Yesterday Jacki and I made a trip to Costco in Daegu. It was a long drive up the highway from the island to Daegu, which is a fairly large city in southeastern Korea. The scenery on the drive was interesting - rolling, forested hills and lots of long tunnels on the highway. Parts of the drive really reminded me of Virginia, and I started getting excited about all the hiking we'll be able to do once we learn our way around better. We drove past the city of Jinju, which Keegan and I will visit next weekend at the invitation of a South Korean connection we have through Keegan's parents' tenant, Yoon.
The Costco was definitely hard to find, but fortunately, Jacki knew exactly where she was going. The entrance to the parking garage was completely unmarked, so I don't know how people ever find the Costco without already knowing where it is! Once inside, we grabbed some carts and started loading them up. The Costco was about what I expected - some items that were familiar from the Costco at home, as well as bulk offerings of the type of Korean goods you see at regular supermarkets, such as rice, chili pepper paste, and seaweed. If you want to buy an entire octopus, tightly wrapped on a styrofoam tray just like a slab of beef, this is your place. The Korean harvest holiday of Chusok is approaching in about two weeks, so there were all kinds of gift sets available for that. Some gift sets featured nice tea and a teapot or fancy looking bath soaps, but others were strange. Apparently it is not uncommon to buy your friends and family a gift set full of toothpaste and soap or a Spam gift set. I bought myself a very well-priced gift set of six liters of orange juice!
Other good finds for the trip were canned tomatoes, bagels, somewhat cheaper beer and wine, and a desk organizer for Keegan. He's been looking for a particular kind of file holder for a long time, and we couldn't find it anywhere. So now Keegan is ready to be a very organized project manager!
Yesterday evening, we also had a chance to visit "The Gangster" on his used car lot. Apparently this lot serves a lot of ABS families, and there is a rumor that the proprietor gets his merchandise through shady connections. He seemed like any used-car salesman to me - full of smiles and encouragement for us to buy something! We test drove a little Daewoo Matiz around town and put down a down payment on it. It is an ugly beast, but it should get me from place to place in a fuel-efficient manner. It is an awful yellow/olive color, and we've decided to refer to it as the Ugly Ducking, or Ugh for short. :) The Gangster is going to replace the tires for us, and we will pick up the car on Saturday. I'm looking forward to it!