Tuesday August 3rd:
Yet again we spent our day on buses, trains and in taxis again as we took the 50 minute trip Daejeon to go to Costco. This trip went much better than the first one, we even thought ahead the night before at Seoul Station and bought our train tickets so we could have seats on the way down. The main point of this trip was to look for things for our "Summer" classes we are having to teach at school. We had planned on making Chex Mix "White Trash" and "Dirt Pudding" both things we thought the kids would love and the ingredients would be easy to find. Well who would of ever guessed that not only did our local stores not have most of what we were looking for but neither did Costco, chocolate chips, peanut butter, powder sugar, butter, and Chex Mix cereal for the "White Trash" and then chocolate pudding, Oreos, and gummy worms for the "Dirt Pudding".
At first I was shocked and sad mainly about the pudding part however I was easily cheered up by the fact that now we had more room to bring back the thing we needed or well wanted. This time we came back with most of the same stuff as our first trip but added in 5 pounds worth of gummy bears, Jonhsonville Brats, frozen mix veggies, cans of tuna, pasta noddles, and turkey lunch meat just to name a few. Ryan was sad because we normally get a big thing of Pace salsa however this time they only had the Margaritaville salsa for almost twice the price, however amazingly better. So after doing a few laps around the store we finally asked someone who took us over and pointed out the Margaritaville salsa only to have Ryan tell him no the bigger ones with the handles. The man went in to the back room and came out with one, Ryan asked him if he had maybe 5 more only to have the guy say no. When asked how long it would be till they got in the next shipment we finally figured out they may not be getting anymore after we guessed 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and beyond only to have him say no. I worry he now thinks that white people are crazy for Pace.
After making our purchase we headed over to the food court, which as always was packed. I don't get it at home there is never anyone in the food court yet here you can't find a table, can't get near the soda machine, the condiments, and the lines are crazy. We got some hot dogs and a chicken wrap, the chicken wrap was much better, which we stood over our cart and ate watching all the craziness. We then headed up to load our stuff in our bags and catch a taxi back to the train station. I don't know why but I still am not use to the crazy taxi drivers here, this one thought Ryan knew Korean so he kept talking to him and saying things to make Ryan laugh (he understands most of it but can't reply), running lights, weaving around cars, and yelling. On the way back we stopped at a light where they were doing some road work, and I looked out to see a hard hat, vest and a dummy holding a sign? I was so shocked however it makes perfect sense, for starters a person could very easily be hit the way people drive around here, and well now they don't have to pay someone to stand there. I won't lie sometimes Koreans are smart and crafty.
Once back at the train station we found out we had a good hour to kill, so I found a seat on the floor and Ryan stood. The place was packed, however as always people watching was more than entertaining enough for me. As always I wished I had my camera because there was a very "Korean" looking Korean man with a long beard, all white potato sack looking pants and shirt, rice hat, big stick and all watching me like I stood out, oh and to top it off he had a cell phone that seemed completely out of place to me. After a few minutes we headed down to the platform in hopes of getting away from all the people to find an empty bench!
As we enjoyed our deserted platform we looked out down the tracks to see well people working on the railroad, I won't lie I had to hum the song to myself for a few minutes and even sing it till Ryan made me stop as I watched them. It turns out they were picking up trash. As a train came in we watched them climb up from the tracks, I noticed that the women were dressed in business like cloths had on high heals. We then got to watch them unhook the train that had come in and then do some work on it. After a bit the platform started to fill up and we gave up our seats on the bench as Koreans started to see how many people they could cram on the bench, I think it was about 6 all up nice and close to me. We slowly started to realized that maybe not having seats on the train back could be some what of a pain, and boy were we right. Normally there are not that many people in standing room only but there were so many people in some places that you couldn't move let alone be comfortable, and then if you tried to go in to one of the cars to stand in the back you would see people sitting on the floors all the way up and down the aisles to the point where people who had seats couldn't move around. We were lucky to find an open stairway to cram ourselves and our bags into to get out of the way only to have to jump from side to side with every stop on the way back. Once back we were ready to be done so we skipped the bus ride and got in a taxi, headed back, unpacked, made some dinner, watched TV and tried to get ourselves excited about work the next day.
Sadly our break was over and it had seemed like time had flown. Over all it was a great break from work, amazing trip to Seoul and successful trip to Costco, only to be topped off by great memories.