This weekend was not one for exploring. Like most weekends, laundry was in order. I also did dishes, wrote those highly solicited letters to friends and family back home and worked on my blog. I needed photos for each entry so I went in search of the "perfect shots". I was disappointed to find out that the camera on my phone was not nearly as good as the teacher before me had described. Hopefully, I will be able to find one I like soon. Amongst all of these efforts was my haphazard attempt at learning the Korean alphabet, the first step in learning the pronunciation of any language.
This weekend's movies are 'Confessions of a Shopaholic' and 'Nine' for very good reasons. Before I say why, I must explain the attitude of modern Korea, or at least what I have encountered of it. Judging by the commercials and my encounters with young women my own age, modern Korea is at least moderately if not very fashion-conscious. I have felt underdressed around people before, but never out-styled in the sense that I was in another world. It's not a matter of labels or being up to date, but in the simplest terms, style. In Korea, showing the chest or to some extent the shoulders might best be compared to wearing a short skirt or shorts in America. Conversely, while wearing tank tops in the US is nothing, so in Korea is wearing short skirts and shorts. I am still getting used to not being able to walk down to the store in a tank top or spaghetti strap when it's eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit.
The shoes and purses though are where it really comes into play that eye for fashion. I've seen at least three designer bags (or look-alikes, I didn't check and wouldn't know how to) and there are shops with nothing but shoes upon shoes and purses upon purses.
I've always been an advocate for quality. I don't mind spending a good deal of money on something I know is going to be worth it. So when I found a deal on one of my boutique websites for seventy percent (yeah, 70%) off designer heels that were exactly what I was looking for, I knew I struck gold; victory felt even sweeter knowing I got the last pair.
While debating that purchase, I left the lovely heels in my online shopping bag and watched 'Confessions of a Shopaholic' to make sure I was being at least reasonably sane. Even though at 70% off they were about the same price as a good pair of running shoes (less than some excellent pairs), I had never made a purchase like this before. I was very much the little girl at the beginning of the movie early in my life and I did not want this one purchase to snowball into what it had with her. By the end of the movie, I knew I was fine and pressed 'Check Out'.
Spaghetti with mushroom marinara topped with mozzarella and grilled chicken, served with steamed vegetables and buttered toast (all in the refrigerator from the teacher who had mentored me) was dinner. This, plus my new shoe purchase made me want to watch something bolder, something with music that moves me: Nine. I enjoyed it with dinner and by the time I was ready to sleep I was singing 'Be Italian!' An odd thing to sing in one of the largest cities in Korea, I know. Still, I was emboldened enough to take on Monday.
Some of you may be asking, "What about your travels? Isn't this supposed to be a travel blog?" To answer your questions: "Wait." And "Yes and no." This blog is intended to show my time abroad. However, unlike blogs marketing tourist's sites or a quick vacation abroad (both of which I respect), this blog is about my life as a foreigner living, well, throughout the world. I plan to live and work in Korea for at least a year, hopefully more; then, if things work out, I intend to spend a few more years (after my years teaching in Korea) traveling the world. I have found that if you are intuitive about it, you can learn so much more about a culture by easing into its flow rather than trying to force yourself into it or glide above it, hence my extended stays.
Anyways, it's time for me to get off of my soapbox and get to sleep. After all, tomorrow's a school day.