Framed in Korea

About three weeks after I got to Korea – so over a year ago – my glasses broke. For no good reason either; the arm of the frames just bit the proverbial biscuit.

This was distressing on two levels: one, because I’d just spent over $300 before leaving Montreal on new lenses and had turned down the promotional offer for free frames with them because I loved and wanted to keep my old frames. Two, having just arrived in Korea and struggling to navigate the grocery store, I was much too cowardly to investigate my options in getting replacement glasses.

Alas, how I wish I’d been braver a lot sooner! Would have saved on so much squinting, and maybe even the shadows of crow’s feet that are folding into my skin.

One of my favourite things about Korea is how fucking cheap it is. Like, really. Astoundingly – astonishingly – foolishly cheap. Glasses are no exception. I’d heard a lot of people get them here – even stock up – but again, I was far too cowardly to check it out myself.

Then I made friends with fellow humans who also needed to replace their frames. I gladly jumped on the bandwagon and three of us headed out together to get eye exams, frames and lenses of course.

And for those three things, do you know how much it was?


No, really.

For all those combined, take a guess.


No, don’t be silly.


What, hella lower!


Not even.

Forty bones, people. Ten bucks for the eye exam, and thirty for the lens/frame combo.

And you know what made it better? They were ready in fifteen minutes.

So seriously, what the fuck North America – why are you such a ripoff?

Here’s my judgmental face.


7 thoughts on “Framed in Korea

  1. I meant to make this comment before, but until you jogged my memory with your Raymond Carver mention, I’d forgotten. (Don’t ask how Carver reminded me of W.C. Fields and Cornelia Snaggletwang.)

    But now I think you may know of Fields … or at any rate appreciate some of the characters that he created:

    Professor Eustace McGargle
    Elmer Prettywillie
    Samuel Bisbee
    Gabby Gilfoil
    J. Effingham Bellweather
    Rollo La Rue
    Mr. Snavely
    Mr. Dilweg
    Professor Quail
    Cornelius O’Hare
    Augustus Winterbottom
    The Great McGonigle
    Ambrose Wolfinger
    T. Frothingill Bellows
    Larson E. Whipsnade
    Cuthbert J. Twillie
    Egbert Sousè
    Charles Bogle
    Mahatma Kane Jeeves
    Otis Criblecoblis

    This is edited from a page about Fields – the penultimate entry constantly vying for my favorite.

    Should you not know its origin, think old (truly old) movies, with manservants tending to their masters as they depart for an evening out.


  2. W-H-A-T?!! That’s insane! Like, absolutely insane! As I’m reading your comment about people stocking up, I’m thinking, pfft, who in the world would stock up on eyeglasses of all things? W-H-A-T?!! Crazy insane!
    BTW, I love your look! 👍


  3. I wouldn’t want to be a student in your class and get that look from you. I would feel guilty guilty guilty and crawl to a corner and stay out of your way.


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