I've been so sick and busy with the contest the past couple of weeks that I have been coming straight home from my weekly tutoring sessions with Anna and not browsing at that mecca of shopping South of the Han, the Express Bus Terminal.
Ok, I admit, that sounds funny, but Koreans view shopping as a national pasttime so where ever it is possible to cram a little shopping in, they do. The Express Bus Terminal houses not just a huge bus station, but a major interchange in the subway line. Since thousand of people are going to be streaming through there at any given hour there's a Shinseagea (Korean Macy's) a massive movie theater, no less than three Dunkin' Donuts, one of the rare Korean Krispy Kremes, BK, McD's and KFC, dozens of little stalls, and a truly unearthly underground mall that goes for miles.
I say unearthly because when I'm in it I feel like I'm on a space station. The ceilings aren't low precisely, but they aren't high either and when you look along the length of the thing, it appears to curve. In classic Korean fashion, there is a clump of restaurants at one end, a clump of shoe, clothing and jewlery stores in the middle and a clump of houseware and furniture stores at what I assume is the end. I can't actually swear that it's the end because I've never ventured through, but anything is possible. I'm probably missing out on an enormous video and music shopping mecca on the far side.Ã‚Ã‚Â
But back to the story. I felt pretty good this past week on my way home so I stopped and took a stroll. Somehow the change of fashion seasons had slipped past me, but since fashion is a subset of the Korean national pasttime, it wouldn't be ignored for long.Ã‚Ã‚Â
I'm not a huge shoe person overall. If I was going to get into shoes, I would do it here. The obesssion with shoes and the amazing cheapness of it all is sort of a perfect storm for turning anyone into a shoe maniac. You can get a great pair of heels like my purple velvet ones that I left behind in the States for $10. Boots are a staggering $15. There's a street up in Dongdaemun that I'm pretty sure my sister would never leave if she came over here. I tend to go for stuff that's going to be comfortable unless I find something too funny to pass up (reference the purple velvet heels.)
The boots grabbed my attention the moment I saw them. Our first winter here, I saw loads of wonderful boots, but didn't buy any because I was still too shy and hadn't figured out how to size shoes in Korean. (Measure your foot in millimeters and let the clerks do the rest.)
Well, this year I know my shoe size and I'm not shy anymore! Korea is trapped in the 80's so I'm hoping to replace my long lamented 80's elf boots (they had them 2 years ago and it's likely they still will.) I've seen both English riding boots and cowboy boots so I'm debating those. I can ride Western so that would fit the rest of the picture and go well with my purple tiered skirt that I bought for $2 off a tarpÃ‚Ã‚Â last year, but those English riding boots are so sleek and pretty. I also spotted some very nice lace up ankle boots.
So let's everybody hope really hard that I'm at full steam come Sunday so I can make the trek to Dongdaemun where the really good deals are.