First off, if you are very young or old – EARMUFFS! Not you Punkin’ (my grandmother) – you’re cool.
I considered not writing this post, for fear of embarrassing myself or offending people. But that is contrary to the whole point of a blog. The idea is that you get a look inside my fun, adventurous, sexy life here in Korea. Sometimes that means you even get a front-row seat to the totally awkward episodes that normal people would never share. So, here goes:
I made my first trip to a Korean adult store the other day. I’ve gone to a few before in the US, but it was always either on a dare or with a group of curious friends. This time, I went alone. I was on a mission.
Much like the clothes here, I’ve had a bit of trouble finding condoms in my size. (FYI: This is not me bragging – I think it’s a common issue for some westerners) I did a little research and found a blog that mentioned an adult store near the Daegu Bank subway station. You can check out the blog post to find out more. I followed the map that Amanda (the author) posted, and found it easily.
The awkwardness began immediately upon my arrival. For some reason, I assumed the store was locked, so I rang the bell beside the door. To my immense surprise, the bell belonged to an upstairs apartment. An old woman opened the door beside the adult store entrance. Instead of just turning around and walking back upstairs, she gave me a long, judgmental look and then opened the (unlocked) store door for me.
I stepped inside and was greeted by two old Korean men. One was the owner, but I don’t know what the hell the other guy was doing there. Both of the men were polite, which put me at ease, but it still got weird quickly. The entire store couldn’t have been more than about 200 square feet, which meant that I was bumping into them repeatedly as the owner gave me the grand tour.
I finally worked up the nerve to tell the owner what I was looking for. I said “condoms”, and I got a blank stare – he didn’t understand. Instead of waiting for me explain again, he took my arm and walked me to a section of GIANT toys. They looked like a hybrid between Andre the Giant’s penis and futuristic ray guns. He started to remove a scary pink one from the package to show me, so I pulled out my phone and typed “condom” into the translator (which, ironically, is “KonDom” in Korean). He finally understood – thank God.
We walked to a corner of the room, where he began pulling small boxes off of the shelf and talking to me in Korean. The only word I understood was “micro”. I told him (in Korean), “not micro.” He looked me up and down, shook his head, and then handed me another box of “micro” condoms. I don’t think he meant to offend me, but it pissed me off a bit. I told him again that I did not want “micro.” We repeated this process about three more times, before I started to get really frustrated. The last time I told him, “not micro”, he gave up. He picked up and examined a few of the boxes, and then told me that he doesn’t have any other kind.
Suddenly, I realized I had spent five minutes barefoot in a room full of giant penises and weird fetish pornos arguing with an old Korean guy about whether I need “micro” condoms. That ranks pretty high on my list of weird experiences. I decided it was time to get the hell out of there. Ultimately, my adventure wasn’t as bad as it could have been. He was polite, not judgmental, and he seemed to really want to help – even if he couldn’t.
Until next time.