Thursday saw me going to KMA a second time to complete my list of tasks. By 3PM, I had done everything except for one list item, which I'll complete once I'm back in Hayang.
My dinner date had canceled on me, which was no big loss, so I hit Dos Tacos with my friend Tom and we gorged on a decent Tex-Mex dinner-- Tom with his shrimp burrito and yours truly with a Chipotle-style carne asada burrito bowl. I had wanted to visit Krispy Kreme to grab a pile of doughnuts to take back south with me, but Tom insisted on ice cream, so we visited the ball-shrinkingly pink interior of the local Baskin Robbins. I got a pint of chocolate mousse; Tom, white boy that he is, got a cherry/vanilla combo.
Before dinner, I explored Gwangjang Market, with which I had little familiarity despite having lived and worked for a year in the Jongno area back in the 1994-95 school year. It felt like a scaled-down, more orderly version of the gleeful capitalistic chaos that is Namdaemun Market, just a short taxi ride away. Still, Gwangjang Market has its charm, and enough nooks and crannies to keep the curious entertained for several hours. There's a little bit of everything there: clothes, food, flatware, and all manner of assorted knickknacks.
I bought one of my guilty pleasures while I was at the market: chocolate-covered sunflower seeds. I also found a lady who sold armpit deodorant, which is a true bitch to find in South Korea. Finally, I bought myself a large, cheap bag to act as a duffel when I do finally move back to Seoul.
I ended up being under 10,000 steps on Thursday, but I was pretty close to my goal at about 9,200 steps. As I mentioned before, you do a lot of walking in Seoul; it's an inevitable fact of existence here.
Friday afternoon, I go back "home," a term I use advisedly. Hayang and Daegu have never really felt like home the way Seoul had and still does. The moment I hit Seoul, I felt bien dans ma peau, as the French would say: comfortable in my skin. Talking and laughing with taxi drivers was easy again; there was no more struggling to understand that goddamn southern accent and its perpetually annoying, Japanese-style intonation. Navigating Seoul was easy, too, as I know the city well, despite the changes that have occurred in my absence. This is home. It's where I want to be.
With no Tom to sidetrack me on Friday afternoon, I might just swoop by Krispy Kreme and grab those coveted dog nuts.