Sunday, 5 May 2013

Gangnam Movie Star

They say Koreans are cold and restrained people. My comment is: it depends. 

It was on my second day in Korea back in 2009. I have just arrived and my phone was not working, of which I obviously could not know, just like any freshmman to the Country of the Morning Calm. 

My laboratory coworker Chang-seok had mercifully taken care of this matter. On the second day I was still a stranger to Seoul and I have hardly known where I live and how to get there. We had taken subway line 2 to Gangnam station, where I saw quantities of shops, like an underground street market style, nowhere to be found in many countries I have been before, Everything with reasonable prices and stylish, interior of subway full of Korean pop music ringing in every corner as every shop has it's radio, not inside- because it disturbs clients, but outside to encourage them to enter. 

We went up to Teheran-ro. Teheran Street. I was stunned by tall buildings rising everywhere around me and a very wide street with typical to Korea rather wide pedestrian paths, Even here it is apparent that Seoul is indeed hilly everywhere - just in the back of the skyscrappers small roads climb high up to the hills with buildings smaller and smaller full of shops and restaurants. Even here K-pop everywhere, but Kimchi smell is kind of less. 

We entered SK Telecom shop where it took ages for the assistant to take care of my new number and charging my account with some 20 000 KRW ( it was enough for 2 months calling and texting later). 

It was hot, in the sun probably 40 degrees with humidity reaching 90%. So I had a rather loose white dress on myself. I sat down and was reading some magazine I brought with myself from Poland when someone started talking to me in Korean. 

An Ajoshi, man in his 50's, very elegant in Toshiro Mifune style of dignity was starring at me with a smile on his face. 
- He says you look like a movie star. - Chang-seok stated in a bit funny way :- Get ready as you may hear it from everyone here, every foreigner probably is a movie star for them. 

Honest or not, it was a nice compliment. 
Shy? Restrained? Cold Koreans? 

Maybe. But not then, not on that hot summer day in Gangnam. 

yes this is the same Gangnam from Gangnam style. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Welcome to my blog :) If you like, please comment. Keep in mind that if the comment may hurt anyone, including me, I will, by common sense, delete it :) Enjoy :)