A few days ago, Jeanette showed me her travel kit, a plastic box filled with toiletries and various odds and ends one may need whilst backpacking. Jealous of her handy-dandy kit, and convinced I needed to get my ass in gear with this whole packing thing, I headed to the local dollar store to pick up a few things for the trip. En route to the store, I swung by the local supermarket that we’ve taken to calling “Hidden Grocery.” The fastest way to walk from SEV to Suyu Station is through this little alley, and inside one of the buildings in the alley is this grocery store. How we ever discovered it, I have no idea, but it’s been a constant source of milk, meat and half-price ice cream this year. The alley itself is one of my favorite parts of Korea, because it’s one of the places that hasn’t been heavily westernized. Save for the pizza place and newly opened hair salon, most of the shops in the alley are run by ajummas and agashis who are willing to bargain on the various fruits, fish and raw meats they sell. Until last month, the road wasn’t even paved! Friends who have lived in Seoul for years have said that the city has changed drastically in the last decade, and I think Suyu is a prime example of one of the areas that’s just starting to modernize.

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Once I finally got to the dollar store, I spent an hour there, bopping my head to the beat of the F.T. Island music playing on the sound system. Picked up a plastic kimbap tray, which is now living a new life as a toothbrush/aspirin/Band-aid holder, and a cheap, inconspicuous wallet (something tells me a hot pink Coach wallet might draw attention in the third world). Noticed the setting sun on my way home and snapped a few pictures. I’m pretty partial to upstate New York sunsets, what with the mountains and all, but this was damn good.

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Oh, and I made my last trip to the clinic this week. Big shock–another infection. Something involving coughing Here’s the requisite photo of me with some breathing apparatus:

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NINE days until Thailand!!

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