Quick Trip to Nampo-dong

Yesterday, wife and I had to make a quick trip to Jung District. There’s certain medical things that have to be taken care as part of moving here. Measurements need to be taken and tests must be performed. It reminds me a bit of a trip to the tailor except the tailor usually doesn’t ask for a vial of blood and cup of urine. But, of course, there are different sorts of tailors. I’m sure some of them ask for more urine than others.

Having spent the morning taking care of that and looking for a place to have passport photos taken. (Turns out that you can have them done in subway photo-booths.) We’d already had these pics taken in LA but I think they’re in our luggage or something. I don’t really know. All I know is Korean beauty technology really makes for a pretty good looking passport photo. Years of abuse were expertly subtracted from my face.

Since the doctor’s office was close to Nampo-dong, we decided to check out this famous market. There’s not much I can add to all the stuff that has already been written about this place and we didn’t make it over to the fish market, which is really what interests me, but we had a quick walk around. It’s a lot of food vendors, stores, and that sort of thing –most of which we can access closer to home– but there was a big mall there and, me being me, I had to check that out. It’s the Lotte Mall.

Due to the Chaebol system, which is a bit involved to go into here, quite a few things in South Korea are run by a handful of companies. So you get LG and Samsung housing, Samsung fabrics, Lotte Malls, and so on and so forth. Busan’s baseball team is the Lotte Giants. You get the drift, particularly if you root for of follow the Rogers Blue Jays.

Mainly, we looked around but we did manage to pick up a few things. Some Dr. Bronners soap (this is my favorite soap – I love the shit), a spatula, which we needed, having bought some eggs and a frying pan a couple days before, and I even managed to pick up a cheap blue raincoat (4000 won) in the underground market. I needed that raincoat. Having lived in Cali for a while, first in drought-stuck Sacramento then in LA, I have a real lack of any rain-gear. That was all lost through attrition.

We got to the top of the mall. This has a pretty good view of this part of Busan. And of my finger. One of these days, I’ll learn how to take a picture.

It’s also a pretty romantic setting. The roof of the mall is like a park. There’s a play area, a statue of a man proposing to a woman, and this fence.

Now, I’ve heard of these love lock fences. I’m a bit foggy on the details but I think it’s something young couples do to show their love – a bit like carving their names into a hobo’s chest, summoning demons to destroy their respective families, or getting a giant tattoo of your lover’s face over your own face. I’m not sure exactly how these locks work but I believe you chain the person you love to this fence and, if they fail to escape within three days, you get to keep them. Having destroyed the personal-ad, phone sex, and the traditional suicide pact, this is now how millennials date.

But, since I was with my wife, romance was the furthest thing from our minds. There was, however, a photo area thing. So here’s a photo.

I’m an angel on a toilet. Because, I’m squatting, you see.

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