I decided not to go to the post office first thing this morning because I had a phone message from the Korean government yesterday saying there would be a big snow storm. I know from experience the best time to go out when it snows is not first thing in the morning, especially in Seoul. If you go out in the morning in Seoul anytime, you will hit a traffic jam and a 30 minute trip might take you two hours. If you wait until a little later in the day when it snows, the roads are more likely to be clear. I left about noon to go to the post office, in Korean, Uchegook.
I wore my coat, hat, scarf, and gloves because I knew it would be cold. As I walked out of my apartment, I looked down to the street, and I had chosen right waiting. There was snow, but the street were clear. As I got in the elevator, a terrible smell hit my nose! Some Korean woman was cooking! She had used too much chili spice as most of them do, and I could tell from the smell. The smell was so bad it made me kind of queasy, but I got out of the elevator soon and felt better.
When I made it to the parking lot, there was still lots of snow everywhere. My car was covered with snow, and I had to take time to uncover my car before I could go anywhere, Thankfully, nothing was frozen. It was just snow, so it was easy. I got in the car and turned on my Bing Cosby Christmas CD. As I went down the street, he was singing Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. In my car, it was American Christmas, but out of my car, it was Korea.
There is a post office closer to my house than the one I went to, but I am used to the one I went to because I have been going there ever since I came to Korea. It is over by the university where I taught several years. It also has a parking lot which is unusual in Korea. Many places don’t have parking lots, and I appreciate this post office having a parking lot, so I really don’t want to change to one that might not have a parking lot. I actually took a picture of the post office, but I can’t find it now.
I didn’t bring any boxes with me, just the gifts and addresses. I can buy my boxes cheap at the post office, and there is free tape to tape the box up. I got some boxes and began packing them with Christmas gifts. I was getting too hot, so I took my hat, my scarf, and my coat off. I had left my gloves in the car. After everything got into boxes, I knew I had to fill out some forms, so I went to the place where forms are filled out and found the appropriate forms and filled them out.
Next, I had to take a number and wait. When my number came up, I went up to the counter, and the little lady behind the counter chattered on to me in Korean asking me all kinds of questions about what I was sending. Finally, everything was finished, and I was ready to go home.
On the was home, I took some pictures for you of some interesting things I saw on the way thinking this is the kind of thing people from the west would like to see because these thing make Korea unique. My packages are in the mail, and my kids who live outside of Korea will be having a good Christmas from me. If I can’t be with them at Christmas, at least I can send gifts.