Tuesday, 15 June 2004

Well-Dressed Nev

I am a dapper young gentleman today.

Before Sunday, I was not so. In fact, I was reduced to one pair of trousers, which were faded and stained. I'd a few ok T-shirts, but a number more that were just incorrect. My shoes were diabolical. I was aware of all this but such is my hatred of shopping that I was unwilling to do much about it.

I hate shopping. It's bad back in Scotland but it's worse here. Here, there is no escape, as I'm obviously foreign and the Korean way is for the shop assistants to literally follow you about the shop, almost so closely as to be rubbing you up. Therefore, my fear of shopping greatly outdid my need.

Fortunately, this changed on Sunday. Not my fear, but I managed to get assistance. Or rather, employ some, in the shape of Rebecca. I told her that I'd pay her 10,000 Won (£5) an hour to assist me with my shopping. And so, three hours of shopping later and 400,000 Won (I'll let you convert it into pounds because I'd rather not) I have now an arsenal of clothing.

I was even fairly good company, and didn't get angry or frustrated once.

I now have three new pairs of trousers. A grey pair, safe in my traditional style. A khaki pair that Rebecca claimed to be her favourite item of the day. They're smooth material and snug fitting, but without the tightness of my emergency trousers that threatened my feritility rate. And the third pair... are jeans. I've not worn jeans in 7 years, but I was persuaded to try a pair on, and they were a very good fit, so I went for it.

I added three T-shirts and a shirt: a good-looking brown one, a tightish black one that reveal "some chest", a slightly looser blue one, and the shirt is a short sleeved khaki-brown shirt that makes me feel Korean when I wear it.

I got a pair of shoes. Doc Martens, which are tought, resilent, and they even polished my old shoes as part of the service.

And finally, a bag. Not a rucksack, as I've refused to wear a rucksack since I was 18, because it made me feel like a student. But a "male handbag". This is something that I admit I probably wouldn't risk going out on the town with in Aberdeen, for fear of being beaten up, but it's very normal in Korea, and Rebecca insisted was maculine. It's certainly very convenient, and looks good.

So, all this means I'm now looking suave, dapper, handsome and respectable and no longer the homeless Westerner look that I was previously peddling. A couple of the Korean teacher commented on it yesterday, and I feel far happier being seen in public once again.

Also, it hopefully means no more shopping for at least a year.

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