Orientation Day

Published: August 12th 2010
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It's Friday July 30th and somehow I skipped the entire 29th day of July, once again, I have managed to loose a single day thanks to flying over the Pacific Ocean. When we arrived at gate #2, at the English Village the driver rang Mike Buckner on his cellphone awaking him from his sleep. Mike quickly got dressed, and headed for the gate to show us to my building. We introduced ourselves, it was finally good to meet Mike in person. Over the past 3-weeks, Mike had become our "Go-to-guy" at the English Village with all information we were trying to deliver to help speed up the process. I was elated to finally meet him and shook his hand vigorosly then unexpectedly threw my arms over him giving him a surprising "sneeky" HUG!!! Overwhelmed by my joyous tribute to our meeting we jumped in the taxi-van driving up the hill, around one corner driving down main street, past the trolley car and the English Pub, past Meister's, Pizza & Pasta, beyond Tom n Tom's Coffee Shop finally reaching the Morocco Building residing just above E.V. Mart.

We thanked the driver after tossing my luggage on the ground. Mike asked me to make sure that I didn't drop anything while in the van, that I had everything I brought from the airport because this driver was heading back to the airport and its a good hours drive away. I thanked Mike for his "motherliness" but told him, we only put the bags in the trunk and sat in the drivers seat with my camera before falling asleep. Since I had the camera in my pocket all was good. We both picked up one of my bags, I threw my carry-on over my shoulder and climbed the short stair case to the front door. Up to the second floor we went as we idly chatted about nothing until we reached apartment 204. He said, "gosh I hope Shauna, left the door unlocked or we are going to have to wake her up." She didn't leave the door unlocked in Canada, I was certain she didn't leave it open here on her first night! Correct, I was and we banged on the door. On the third knock a reluctant, drowsy half awake Shauna answered the door in her purple PJ's. We said our hellos, introduced Mike briefly, learned why they hadn't met yet and said we would meet for lunch around Noon.
Dropping my luggage on the floor I hugged Shauna, grabbed my green backpackers bag pulled out my pillow letting its down fluff back to normal as I stripped off my sweaty sixteen hour travel clothes down to my boxers and climbed on top of the futon bed, crashing out without another word.

Four hours later, I awoke in a hazy confusion trying to locate the clock to figure out the actual time? My body felt like I had been asleep for ten hours but the clock was reading nine-oh-nine in the morning. Damn! Slowly Shauna and I discussed our time apart in San Francisco as well as Vancouver. We went a bit deeper into our conversation then we did at the airport the day before. We discussed who should have which wardrobe closet, when we wanted to go to the store for food, what we would get for food, how we wanted the room to look and then there was a knock at the door.

In the wake of last nights "welcoming" dinner party with nine teachers, Jacquelyne (our pen-pal for the past month) explained to Shauna that she had a car and would be taking us (once I arrived) over to Home Plus, for our first Korean Shopping experience. At some point during the dinner, Jacquelyne also introduced Dominique to Shauna. She explained to Shauna that Dominique was part of the "Welcoming Committee" hear at Gyeonggi English Village, and wanted to set up a time in the morning, to give her (and me, if I was around) a tour of the Eighty-Acre Campus! Between the three of them, they decided on 9:00 am because Dominique was covering a class at 10:00 am for another teacher. Shauna agreed to this but failed to remember any of this conversation because at 10-minutes to Nine o'clock, then there was the "knock-knock-knock" on our door. Shauna looked at me stating the obvious thought, "did Mike screw up lunch with breakfast?"

Sitting at the computer desk (much like I am at this very moment) shirtless and pantless, sitting in my boxers because the humidity and heat were just too much to bare with since I am sitting still and sweating at the same time! Eureka, the light bulb goes off in Shauna's head as she opens the door seeing Dominique standing there with her journal in one hand smiling, she asks "are you ready for your campus tour?". At this point, Shauna begins laughing because she has completely forgotten about the "campus tour" and Dominique's arrival at 9:00 in the morning. Silly girl, her jet-lag is playing tricks with her mind! Or possibly it could have been the three-glasses of plum-wine at dinner? Either way, we discuss with Dominique our options for taking campus tour later in the day and prior to our medical appointment at 3:35 pm because it should only take us an hour to see the entire village.

Once Dominique left we came up with our list;

- Vegetables - Milk - Coffee - Cereal - Dry Fruit & Nuts - Pasta - Noodles - Rice - Eggs - Fruit - Water
- Tub Scrub - Bath Soap - Laundry Detergent - Dish Wash Soap - Scrub Pads - General Cleaner
- Coffee Pot - Iron - Beer - Soju (Rice Wine) - Biscuits (cookies) - Salt - Pepper - Spices
- Ethernet Cord - Barber Shaver - Towels - Batteries - Desk Supplies - Chopsticks

After writing the list we had about an hour to
E.V. Mart E.V. Mart E.V. Mart

Morocco Building; our home on 2nd floor
kill before Mike arrived to take us out to lunch at the local Kim-bop place just down the street. Kim-bop rolls are similar to sushi or California rolls but they tend to be spicier with not-as sticky rice. Plus he was going to be explaining a bit more about what the english village currently is trying to accomplish with its students, how we work, who we work with, the concepts of the english village and answer any questions we might have about the local area, classes, teaching, principles of teaching, rules and regulations, and anything else that came up?

During our forty-five minute hiatus, we unpacked extremely wrinkly clothes that neither of us had worn in the last twenty-four days while we stayed at the parents house as our clothes to wear to lunch. Then we proceeded out of the apartment walking past the convenience store and out towards the gym. We briefly walked through the gym, exploring it and searching for the outdoor swimming pool. In our minds this swimming pool was a lap lane pool and we wanted to know what it looked like because we were planning on swimming outside each morning until winter arrived.
Main Street #2Main Street #2Main Street #2

Looking South

Ironically, Shauna and I ducked down the wrong hallway and ended up in a car parking lot. Looking out across the athletic field, we realized the swimming pool was on the opposing side of the grounds this is when Shauna glanced down at her watch stating, "we have five minutes to be back at the apartment so that we can meet up with Mike." Needless to say, we hurried back to our apartment and arrived just a few minutes before Mike did.

We walked down main street, turning left just past the black trolley car ending up in the "teacher's parking lot," where five small Hyundai and Toyota automobiles sat. We approached this hideous little four door red car with miniature spoiler as Mike unlocked the doors the question parade began to wield itself out of Shauna's mouth. Personally, I was still in a daze about where I was and who I was with plus I couldn't really recall the past 24-hours since I had spent it between Edmonton, Alberta Canada, San Francisco, California USA and Incheon/Paju City Seoul, South Korea!!! My brains were mushy and I was using "autopilot" to maneuver around today. Honestly, all I wanted was
Main Street Main Street Main Street

Looking North
a couple of beers to knock me the hell out, and sleep for a good twelve hours! But this humidity, wasn't going to let up enough for that, so, it was back to the reality of what the conversation between Shauna and Mike had developed into...

The Kim Bop place was less than ten minutes away, which I thought pretty funny and told everyone just that! Mike's face retorted with pleasure stating, "If we had walked, it would have taken us twenty minutes. Plus by the time we would have arrived, we would all have needed showers!" With a smile on my face, I twisted around laughing at the change in scenery and all the pleasures of being someplace new on the planet.

We entered the only door, being greeted up entry with "Ahn-nyuhng-hah-seh-yo" (hello) from the people working inside. We took a table third back on the left. There were four-four chaired tables on the left with four-six chair tables on the right. The room was ten-feet across by thirty-ish feet in length. It had a very small kitchen at the back with an open air design, so you could view everything going on inside. At the front of the room was a prep-table with several dishes of food spread out across it (similar to the Subway sandwich shop line) except there wasn't a partition, nor was he wearing any funny branded name clothing. The guy just stood there preparing one-Kim-bop roll after another, when they were ordered, and then brought them to the table.

Mike (who is originally from Houston, TX and has been living and teaching at GEV for 3-years), explained to us that typically in Korea, when you went out for a meal, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner, that the oldest person at the table typically always paid for everyone else even though the 2nd oldest person would try horribly to pick-up the bill, but in the end would let the oldest pay. The youngest at the table was the person who passed out place settings of chopsticks, napkins and spoons to everyone at the table. This person was also in charge of retrieving water from the water cooler as well as refilling the glasses when they were empty. The great thing about being the youngest person at the table is, that you never had to pick up the bill, as long as you kept everyone happy with liquids and napkins to use!

He then explained what the menu was briefly, how to order something without meat "gogi ah-nee-yo" or fish "muhl-gogi ah-nee-yo," what the term for vegetarian is "cheh-seek-jtzoo-ee-jah" and how you were to read the menu. We decided to order one hot-stone pot of bi-bim-bap, which is a traditional favorite meal in the southern provinces of South Korea, consisting of rice, radish, sea weed, go-chu-jung (hot pepper paste), one fried egg, bean sprouts, and kim-chi, 1-vegetarian kim-bop roll and 3-tuna kim-bop rolls because this was Mike's favorite, one! And with a recommendation, I couldn't pass it up!

In due course, our food arrived on our table followed by two small bowls called bon chans with pickled radish slices and kim-chi. Because Shauna ordered bi-bim-bap, she had to mix it together herself, as Mike and I, dug into the kim-bop rolls. At first bite, I knew this wasn't for me because it had way too much mayonnaise, tuna, radish, cucumber, and rice rolled into the seaweed but it was the mayo, which was turning my stomach. The problem is, is when you are hungry and deprived from regular sleep, anything someone sets in front of you that is edible, will be eaten, therefore I did just that!

The three of us idly chatted about our backgrounds, asking questions until were nearing the end of our lunch when Mike realized I started taking on that "is he going to puke" look about me? I had become pale in the face, flush almost and Mike was concerned about my well-being, or at least he seemed sincere about it trying to get me to go home and take a nap prior to the medical. I said, really what I need is fresh air, a nice walk around campus and to get out of this restaurant. So, I got up and went outside while Mike sorted out the bill still talking with Shauna. Once outside my face went back to normal and we were off to meet up with Dominique even though we were thirty-five minutes later than planned, oops!

Strolling around campus with Dominique was both intriguing and interesting because every ten-steps we took, we either ran into another teacher to be introduced to or I stopped to take a photograph of something catching my eye. The tour was to take us through the outside of the structures just giving us a general feel for the size of the campus. We were both impressed and depreseed by what we were looking at. Impressive were the architecutre, arches, construction and landscape the place was exuding old-world European but the depression set in the more we wandered around realizing that no one was keeping up with the deterioation around campus. Vines, weeds, and grass were growing out of, off of and around everything, buildings are beginning to look faded and not taken care of. The two outdoor amphitheaters look like they have been sitting neglected for more than twenty months! The place literally was atrocious and gorgeous at the same time! We couldn't believe our eyes! Plus the corker of all this, the village has only been open for the past four years! Wholly Mackerel, if you judged it by appearance only, you would think it's been here for twenty years! It was an incredible sight.

Around 3:15 pm we said our good-byes to Dominique and were handed over to Rick Choen, who is the director of personel and contracts. Rick chauffered us over to the nearby private hospital to have our medical done. The medical was to prove we are healthy people and enable us to apply and receive our Alien Registration Cards (ARC). The medical took less than 20-minutes to accomplish and we were shuffled through five different offices, seeing five different nurses and doctors along the way. During our medical they chose to;

1) Obtain our Height, Weight and Blood Pressure
2) Take blood samples
3) Have us do a urine sample
4) Chest X-Rays
5) Speak to a doctor who asked the following questions about our health;
a) are you a smoker? no
b) do you take illegal drugs? no
c) do you exercise? yes on a regular basis, I play sports and lift weights
d) do you take any regular medication? no
e) do you have any medical problems? no

From these questions, he deemed me to be a "Healthy Male" person!

After the strange 20-minute medical costing us both 40,000 won ($40.00) each, Rick drove us back to campus inquiring about the questions the doctor had asked? By this point my blood sugar must have started
Garden Walk WayGarden Walk WayGarden Walk Way

Outdoor Amphitheater
to go south again, because I was beginning to be grouchy meaning I was in need of food and water. As Rick pulled up to the main gate dropping us both off we thanked him for taking us to the hospital for our medical wishing him a good evening as he drove away rapidly to meet up with someone else. Between the time Rick dropped us off and heading to Home Plus with Jacquelyne, we had around thirty-minutes. For the next thirty minutes, I purged myself with a couple of random Korean snacks that were left in our apartment by the welcoming committee and unpacked the rest of our bags. At a quarter to six, Jacquelyne, knocked on our door asking if we were ready to go to dinner and then onward to Home Plus? We were both slightly excited about the dinner and not at all excited about the shopping because of the list we had come up with that we would be needing for the next couple of weeks.

On the way downstairs, Jacquelyne asked what was on our shopping list?

Well, we need an iron, ironing board, bathroom rack, colander, coffee pot, water kettle, file
Walk Way to "Hotels"Walk Way to "Hotels"Walk Way to "Hotels"

Hotels are were students stay
system, bath mat, laundry basket, zip lock bags, aluminum foil, spatula, soup spoon, utensils, tupperware, front door welcome mat a few other odds and ends plus food! Ryno (pronounced Rain-O), another South African who was heading to Home Plus and dinner with us, suggested we go dig through the Welcome Committee cupboards prior to heading for the store because we might find a few of those items. We headed for the closet and ended up finding an ironing board, bathroom rack, colander, zip lock bags, pencil holder, file system, laundry basket, kitchen utensils, garbage bags and a couple other odds and ends saving us a bit of cash on the "what we need list."

We returned to the apartment, dropped everything on the floor, went to the car and jumped in. Jacquelyne and Ryno were taking us to Shabu-Shabu, which is a 3-course meal, consisting of a soup based meal with bean sprouts, leeks, potatoes, carrots, mushroom, cabbage and very thinly sliced meat which is cooked together first. Once you have eaten your fill of vegetables and/or meat soup, you then add into the pot udon noodles. After you have a second course of soup with noodles, the water is drained off by the waiter who then takes a very large bowl of rice and mashes it into the hot stone pot. This becomes your final course of the meal.

When we sat down at our table the large hot stone pot was just starting to bubble showing signs of life, when Jacquleyne explained the idea behind Shabu-Shabu and said she comes to this particular restaurant three or four times a week to eat! "It must be damn good, if you are coming weekly," I stated and she just smiled. Ryno state this would be his second time eating here since his arrival because he just doesn't know how to use chopsticks properly. He said, "I'd rather eat in the cafeteria because no one notices my bad chopsticks usage." We all gently laughed at his comment, when Shauna began explaining to him on "how to use chopsticks" in a simple way. And that if he can get his hands on a pair of round chopsticks, he should carry them with him and use only those until he gets an understanding because round chopsticks are a thousand times easier to use then flat ones!

The next thing Shauna did was open up the big stone pot in front of us sticking the soup ladle into the big steamy broth and pulled out a heaping scoop or broth and what looked to be a slice of cabbage or mushroom? This is when the waiter reappeared slapping Shauna on the hand and replacing the lid on the hot stone pot! I began laughing immediately because it reminded me of a night out with our softball team at a local pub in Calgary where people were slapping Shauna's hand for trying to eat different appetizers! Total hysterics! Shauna's eyes became really large when it happened but she too was laughing at her own mistake. Ryno and Jacquelyne were stunned at our laughter just stating the obvious "it still needs to come to a boil before we dig into it."

Ten minutes later I reached for the ladle only after the entire pot was in a rolling boil and beginning to splash over the sides. I scooped up a bunch of vegies covering them in a couple of heaping scoops of broth. Shauna went next but hesitated to see where the waiter was, with him out of sight she dug into the giant hot stone pot. Once we had our bowls full, Jacquleyne and Ryno tossed in their thinly sliced meat to get it cooked. Three and a half minutes later we were all smiling enjoying the great hot stone pot meal. Jacquleyne stated, "be sure to pace yourself because this is a very large meal and you want to make sure you get some of the rice at the end. This is the best part of the entire meal. Or at least its my favorite part but I always seem to eat too much before the rice is done." We nodded our recognition towards her statement about the rice even though I thought to myself 'how the hell am I going to do that? I am getting beyond full so, I should just stop eating now? Lame!' Then I set my bowl down and quit eating.

Once the meat had been cleared out of the broth by Ryno and Jacquleyne, we dumped the noodles into the broth and waited another five-minutes until the noodles were cooked into the broth. Once again, picking up our bowls we dug into the hot stone pot. This time the noodles had sucked up the hot pepper spices turning them into delicious dripping hot udon noodles. It was fantastic but I couldn't figure out how much to eat prior to the rice. Because of the strong recommendation from Jacquleyne earlier in the meal about the rice, I decided to only eat half a bowl of noodles. Surprisingly Shauna noticed I wasn't eating heaping scoops of noodles and inquire about my issue? I smiled and then retorted, "I need to save space for the rice, damn it! Jacquleyne said the rice is 'to die for' and I want to save the remaining room in my belly for the deliciousness of the rice! Whatever that may consist of?" Everyone burst out laughing and noodles went flying all over the table! It was wickedly funny!

Finally, the waiter reappeared when all of our eyes were headed back into our craniums to send us into a deep hot stone pot food coma! He drained the hot stone pots remaining broth into a large bowl on the table. Then taking an equally large bowl of rice began mashing it into the sides flattening the rice out into one thin layer of crackling goodness. Nine minutes after taking the hot stone pot away from us, he set it back down. The rice literally clung to the hot stone pot. Ryno dug almost at the same time as the waiter let go of the pot! That had to be a good sign. Jacquleyne, stated she ate far too much and always does this even though she loves eating the rice. I had no idea what the excitement was all about but grabbed a spoonful and tossed it into my bowl. I turned to say something to Shauna but she had disappeared? Probably ran to the bathroom to puke, to make room for the rice! Smart thinking! However when she returned I asked, "did you make room for the rice?" She smiled her wickedness at me and stated, "you know I love my food too much, to just toss it up in the bathroom!" Everyone laughed as she pulled a nice large scoop of rice out of the pot.

The rice... OMFG!!! It was super duper delicious! Why didn't they serve it first? How the heck did it have that sweet flavor to it? Well, I know why it's crunchy but how did the spices in the pot turn it into this sweet delicate beautiful tasty treat? We were all smiling and slowly putting rice into our mouths enjoying the sensational flavors in our mouths when Ryno stated, "we should walk down the street after this to get an ice cream cone!" "What? How the hell can you still be hungry, man?" I blurted out before everyone else! He said, "it helps you digest the rest of the food if you just add a bit of ice cream. Plus its a nice little walk down to the shop and back which will also help the other food digest, even further!"

When everyone had picked out there last piece of rice from their bowl, Jacquleyne smiling said, "are we ready?" (Ryno) "For some ice cream and a nice walk?"
(Shauna) "I'm not sure I can put an ice cream cone into this"
"Seriously? Are you being serious?" (Me)
"Sure, it's only ice cream and it will taste great!" (Ryno)
"Well, I know I cannot but I will walk with you guys down to the convenience store." (Jacquleyne)
Jacquleyne, standing at the front of us, turned and said "you both owe 6,000 won because you didn't order any meat." Completely flabbergasted I replied, "Really? It's only 6,000 won?" She nodded and said "That's it. Just 6,000 won." Smiling from ear to ear, Shauna and I both handed over 6-1,000 dollar bills.
We then all walked outside, stating Gum-sum-nee-dah (thank you) to the waiter as we left to retrieve our shoes in the front doorway!

While putting on our shoes, Ryno thinking out loud said, "I hope they have that caramel ice cream cone at the convenience store, it's one of my favorites!" Jacquleyne smiling at him said, "they might but we will know soon enough." Shauna replied the most obvious thing on both of our minds, "Six dollars! I cannot believe it only cost us six-dollars to eat here! We need to come back here again!" I had nothing to say because it was far too good to even think about putting a price on it. But I too had a hard time with the facts of how much food we just consumed for a price tag of six-thousand won approximately six-dollars back home! Wow! I was expecting to pay at least fifteen for what we ate! I suppose I will have an ice cream after all, celebrate the fact that this is South Korea and food is cheap when you go out to eat!

We all walked down to the convenience store idly chatting amongst the four of us on various topics. We reached the convenience store in about six minutes when Jacquleyne pointed to a restaurant on the end of the small plaza stating, "if you see a sign like that one over there, don't eat there. They serve dog as their man 'meat' ingredient." Shauna and I, tried to pick out the Hangeul which stated "dog meat" but we just weren't finding the right characters. Jacquleyne, said "just remember it's the yellow awning with the blue stripes. They all look the same, you'll notice that about restaurants around here." Then we took the six-minute stroll back to the car trying not to drip the ice cream cones all over the front of our clothes. The entire cone was melting before I could lick any of its delicious caramel flavors so I just crammed cone and ice cream into my mouth and started chewing, instead! It was a great alternative but not as enjoyable.

We climbed into the car and drove for about fifteen minutes north to Musan where Home Plus is located. By then it was 8:55pm on a Friday evening, thinking there would be not a soul in sight the parking lot was crammed, every single stall had a car in it? Are you freaking kidding me? People back home don't shop this late unless they are going to a party? What the heck? The reason we were told was people are often extremely busy running their kids to their nine different schools making it difficult to shop at any other time during the week, leaving Friday after dinner for grocery shopping! Wow! Thankfully every aisle wasn't too busy until the Koreans realized they were being invaded by foreign teachers and just had to catch a glimpse through the evil side glances instead of direct staring like the Japanese!

Shauna and I went about our shopping as soon as we were inside. We figured it might take us an hour to find everything we had remaining on our shopping list and to take a peak around for possible other things we were interested in price shopping for. Jacquelyne and Ryno, said they would do their shopping and then wait for us. To save you all from the dull-drum of our trip, we went up and down every aisle seeking out our new home treasures. We price checked rice cookers, a coffee pot, and a printer then grabbed a six-pack of Hoegardden white ale brewed in Belgium, a bottle of sweet-soju (rice wine) famous in Korea and headed for the vegetables. Shauna then realized we were approaching our sixty-minute mark and ran to the front of the store to let the other two know we were close to finishing up.

After she returned to me and our overflowing basket of shopping goodies, we piled on a few dozen vegetables more, thinking we had gone over our budget of 200,000 won ($200.00 CAD) and decided we should call it quits before we really put a dent into our money supply. As I pushed our heavily overloaded shopping cart towards the front of the vegetable aisle, I realized the cart had a mind of its own and was literally moving to the left a few inches with every step I took. This cart must have weighed a hundred and fifty pounds, I kid you not! The cart was a massive battering ram, and I took out two small kids, yelling Yo-Bo-See-Yo (only to learn later that this actually means Excuse Me, for getting attention, not Pardon Me, for get the heck out my way!), so the Korean people were just looking around bewildered at the six foot three English speaking guy shoving a significantly overweighted overcrowded shopping cart directly towards the sardine can display... I missed the sardine can display but slammed head on into a little old ladies cart filled with only six items, sending her backwards across the vegetable aisle. Since my Korean, is atrocious, I bowed, said "I am sooo sorry," and continued with seven pairs of eye-balls watching me depart across the floor towards an open cashier!

Somewhere in this tremendous feat, Shauna had run off down an aisle to look for some crackers she desperately thought we needed for the cheese that we hadn't bought yet? After I had a third of the cart onto the conveyor belt with the little Korean lady asking me in Korean, if I spoke Korean and if I had my Home Plus card, I just about lost it! I wasn't speaking Korean, nor did I leed on that I knew Korean or how the hell to even speak it? But the more I tried to explain myself and my crazy antics in the vegetable aisle, the more pairs of eyes started watching me. This is when I thought to myself there might be a revolt and I should look for the nearest exit. Thankfully, Shauna in all her "asian" wisdom, calmed down everyone who was approaching with butcher knives at the ready!

As the cashier started winding down through our shopping cart items, I looked at Shauna as she packed a bag full of cans, jars and a 2.3 litre bottle of milk, thinking to myself this freaking bag was going to freaking break as soon as we try to pick it up out of the frekaing shopping cart again, I had no doubt in my mind! What I did doubt though was our total for the groceries we were about to find out. Back in Calgary, we use to play the "guess how much it will cost us game" and the closest to the right amount was the winner making the loser have to buy dinner the next time we went out. So, I looked at Shauna and said, "how much over our budget do you think we went?" Shauna always being positive about any situation, coolly replied, "two-hundred and twelve thousand won? What do you think?" I laughed at her response saying, "I am certain we went over our two-hundred thousand budget and that it has to be closer to two-hundred and fiftyy-five thousand won? But I am hoping we are closer to our budget than that?"

Precisly at that moment our cashier looked at Shauna then to me in her friendliest voice saying, "chil-sum-nee-dah, chu-mal-knee-ka, sel-sum-ne-da," both of us hearing the information she said, looked at the other one completely bewildered at whatever amount she was trying to say? Shauna looked at me, then looked at her wallet, then looked at the screen. I looked at the tellers screen ready to burst out into tears reaching for my wallet tucked away in my shorts pocket, opening up my wallet bringing out all thirteen, ten-thousand dollar bills and handing it over to Shauna because I was still too involved with packing in the last few items into our shopping bags! Reading the cashier's screen one more time, I noticed our total was two-hundred and thirty-one thousand three hundred and twelve won! We went thirty-one thousand three hundred and twelve won over budget! Basically, we spent $31.00 CAD, more than we had originally planned and both of us were very very happy with these results.

The real challenge this night came when we made it back out to the car meeting up with Jacquleyne and Ryno, because their looted groceries were already tucked away in the boot (trunk) of the car. I being the master packer I am took a swing at rearranging their items and trying to fit ours into the boot but her boot (trunk) was so freaking tiny I was surprised even Jacquleyne, Ryno's and the spare tire could fit in there!! We crammed a couple of bottles of water, the jug of milk and our new bath mat inside the boot, the rest of our shopping treasures went into the back seat between us and on our laps for the ride back to the English Village. Twenty-two minutes later after a short detour because it was too dark out to read the signs, we returned to the back gate at the English Village. Jacquelyne, pulled up the main drive, around past City Hall, up Main Street, past the market buildings stopping in front of EV Mart. We jumped out of the small "clown-like" car, leaving our newly purchased items on the sidewalk. We emptied out the boot with the rest of our loot, thanking Jacquelyne and Ryno for the interesting evening and that we would see them again!

As they pulled away, Shauna and I started laughing at the strange adventure we had just partaked in, over the last five hours. At this point I looked at Shauna and said, "we need to get all of this into our apartment as soon as possible." Concerned with my tone, Shauna replied, "what's wrong? Why do we have to hurry up and get everything into the apartment?" Simply put I smiled at her and said, "It's either we hurry up and get everything into the apartment or I might fall asleep right here on the sidewalk. I think the jet-lag has finally caught up to me and those four hours of sleep last night, I mean this morning, aren't cutting it for me any longer!" She smiled at me. Then said, "Me too! And I am excited to sleep with you instead of on someone else's couch!"

Shauna went upstairs with the first load to unlock the door. I carried everything from the sidewalk into the apartment building. Four trips later up and down the two flights of stairs we tossed everything into the main room, unloading what we could into the cupboards, into the fridge and onto the kitchen table. We flung ourselves out of our clothes and into our PJ's, while brushing our teeth and turning off all the lights. We climbed into bed for the first time in two-days together, said our good nights, have a good sleep and see you in the morning pausing long enough to kiss the other and fall asleep... Good Night...


13th August 2010

Needed Rest
Hi, Great story!! Sounds like you really really needed some rest!! Mom

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