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Just Looking Thanks

For Teacher's Day, I was given a disgusting amount of money in gift certificates at various department stores here in Korea.

One of the certifcates was for Lotte, quite a well known and prestigious place that has beautiful clothes, all far to small for me to squeeze into.

D and I wandered up to the top floor to check out some of the electronics. It was kinda a fun home mission, for when, well, we actually HAVE home, looking at various TVs, dreaming of ridiculously huge entertainment systems and deciding which couches we could agree on.

We also checked out the sports floor, which included shoes and mountain climbing gear. The matching outfits were certainly the hottest item there - you should have SEEN the Korean queuing to get the lastes polyester suits.

Most of this browsing was quite normal, almost like a regular day in a department store anywhere. And it felt kinda nice to just be in a place that felt really like home.

It didn't really last that long, however, before I was reminded I AM in Korea. A place where they pride themselves on hands on customer service...literally.

Picture if you will, the cosmetic and beauty floor in any major department store you've ever been in. You know, it's usually on the first floor, with the beautifully make-uped ladies, smiley their pearly whites and trying to catch you with the latest perfume spray as you go buy.

I decided to check out the Aveda counter, which actually had a 10 foot wide wall with tons of lovely products to browse.

I walked straight up to the end of the wall and proceeded to slide my way slowly to the right, looking at all the products they had to offer.

This is still sounding normal isn't it?

Okay, well imagine a cosmetic lady approaching me, standing to my left, facing me instead of the wall.

She doesn't say anything, although she smiles.

And I give her the nod that, thank you, just looking.

She smiles back. And does not move.

I am staring at make up and to my left about 6 inches away, is a Korean woman, just staring at me.

I discreetly shift to the right, looking at other products to perhaps give her another hint that, I'm not really in need of any help.

It was like she was on a string, attached to my waist, because, without saying anything, she simply just moved over. Towards me. And managed to STILL keep exactly 6 inches between us.

I decide to not look at her. Perhaps this is the problem. I'm being TOO nice. And so, I shift further, to the right, pretending like she's not even there.

But the string still is. And so is she. SIX INCHES AWAY FROM ME.

Do you remember that feeling? When you're like 14, 15, going into a shop with your girlfriends and the cashiers can't help but follow you because they're just WAITING for you to shoplift?

It felt a little like that.

When I finally reached the end of the wall, and had finished looking, albeit uncomfortably, at all the products, I turned around to see D, almost pissing himself laughing.

And now I wished I'd got it on video.

Because can you just imagine what it looked like from behind?

Something out of Monty Python, I'm certain.


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