Costco doesn’t even exist in Maine that I am aware of – but here, it is akin to nirvana. We arrived, or tried to arrive, around 4pm on Sunday afternoon on a holiday weekend. This was not a good idea. Liane, the only one of us who can drive in Korea, legally, was directed into a traffic line that curled around the building and up the street. So the rest of us jumped out into our shopping adventure. The parking for this building is above ground, while the merchandise is actually below. There are 5 subsequent floors dropping ever lower, and the lower you go the more expensive the goods. We needed home goods and snacks, floors 3 and 2, respectively.
We had been told, before arriving here, that “everyone” in Daegu speaks English. This is not true. Not only do most people I have been in contact with not speak English, they have rarely seen a white skinned, blue eyed person. They are not shy about staring (not rudely, though) or pointing and whispering at us. (Which reminds me, this morning on my run, a man out on the trail hailed a very hearty “Goooood Mohning!” to me while his companion asked “how is your mama?” which I assume is the equivalent of “how are you, how’s your family?” Very sweet, very genuine.) Anyway, the funniest thing at Costco (besides the $12 Head and Shoulders) was when people started pulling out their phones to take our pictures, but covertly, as if they were paparazzi on the trail. Guy,thankfully, towers over most everyone so he gets the most attention. Plus he’s wicked easy to find when it’s wall to wall people fighting for their free samples.
Today was a day spent preparing my classroom and attempting to plan classes, though that’s difficult until I meet the students and know what they have done previously, what they are capable of and what they hope to accomplish in English this year. Tomorrow morning is our staff meeting and then it’s full speed ahead with work. For now, sleep.