A Canadian writer teaches English and finds out what it's like to be a foreigner.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fancy Bruises

On Sunday Shane and I went out to the "Rodeo Road" district near Jamsil (not to be confused with the swanky Rodeo Drive in Apgujeong, which subsequently should not to be confused with the actual Rodeo Drive in Beverley Hills.)

The occasion was my second and last haircut in Korea, and to do a little shopping as the fancy struck me.

Suffice to say, fancy got in a nice right hook. A couple.

Wanna see the bruises?

One of the dangerous things about wandering around in Seoul with a wallet full of cash is not the chance you might get robbed. Seoul (and Korea in general) is incredibly safe. No, the danger lies in your impulse to buy all the ridiculous things you stumble across, instead of candidly snapping a picture and later exclaiming to family and friends: "Look! This actually exists!" With a wallet full of Sejongs, each blending into the next, you find yourself suddenly able to say: "Look! This actually exists! And I own it..."

It can be a bad situation, but at least I'll have plenty of gifts.

First up is my new favorite magazine (from Japan):


It's essentially a Japanese glossy music and style magazine, but it seriously has the greatest name ever, and well deserving of an exclamation mark. It leaps right out at you off the rack...

Shane suggested the name might actually be pronounced "Bar-fout!" but I refuse to be swayed.

Next up is an item that Paul himself already owns, and Shane noticed before at a booksellers expo, being advertised by a three-foot-high plush dung in a mortarboard:


"Why? Dung."

A "science comic" on the the process of digestion and the history of human feces, as narrated by an anthropomorphic turd with strange little antennae.

A must have for any respectable member of the Global Village.

Shane bought this initially, but sensibly had regrets several hours after the purchase. I snapped it up at a handsome discount, figuring such a thing really did have to been seen to be believed.

Lastly is a ridiculous t-shirt found in a vast sea of ridiculous t-shirt street vendors:


I just can't grasp what ties together even a few of the many elements of this shirt. An "Armadillo Christmas" is bizarre enough as it is, but has the world really had occasion to celebrate seven of them? Do the festivities somehow involve "Quality Paint"? Am I already thinking ten thousand times harder about this than the designer's Mad libs-style production formula allows?

In any case friends, here are the photos so now you know these things actually exist. If you ever need something more tangible, look me up, because for better of worse, these things actually exist, and I own them...

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