So imma keep you all in suspense for a little while as to part 2 of the trip and talk about where I live for a bit since that’s been a popular request. I won’t go into my apartment just yet since I’m going to do a post after I’ve adequately cleaned it, and instead I’ll talk about my adventures in the concrete jungle that is Cheongju.
I’ve already ordered cleaning supplies from the Arrival Store, but because of a delayed shipment and holidays, I won’t be able to get my package until after the weekend. I decided today to hell with it, there’s only so long I can handle crud on the insides of my cupboards! And one can never have enough cleaning supplies anyway (must be the Virgo in me).
I also have been running out of my temporary grocery run supplies (and 3 days and nights of frozen dumplings and ramen are just about the max my body can handle), so I decided today would be a take-your-pick-of-food-stalls-for-lunch day.
Made my way towards the shinae (downtown), going by the route that brings me to one of my already-favourite streets so far for its canopy of lightbulbs.
My resolve to hunt for cleaning supplies dwindled as my appetite grew, however, having only had a bowl of cereal earlier in the day and it being well past lunchtime. Wandered up and down the market, passing vender upon vender selling all manner of things from freshly peeled garlic and root vegetables, to bushels of apples and pyramids of peaches, to live catfish and eels thrashing around in pink plastic pails.
I was struck by shyness as I walked, as I have experienced much of in Cheongju so far, feeling like a trespasser: whenever I passed a foodcart, I barely slowed down enough to see what they were selling let alone buy anything. Finally, though, I was drawn over to a stall with steamed buns.
“Ol ma ye yo?” I asked – how much is it? – one of the only phrases I know.
The kind-smiling woman struggled for a moment before saying, “Two?”
Two thousand won – roughly less than $2 CAD – I could do for lunch. I nodded and smiled.
“What-err,” said the woman. “Err – kimchi?”
“Kimchi!” I bobbed my head so enthusiastically with such wide eyes the woman laughed. She hurried over to the metal lid and lifted it to fish three fresh buns from the steam. I traded my cash for the delightful styrofoam lunch I had awaiting and thanked the woman with all the Korean vocabulary I had.
On my way to a nearby bench, I saw some apples for sale too. Fruit’s more expensive here, but only $5, 000 won for 7 giant apples that would last a good many days. I bought a bagfull from a couple of bestie ajummas (elderly women) and found a place to indulge in my fine dining.
Turned out to be reeeeeallly spicy, so the apples were a better investment than I’d’ve thought possible.
And a dragonfly joined me for lunch.
After that, I wandered around a bit – finally found a store and invested in some cleaning supplies. Then found the eco mart and invested in even more cleaning supplies and an air freshener (because I’d left taking out the trash too long and it got to reeking pretty bad. But now it smells like peaches!).
I also happened to find an all-purpose cleaner.
Who’d’ve thought there was something that cleaned fruit, dishes, toilets, shirts, and shoes all in one reasonably priced dollar store bottle?
And then, laden down with many heavy items, I meandered back home, indulging myself and taking pictures of the area.
Lol of course there would be a 7 Eleven…
And speaking of other of-course things there would be:
And with that, my day was complete.