Local Shopping

Well this weekend was really bitter cold, but sunny. So, we tried to get out a bit. On Saturday we went to KooMart and Emart to look for some sewing stuff with no luck…but a nice Sri Lankan gentleman translated our request and got the Koreans to write down the location of a ‘sewing market’ in Suwon. Suwon is a town 30-40 minutes north of us, and at Emart we’re already halfway there. So, we took a drive up to Suwon with our tiny scrap of paper that had Korean writing on it. We stopped 4-5 times and showed it to people who would pointy-talky us a bit closer. I felt like we were on a scavenger hunt! It was pretty funny, though, and Zoe was asleep in the car so what was the rush? Well, we finally found the place and it was like a small Dongdaemun (the huge fabric market in Seoul); I was so excited. I got the thread I need and some other stuff, priced out fabric, and got all excited about the new find all while Bryan and Zoe were napping in the car. Bryan had a late night at work, and was quite the sport to come along on my wild goose chase. Things that are so easy to find at home…thread, interfacing, needles, bias…are so hard to find here. Anyway, after that we figured we may as well see the sites in Suwon and headed over to the Hwaseong fortress and palace. It was really cool, though we didn’t stay long. It had gotten very cold, and then Zoe peed through her pants while we stopped for snacks at the giant golden buddha near the temple; that’s an instant ride home.

Today we went down to the 4/9 market…it’s like ‘market day’ in England…only just on the 4th, 9th, 14th, 19th, 24th, 29th. Do you get it? It’s mostly food and clothes vendors and pretty good prices. We bought some dried kiwi and Korean sweet potatoes and then booked it home. Man, it was FREEZING cold, but sunny. It’s so decieving when you look out and see sun; I didn’t even bring gloves. Huge mistake. Zoe was quite bundled, though.

This evening we decided to finally try the base chapel, but we happened upon a special musical evening. The Suwon Baptist Church’s childrens choir came along with a famous Korean preacher, Dr. Billy Kim, and a famous general or two. It was neat. The kids choir was really good, and sang most of the songs in English. ‘Jesus loves me’ in Korean was especially sweet, as was their rendition of ‘God Bless America’. It’s just amazing how much the Koreans appreciate the US’s involvement in their country even after all these years. Even the famous pastor spoke about how blessed the US was and how blessed he was to meet an American soldier who led him to God. This country really has grown and stepped it’s foot into the world with a proud determination that is quite amazing; I mean it was literally a levelled war zone 50 years ago and before that was a ‘hermit nation’ of rice paddies and confucianism. Since then it has become an economic powerhouse. It’s incredible really, and I guess the US has helped them achieve that, though it’s their own work that has brought them so far.

So, Merry Christmas Korea…you impress me.

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