Sunday, October 23, 2011

…is 7:00 a.m. on a Sunday a slightly sinister hour.

We were very lucky this weekend to receive another visit from home.  Steve’s cousin, who was in from Boston, was able to come down for one night, and one night only, of Mokpo-style drinking and dancing.

So this morning, I wanted to send him off with a good breakfast before the 3.5 hour train back to Seoul.  Now, I know Koreans are not early risers on the weekends.  Probably has something to do with the weekly binge drinking.  And I knew somewhere in my mind that they didn’t open stores very early because of this.  But I’ve never really had reason to go grocery shopping so early on a Sunday.

I set out at 7:00, thinking I would at least find a few items that would suffice.  But everything was closed.  The three markets I went to.  Every fruit stand.  Every coffee shop.  Actually everything in general.  Literally, not a single store of any kind was open, let alone one that sold food.

If it hadn’t been light outside, it would have felt more like a bad scary movie.  The silence was deafening.  I walked, no strolled, across four lanes of road.  Not a cab or crazy mo-ped delivery driver in sight.  A few random cars passed by, and a dog sat whimpering in an outdoor cage.  I think I saw a tumbleweed roll by.

The only other actual person I saw was what looked to be an 8-year-old boy riding a pink bicycle with streamers and training wheels, taunting me from across the street and yelling, “Waygookin, waygookin (foreigner), ha ha ha!”