My latest adventure has been taking the trip to Kim's Club via bus. Last Thursday I had fully intended to do this. I knew I needed to pick up some things for Kennedy's party, and I thought that would be the best place to get everything in one stop.
Several weeks ago, one of the "staff moms" (the term used for the stay-at-home moms whose husbands are employed at YISS) offered to take the kids and me to New Core Outlet where Kim's Club and Modern House are located. It was really nice because she has a car, so she was able to pick us up, show me the route, and then show us all around the shopping center. They have a play room in the complex (I never used these in the States--you know that little place at Fred Meyer where you can drop your kid while you shop?--but here, everyone uses them, and it's really nice for them to be able to play while I deal with the stress of over-crowded stores and getting run over by Koreans), so the kids played while we shopped. It was also awesome to have a car to bring all my loot home in (this was where I finally found baking sheets, cooling racks, and my strangely shaped cake pan)!
Anyway, on Thursday it was pouring down rain and I didn't have the motivation to walk the 1/2 mile to the bus stop, stand in the rain, and then carry our stuff home in the rain, so we wimped out and went on Friday. I was proud of myself because the trip involved getting on a bus we'd never gone on, with a specific destination in mind, hoping to actually accomplish something, with two kids in tow! That's a big goal for one day!
We managed to get on the bus without any trouble and got off the bus one stop too early because I knew where I was (and I'm very afraid to ride too far and have to walk back--don't know why). We made it to Starbucks and then began our shopping. We managed to find nearly everything we needed (and would still be able to carry home), and so I rewarded the kids by taking them to McDonalds--this shopping center has everything--it's so nice! It was strange going into a McDonalds where the employees don't speak any English! (The employees at the one in Itaewon speak English pretty well.) While the kids were eating, I thought I would look at my receipt because I was really surprised that I had spent 300,000 Won (about $300). I had picked up a lot of little things, so I thought it was possible, but unlikely. I still can only read about 1/2 of the Korean alphabet, and once I've read the letters, I still have to try to decipher the meaning, but this time I was lucky. It turned out that one item had rung up for 198,000 W. I knew that I either bought something that I didn't want if it was that much or there had been a mistake. So, I got to go to the information counter at Kim's Club and try to explain to the Korean saleswoman that I didn't want this $200 item. Fun time! After about 20 minutes, I got my refund and it turned out that she had charged me that much for a package of about 10 party napkins. Ugh!
I felt like the trip had been a success, though. A new bus. A new experience. We even managed to get home in time for Cade's nap, so that I could spend the afternoon and evening preparing food for Kennedy's party. Another day down for the Carlsons.