Getting a cab can be a nightmare in Seoul on a Friday. They have planned routes and mine didn’t seem to be theirs. But then I met Mr. Bang, for that was his name. I heard a Korean guy shout Itaewan and slump into a cab. Being my neck of the woods and bitingly cold, I decided to try my luck and offer a share. He accepted drunkenly.
So the journey began. He introduced himself no less than three times, gave me his card twice, kissed my hand twice and the taxi driver once and asked my name four times while berating Korean taxi drivers. He turned out to be the President of a fashion company who has stores in Korea and Japan. When we reached his apartment block, for he owned the entire building, he thoughtfully put his hand on my knee and asked if I wanted to stay. But being Korean (and u have to have been here to really know this) he didn’t mean abit of “who’s your daddy?” but most likely meant for a drink. I declined and continued on in the cab and found when it was time to pay that Mr. Bang had pay for it all.
The next day Christine and I wandered Seoul, looking for items she professed a house needed. I disagreed, stating I’d got on perfectly well without them and considered them unnecessary but in the end, we got a kettle, bed sheets, hot plate and food. Women eh? We found the items in a small electronic shop near the house after a fruitless but enjoyable wander around town. The shop was full of gadgets, transistors and other stuff I don’t understand with barely enough floor space to stand on. A bit like Jamesy’s room at university. This tiny guy, for he had to be tiny, had his whole world around him; his childhood obsession had been realized. His vocation reached. He made me a new cable for my shaver by soldering two together and while I usually have no interest in such affairs, I was fascinating stuff to see the little man do this. All for one pound fifty.