Thursday, February 01, 2007

Subterranean Seoul

I've been really sick for days. I blame the subway! The dangling hand grips are germ city! Still, riding the subway here is much nicer than back home. They have a nice voice announce each station as you arrive and there's even a little bird chirping in the background.

Every time you ride the subway, people pass through the cars begging or selling something. People begging always have a visible disability and wear a portable stereo playing a song like "Amazing Grace" on bagpipes. Sometimes, if they are able, they'll hand out laminated cards with their story on it and place it on everyone's laps and then come back around to collect them with, hopefully, a little bit of a handout. It's hard to watch because it's so sad.

On the other hand, these guys who come through selling things are like watching a live infomercial. They are really good. Usually they make a sale and if they make one sale per subway car, they're probably doing ok (I hope). Well, I've been conned before and I should be wary of people who talk too fast but Mom was dazzled by a guy who was selling bags on wheels. We happened to be carrying lots of bags that day and he was sweet-talking everyone with his 5000 won price (about $6).

We bought one! We thought it was the best. For the rest of the subway ride, we talked about how we should have gotten another one! And then we exited the subway car. And a wheel fell off. We laughed and laughed until we had to carry this stupid bag with one wheel up the millions of steps to get to street level.

We were headed to my cousin MoonGyung's house and he quickly set about fixing our bag. His daughter Yuri entertained us with her ballet moves. Once Yuri's sister Yujin got home from kindergarten, it was a madhouse. Yujin is really into blocks, princesses and she's also a farting machine, which is weird but also cute and hilarious.


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