Sunday, October 29, 2006

Buzzkill Goes Shopping

Can't sleep. There's a weird pain behind my left boob (that's where my heart is, right?) and it keeps waking me up. So I interrupted the weird waking dreams to just say feckit and compose a post.
Many people will know I'm not really crazy about shopping, not the best person to spend an afternoon in a shopping centre or strip, going from place to place spending money. Ethan definitely knows this - he calls me 'buzzkill' cos I'm always telling him not to buy shit and can we go have a sit down cos this is boring and purposeless and indulgent. There are some exceptions though. Earring shopping at second-hand stores, for one. Gift shopping, another. So my trip home next week in birthday season gives me the occasion to gift shop. And shop and shop.
I got quite a few things last week - I mentioned that I'd finally got what I hope is the perfect gift for lil bro Jack's 21st. But yesterday, that was something else. I had to teach in the morning, til 1.30, which, weirdly, was totally pain-free. Then I headed to Hongdae to get my hair cut, which was fine, and the JD Whatever met me out the front and we started pounding the pavement of that neighbourhood.
Seoul seems to have two clear purposes: allowing one to eat and drink oneself into a gluttonous frenzy; and allowing one to shop for disposable fashion and cutie ephemera until you reach an orgiastic delirium.
I had: a shopping list and a few ideas; JD to be my interpreter; no food in my tummy. We made a strong start, picking up the cutest most stupid shit that will have to remain TOP SECRET until KP and TT open their el-cuto-rama pink boxes with rainbow ribbons. Then we went to a Hello Kitty store and looked at baby shoes. At some point later I remembered that 'babyshoes' was a pet name for me that an ex came up with...
Anyways, Jack had asked me to get him some '$2 What The?' so I headed to Artbox where I found the perfect thing... Also picked up a CD I wanted for Jack at the awesome Purple Records. Oh and we had to weave through a throng of giant soju bottles and dogs.. Hongdae was getting crazy as the day disappeared. Halloween idiots everwhere. I was overdue for a feed so we ducked into a Thai place and ate noodles, chicken, salad, and drank Singha while thinking we had done pretty well already.
The most important gift of the day was for Dad, and we had to drive to Insa-Dong for that. We parked and hit Insa-Dong-Gil right by the awesome Ssamzie, where the show 'Wake Up Andy Warhol' had generated massive crowds. Sssamzie is a kind of open three storey boutique shopping centre, with a plaza area in the middle. For the Warhol show, they have wrapped the entire building in Warhol print, hung hundreds of umbrellas from the atrium space and, inexplicably, parked a Mini Cooper on the roof.
We walked and walked, looking for the right shop to get this special little customised gift for Dad. We'd been to one place in Hongdae and were alarmed that the things were made out of ivory and buffalo horns and stuff I couldn't conscience buying. So we had narrowed my odds by wanting one made of marble. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a little storefront, we went in, just on closing time, spent nearly an hour with one of those cute old man artisans, who regaled us with jokes and gruffness and advice.
I was now laden with bags... Happy happy. Got some perfect things for some wonderful people. Can't wait to get home and share the love.


Anonymous said...

I kinda wish I hadn't read this...makes me wanna go home for the silly season...hope it is a fantastic time though!

jethan said...

funny how you always "like" to shop when i'm not around. hmmmm.

Anonymous said...

lovely jess!i'm thinking of you. 4am in reykjavik. will write you soon, promise. good to read your stories. with all my love, johanna