This past weekend Keegan and I met our friends Nathan and Eliza in Busan to attend a Baby Fair at the convention center there. We met them at the Lotte Hotel around 10 and took the subway to the fair. Once we got inside, we were quickly overwhelmed with the sheer variety and number of baby-related products being peddled. Nate and Eliza were interested in car seats and strollers, and Keegan and I found ourselves drawn to the toy and book booths. We did pick out a few English language books, including our new favorite, William Steig's The Amazing Bone. We oohed and ahhed over some very fun and unusual wooden toys, and both couples bought plastic baby bathtubs, which are a bit bulky to ship from the U.S. There were definitely some items at the fair that were different from what we'd expect to find at a similar event in the U.S. For one thing, many of the book booths were very focused on English language learning and advertised expensive packages containing scads of books and CDs to help children learn English. Our daughter is certainly lucky to be growing up in a household with two native English speakers! We also saw some Korean-style cribs meant for keeping baby comfortable on the floor. They were like giant, cushioned pens, with soft padded bottoms and walls. I thought that they looked like a good bed for me to sleep in as long as I curled my legs up. They were like cozy nests. Does their appeal for me mean that I am "nesting"?
After we finished up at the baby fair, we took a quick break at the hotel and then headed back out for dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant, Cine de Chef at the Shinsegae shopping mall. Everyone had a great time choosing something to order from the impressive menu, and it was fun to relax with friends at a classy restaurant. The only slightly odd touch was the ABBA video playing on the big screen over the bar. Why is ABBA so popular in Korea?
On Sunday, Keegan and I headed back to Costco, where we found a few more baby items and stocked up on salmon fillets, which are our new favorite dinner staple. We also got a ginormous beach towel to go with our beach chairs from last time, so we had better have good beach-y weather this weekend!
In other baby-related news, today I had a baby shower with my friends here in Korea. Several invitees were not feeling well and couldn't come, which made me sad, but it was wonderful to see everyone who could be there and to sample all the delicious foods that everyone brought. I have been pestering my friend Joy for weeks to make her world-class potato salad, so I was happy to enjoy it at last this afternoon, along with lots of sweets, and an amazing tomato-cheese quiche. My Korean teacher/friend Jennie made some amazing kim-bap (Korean-style sushi). Everyone was so generous and picked out adorable clothes for Baby, including a bunch of Korean kimono type shirts that are apparently all the rage these days. Baby was kicking a lot while I opened my gifts, and I surmised that she wanted out to try on all her adorable new outfits! Only three more weeks to go, unless she decides to show up a bit early...or late.
I am still feeling very well, although I am tired like never before, possibly as a consequence of getting up so often to go to the bathroom at night. I am dreaming like crazy, and even though I can't always remember everything in the morning, I think I am in the middle of a different dream every time I wake up. Not too many of them have been baby related, although I did have one dream in which Laura was teaching me how to breastfeed by demonstration, and I told her "Ok, stop, now I want to do it!" Guess I'm ready for my more experienced friends to pass the torch. Anyway, we have a doctor's appointment tomorrow evening, so I am hoping that Dr. Lee can give me an idea of whether the pre-labor ball has started rolling yet. I know that the baby's arrival is one of the most unpredictable HUGE events I'll ever have to deal with, and it is driving me crazy. Apparently, fatigue and uncertainty make me prone to rambling, so I'll stop there. I hope I'll have more news to report tomorrow after our doctor's visit.