Last night, I joined my friend Scott and several other EPIK teachers for a weird trip to into downtown Daegu. Scott said that he was going to buy a phone and asked if we wanted to tag along. After work, five of us met up at the Kyungpook subway station near downtown.
This trip was a big deal because Scott claimed to have found a woman who sold cell phones and plans to foreigners without Alien Registration Cards (ARC). It is supposed to be impossible for anyone to get telephone or internet service without an ARC.
The woman’s name was Eliza. She is a native and Presbyterian evangelist. God called her to provide cell phones to foreigners who have not yet received an ARC…and to preach at them. I am having a bit of trouble making the connection between evangelism and illegal cell phones, but who am I to question it? They were sweet phones.
When we arrived (15 minutes late), Eliza invited us in and asked us to have a seat in her waiting room. For the next hour, she and Scott had the weirdest conversation I’ve heard in a long time. She couldn’t decide whether to sell him a phone or talk about God. Once she finished outlining the terribly confusing specifics of his new contract, Scott had a brand new Samsung Galaxy S2. Despite my concerns, the rest of the group seemed to think that this shady underground appointment-only cell phone deal was on the up-and-up, but have my doubts. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
After the black market cell phone deal, we headed downtown for dinner. We decided to look for an Olive Garden that we’ve passed a few times. Right when we thought we wouldn’t find it, we turned a corner and saw the sign. We were all a bit confused, because we didn’t remember the Olive Garden being on this street. We went in, sat down, and realized that we had stumbled upon a knock-off Olive Garden. The restaurant was dirty, it smelled bad, and the menus looked nothing like Olive Garden menus. The pictures on the menu didn’t look much like Olive Garden food, either.
We set out again in search of Olive Garden. It didn’t take long to find the real article. It looked and smelled more like an Olive Garden. The dishes weren’t quite the same as at an Olive Garden in the states, but we didn’t care. It was the closest thing to western food we’d had all week, so we enjoyed it. Scott was distracted for most of the meal – he was busy playing with his new phone.
As is Korean custom, we at family style. We ordered several dishes as a table instead of purchasing individual meals. Two pastas, two pizzas, and some bruschetta. They were all weird, but good. I included a slide show at the bottom.
After dinner we split up and I went home to get the best night sleep I’ve had in a while. I was glad to get out and have a western-ish dinner with a bunch of Americans (and a Kiwi). Can’t wait to do that again. Maybe we’ll try a different western restaurant soon.
Until next time.