Hubby had been bugging me for a few weeks to get my Korean driver's license so I could drive off post.  I wasn't motived to do so.  I was busy putting together our house and I was really in no hurry to drive off post.  I wasn't even sure I wanted to drive off post -  in fact let's back up a little bit.....(rewind a few months...) 

When we were moving to Korea I got the idea that I didn't need to drive AT ALL while living in Korea.  I thought to myself; 'there is plenty of public transportation, post has a bus system and if I ever need to go anywhere in Seoul I can take a cab, subway or bus.  Plus - I do have a bike.  There is NO REASON for me to need a car.  We can save money and help the environment - yes, I'm going to go 2 full years without driving a car!'  Sounds like a good plan doesn't it?  I was 99.8% convinced I could do this. I thought I *might* have to drive in an emergency situation, but other than that I don't need a car.  However I didn't share my thoughts with Hubby (or anyone) and it wasn't until we were on the peninsula and Hubby started talking about buying a 2nd car that I shared my thoughts with him.  He laughed thinking I was joking.  When I told him I was serious he looked at me like I had 3 heads and laughed again and told me good luck.  (He knows me so well.) Then he told me that he was still going to buy a 2nd car because HE couldn't go 6 weeks without having a car (his Jeep wouldn't get here for 6 weeks from the time we arrived) and that when his Jeep arrived that we could sell the 2nd car if I still didn't want to drive. OK, I can live with that.  (See how he worked that?)   It took me all of 2 days to realize I WANTED a car.  

Anyway, a couple of weeks went by and I was busy putting the house together.  It wasn't until I put my curtains up that I realized I need my Korean driver's license.  I NEEDED to go to the Fabric Market and I NEEDED to drive there.  You see the last time I was here (2008-2010) I had curtains made for our house in Texas.  Homes in Texas have MUCH higher ceilings than in Korea so when I put my curtains up they were about 3 inches too long!  Grrr! I was so ready to have a completed house after living out of suitcases for so long and the curtains the  were the finishing touch – I almost
cried when I hung them up.  (Just FYI, moving is STRESSFUL and tiny little things can put a typically calm and relaxed person over the edge and bring them to tears.) It looked as if my house was trying to play dress up and it wasn’t pretty. So the next day I went and took my driving test and within an hour of getting my license I was driving to the fabric market (and I'm sure Hubby was having a good laugh on the inside although he never said a word to me about my crazy idea of not driving for 2 years.)

Once at the fabric market I went in search of my designer/seamstress. I had saved all the information from my last tour here.  I had her stall number and a picture of her so I thought it would be easy to find her. I thought this will be simple - I'll find her have her alter the curtains and have them hanging in my house within 2 days.  Well, as luck would have it, my girl was gone.  Vanished.  No longer in the spot she once was.  I would have used the gentleman in her spot, but he wasn't very friendly and didn't give me the warm fuzzies, so I went on my way looking for my cute little designer.  I showed multiple people her picture but I kept getting the little finger "X" sign, which means no.  I'm not sure if that means they didn't know her or she is gone.  Either way I couldn't find her and gave up looking.
This led me to my next adventure, trying to find someone what could alter my curtains the way I wanted them done.  I walked down the sewing aisle of the basement in search of someone that looked friendly.  I made eye contact with one seamstress and smiled, but she was eating and didn't smile back at me so she was a no go for me.  However the little lady next to her (who was also eating) smiled back at me - this was my girl!   I walked up gave the friendly Korean nod and half bow and proceeded to try to talk to her only to realize she spoke no English and my Korean, well, it sucks.  Not to worry, I knew what to do....I showed her my curtains and in Konglish/sign language....I started cutting with my fingers and wrote down how many centimeters I wanted her to cut off.  Because I wanted them done a specific way it made it kind of hard to get my point across.  I considered giving up but just when I was about to move on to someone else  a very friendly and helpful Korean/American came by and assisted by translating for us.  Perfect!   Don't you just love little random acts of kindness? :)

I had 4 panels I needed altered and my friend did it for only 30,000 won!!  ($26.64)
AND they were hanging in my house within 2 days.
These are my new fabric market friends.  Aren't they just the cutest little couple?   The lady that stopped by to translate for us told me the man wanted to charge us more but the lady told him no.   Good job Ajumma! I'll come back to see you and I'll bring my friends!  :)
8/17/2012 10:43:18 am

I'm impressed! I lived here for nearly a year (10 months) before I got up the nerve to drive - and that was only because I needed to be able to get to Son#2's school (in Yonhi- Dong: no subway nearby; closest bus still leaves you with quite a hike - no good when you're carrying food and drinks for 75 people!) I would have probably had a heart attack if I'd tried to drive to Dongdaemun - but those gorgeous curtains were probably well worth it!

Leigh Roper
8/17/2012 11:36:46 am

OMG! How I miss the fabric market and all of the happiness that comes with it!

8/17/2012 04:43:49 pm

Ahhh, the fabric market! We should go into business! I am sure we could make a lot of money selling curtains! Ha! ISure do miss the fabric market!

8/18/2012 11:23:59 am

I love your blog posts!!

8/18/2012 11:25:54 am

Those curtains are gorgeous! I would live to go with you sometime. Also, do think anyone can reupholster these ugly arm chairs?

8/18/2012 11:47:11 am

I wish I was in Korea, however I think I would be scared to drive *Eek*, well no ad much as everyone else would be afraid of my driving, lol

8/18/2012 12:18:28 pm

I love reading your blog posts, I'm glad you are enjoying your adventures and having a great time in Korea. I loved the curtains!!

4/19/2013 03:21:42 pm

I agree with each and every conclusions made on this topic. It is really very informative. Thanks for sharing.

1/15/2014 11:56:25 am

What a commendable work you have done, with simplest of language. I can’t resist myself to leave a comment and trust me it’s hard to impress me.

12/1/2015 02:48:59 am

Fabric market its a great concern to solve a proper service manual to trend in the market.


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