SHOPPING BY LOCATION by SoCaliGirl
This is a post by SoCaliGirl from the Holt web forum that SoCaliGirl graciously allowed me to post in its entirety. THANKS! The original post is from Tuesday, July 13, 2010.
Bring a lock!
DMZ – We got North Korean money, books, wine, and some souvenir hats and shirts for the family and kids. There is a store right on the DMZ with all kinds of souvenirs and these cool solar light up flashing keychains. We are finally getting those here!
Insadong– We got scrolls, fans, original artwork of a tiger and dragon, pens, chopstick/ricebowl sets, little hanbok wife/husband in jars, stationary, bookmarks (engraved), jewelry at the National Souvenir shop. Down the street from Insadong was a big Buddhist shop and I bought a pink lotus, some cell phone charms, two good wishes tablets, antique calligraphy brushes and spoons, and old books with calligraphy. Celadon is plentiful, but I didn’t know how to pack it to come home. That will be done this time around. Down another street is a police store with police patches, badges, and the like, and there are really nice satin and gold fringed Korean flags, nice quality, around $11. People sew right there, really nice.
Namdaemun – Blankets. I got a comforter, a thin blanket, and a luxurious Korean mink blanket (for $40–they are like $250-300 here). T-shirts for Korean soccer (it was during the Olympics). Souvenir shirts. Flip flops for my aching feet (not technically a souvenir, but wtv). Apparently there’s a children’s clothing shop in there–didn’t get to it last time, but stalking it this time!
Itaewon/Palace – Got a beautiful necklace with pink jade and pearls from the National Museum of Korea (?) (Gyeongbokgung Palace/museum), some books of postcards (we took pictures of everything in the museum, only to find that they sold books containing pics of everything–duh!), and a book called “Life in Korea.” In Itaewon we got jade jewelry, amethyst (this is the place to go–cheap and plentiful, amethysts are mined in Korea), and I got some Epik High and Drunken Tiger CDs (you know, for cultural education purposes only ). My husband visited the police station and got some crime log books and patches. Also in the mall in Itaewon, get some peppers to hang–they’re good for fertility (irony!). A rap CD from artist J.Kim, who happened to be there and took a picture of me like the celeb I am (just kidding!). I WISH we’d have gotten scrolls from the man right outside the door of the mall, and name chops as well–we’ll be doing that this time. For EASTERN families, there is a nice name chop place like 3 doors down from ESWS.
Lotte Mart/The Face Shop – STUFF!!! Got Korean children’s books (with pictures of objects/food/cars/animals and the Korean words, in case you’d like to teach later), puzzles, sticker books with everyday objects, notebooks and markers of Pororo and PoongPoongee, felt Korean letters to play with and stick up. Clingons of fruits and veggies with Korean writing. Korean formula for babies with stomach upset (didn’t use, in his time capsule). The Face Shop is a makeup/face store with really NICE quality products. The best lipstick ever, really good face cleanser. They have a matte cream for your forehead and believe me, this time of year you’re going to have a little shininess there! I am not a big makeup person but I thought it important not to look like a sweathog in ALL the pictures (just most of them lol). They have really nice toner and moisturizer too, nice perfumes, and the best of all, tea tree wipes to clean your face. It’s cheaper than cosmetics here and the girls are college students who love to practice English–they will start the conversation with you and then give you great free samples! Love this store, though technically NOT a souvenir.
Kyobo bookstore – Korean workbooks, and a few Korean kids’ books translated to English for DS1, 10. Bought a few military history books there (translated from Korean, written by Koreans rather than Americans–kind of interesting) for DH. This time my little butt will be there scarfing up the Twilight trilogy in Korean, lol! We found a cell phone on the floor there, and had to try to communicate that to the person working there. He kept staring as we handed the cell phone to him, blinking in confusion. Good times!
Hey, you asked the question–shopping in Korea–thought I’d add everything I bought!
Time Capsule – The other thing we did was to make a “time capsule” for DS. We put in current American and Korean magazines, stuff from the DMZ (who knows, maybe it won’t exist when he’s an adult), a South Korean flag, programs and pamphlets for concerts and cultural events in Seoul, we also went to an appliance store near Eastern and got catalogs of the beautiful refrigerators, kimchee fridges, air conditioners and etc. they have there (blows our appliances away–they are purple with flowers and are bejeweled!). We put in all of the stuff from Eastern, naturally, like the Korean diapers, his first outfit, his necklace, etc. We put in a few of the souvenirs, and a newspaper from the date we got him. Occasionally I peek in there but I can’t wait for him to get older and pore over the stuff. I love our capsule! It’s in a rubbermaid container, in his closet, for a rainy day. We will do the same for DD.