I am still waiting for my first paycheck, so I have been eating like an eight year old- scary school lunches (basically I only eat rice) and grilled cheese sandwiches. I am quite fond of entertaining myself using virtually no money. Its a brain exercise, really. My latest form of entertainment is public humiliation. Unintentionally, I have become awkward when it comes to elevators. Before the elevator gets to my floor, I usually get nervous and hope that I don't have to come in contact with anyone. I don't know how this anxiety began, but I do prefer to ride alone. I have made it a habit to be caught doing something embarrassing in the elevator just as the door opens. I think this started in Chicago when I was getting my visa for Korea. I was in the elevator of our hotel speaking to Chandra about something and the very moment the elevator door opened, I blurted "Get away from me!" like a crazy homeless drunk with my chin pointing to my right shoulder and my eyes rolling back in my head. Those four words chopped out of my mouth and I could not control my actions. I don't know what was more funny; the fact that I looked like a rabid chihuahua or the reaction of the man on the other side of the elevator.
Since I do not have the privilege of singing in my car, the elevator has been used as my studio. Chandra and I were riding down to the lobby when the doors opened without my knowledge. Just as I belted out "525,600 minutes!" from Rent, I looked up and found a young girl who looked taken aback. When we arrived on the first floor, she ran off-I assume in fear. Some I am caught making weird faces in the mirror. I should know not to do this one by now, since the videos from the cameras in the elevators are available for all to view in the lobby.
Elevators aren't the only place for acting strange. After an exhausting and unsuccessful search for a park and an art museum, I had an hour long ride on the metro. A younger man joined our car and waited in front of the door. He had a large taunting piece of lint on his left shoulder blade. I really wanted to take it off for him (and return the kindness that a stranger had done for me earlier that morning when she adjusted my bra strap on the metro). Is this appropriate? hmm Probably not, so I tried to ignore my temptation. I informed Chandra about my wish to remove it and she encouraged me to help him out. hmm For about three stops we argued back and forth whether or not I should. I noticed in the reflection of the door that the young man was snickering. Sometimes I forget that a majority of younger Koreans do speak English, so not only did he hear about what we were talking about but he understood as well. I couldn't do it now. Finally we arrived at our stop. I was the last person to exit the door as I pushed myself towards his back and creeped by like a cat wanting attention. I was hoping that I would be able to rub the piece of lint off, but instead I just looked ridiculous and inappropriate. After leaving the metro we had a wonderful and much needed laugh on the steps. Laughing is free, with the expense of a little embarrassment.
When I am not acting inappropriate in public, I go shopping or "shopping." I have never really been one who loves shopping, so I would have never guessed that Seoul would be the city to change that. I am addicted to the fashion here! Everything from the shoes to the hair bling. The boutiques are delicious, but the only thing I can do is drool in front of the windows.
My desire to shop is satisfied by walking the streets with Chandra. Ah... a lovely skirt flounces past Starbucks and it is followed by "I got you that!" or a delectably adorable pair of shoes trot past us in the metro and it gets the "eye." Not only is this good for clothing, but it is also good for scoping out beautiful men. Sometimes, the gifts aren't so pleasurable, as one of us may joke around with the other, offering eccentric ajimahs from the streets wearing giant visors and balloon pants selling fake Louis Vuittons and a simple and polite "No thank you" works well in these situations. This has made the quality of people watching so much better and my pretend wardrobe is amazing.
Although payday is soon, I have grown rather fond of my lifestyle of imagination and I can't say that I will stop giving gifts or eating grilled cheese sandwiches.