to make something for
dinner…Maybe bulgogi?” I reply.
I spy another glance. He really is very
handsome. Why of all possible days, was today the day I decided to venture out
sans make-up and sans bra. I suck my stomach in a little.
“For how many?” he enquires.
“Two,” I respond.
What a joke. It’s literally just me. Eating
for two. Again.
“This should be enough then,” he says,
lifting up a packet of beef strips.
I had no intention of buying this. I lower
it into my basket with a cheesy grin. I linger a second longer.
“Are you American,” he asks? (This is such
a common question here you’d think white people only lived in the big ol' US of
He looks at me like I should mention
something about the place– like my favourite Chicago deep-dish pizza restaurant
(poef). All I can think of is a Sopranos
accent. And I’m pretty sure that’s not even right. I take it as my cue to
leave, wondering if I should circle aisle 7 until I can safely put the meat
Anyway, as most
shopping trips go – where I plan to buy just one or two ingredients to complement
my household supplies – I come back with 400 000 won worth of goodies. Including the meat I didn’t want.
Laden with two overflowing shopping bags, I
decide to explore the other side of town and take a detour home.
15 minutes in, I realise I’m walking
through a residential area and the usual landmarks are nowhere in sight.
Realising I should double back and head
towards more familiar surroundings, I take a narrow lane in the direction of
Cursing the ghastly humidity, I carry on.
It starts to rain. Soon I am drenched in both rain and sweat.
As I round the corner, a prophetic sign rushes
towards me in the form of two stricken teenage boys. They duck into an alley. I
quickly see why they are running – a golden-haired yap-dog is speeding towards
me, teeth gnashing and nails clipping the tarmac.
I turn on my heels and run. My two shopping
bags bob awkwardly at my sides.
When the sound of the tiny yapper dies
away, I drop my bags of sodden groceries and laugh. Who cares if I get wet?