Korean Adventures Day Fourteen: Accident? Shoplifting? I’ve Heard It Both Ways

Posted by Stephanie on September 25, 2019


Turns out, Day Fourteen? Day fourteen is the day I decided not to take photos as if nothing happened. We actually did a fair amount of cleanup this day, the day before we leave for home. However, despite that, apparently, I said, yeah, I’m done taking photos. Of course, the last day of cleanup is essentially doing all the things we meant to do before leaving. Going to places just one more time, eating that one final snack, hanging out for the last time with a new friend. So we circle the edges of our last days here and start preparations for the long trip home….and possible larceny. 

Do you remember our foodie tour? If you don’t, check it out here. That night we made a new friend with our tour guide and all-around awesome person, Gloria (real name Sooyoung). That night, she told us she enjoyed hanging out with us so much that she’d love to see us again before we left to go back to the states….friend like, not a business transaction. We assumed she was just being nice, you know, that’s what you say to all the people “We should totally get together again!”, and then never see each other again, but this time, we hoped that she meant it because, as we said before, Gloria is cool as fuck. So, when SaraG had sobered up, we told her what Gloria said, and she was all, “I’m on it!” and took to emailing back and forth with Gloria, deciding the whens and the wheres. She asked us what we had left on the list to do, we were all….ummmmm… and she said she’d meet us for dinner. 

What did we want, she asked? MANDU. We’d been here for two weeks and had seen nary a single mandu. Gloria is all, “On it.” and told us where to meet her. This means for 24 hours SaraG, and I were totally “We’re going to see Gloria again!”  Possibly followed by a little dance. 

But what do we want to do in the meantime? Hmmm…. 

Actually, there was no real question. This whole time we’d been cockblocked by one Sewoon…musically speaking of course. We tried to get SaraG a ticket to his concert, no luck. We attempted to get his CD. Nope, not on sale yet. This is the day it came out so, with strength and determination, we made the bold decision to go back to Myungdong, back to the Kpop music store. Ouch. This was such a hardship. 

The day was cold and drizzly, so we brought along our umbrellas, ready to face the chill. Nothing would keep us away from our Kpop goals! After a quick peek into the coffee shop of Future Mr. Stephanie, we were disappointed to see he wasn’t the only one in the place, as a matter of fact, it was him and some girl, so we decided my heart just couldn’t take the betrayal and continued on our way. Ours was a short love, filled with bumps and passion, ultimately, burning out too soon. 

Getting to the shops early, we made a beeline for the CD store, which was precisely where we left it, above the Face Shop with very little signage… almost as if they wanted to be a little secret. Here’s the thing. I went in there with SaraG to help her on her Sewoon quest. I strictly lectured myself against making any more purchases of the CD nature. Instead, I went in there, and…did the opposite. Seventeen? Sure, why not? Monsta X? Hmm…better not, I don’t know what I own at home. Simon D? Do I even listen to him? Who cares? Zico? More Seventeen? ATEEZ? It’s like a dam had been broken. The cheap part that lives deep inside me that looks at any sort of spending and goes “Hhahaha. No.” gave way under the pressure of “BUT ITS THE LAST DAY IN KOREA! I MUST BUY EVERYTHING.” I was in a daze, a frenzy, I couldn’t be stopped. It actually got to the point where I was straining my brain trying to think of all the things I’d kick myself for not asking about when I got home. Roan? The salesgirl says…who? Is that Korean? That cute group we saw at MNET Countdown? Sorry, they are so new they only have a digital single.

And the deep cut? Sewoon? Sure, it was released that day, but they weren’t going to be getting it until the next day. THWARTED AGAIN. Sehun, why you gotta do SaraG so wrong like that? 

We managed to convince ourselves to fill our bags anyway and continued about our way. The rest of the trip was the same. Last stop at Tony Moly to pick up that Monsta X hair dye for LizC? Why not get a Monsta X lip balm for ourselves? When the salesperson saw the shopping frenzy in my eyes, saw the Monsta X items in my basket, she mentioned, if I bought a specific moisturizer, I’d get a Monsta X postcard set for free.

‘Sure,” I sad. Buy a lotion I’d never even tried to get a POSTCARD set I’d never even looked at? Why not?

It had finally dawned on me to ask the McFeeley’s if they’d like me to pick up some little things for Ryan’s small group of Kpop fans back in Vermont. I’m here. I’m clearing the country of swag for Junior McFeeley, wouldn’t her friends like something? So we were on the hunt for 5 sets of matching gifts for 5 little kpop fans. Check!

We went to Misha where the hovering sales girl got me to try this anti-aging creme. Cheap Stephanie said, “Pass.” Frenzy Stephanie said. “How much? Woah. that much?” Salesgirl says, “Yeah, but you get a small size free.” Stephanie says, “Makes sense to me, hook me up!” 


From there, SaraG took pity on the Frenzied Stephanie and suggested we go and get some lunch at a tiny upstairs restaurant. Really the only way to cure a frenzy is to take one out of the situation. To put space between one and the temptation. My budget will forever thank SaraG. 

We had a lovely lunch where we rested and, frankly, I kept going on about not believing what I’d done. 

It was then that I realized, I was no longer in possession of my credit card. Everything came to a screeching halt. Frantic I tried to mentally retrace my steps when all I was really thinking was “I’m doomed! I’m doomed! I’m doomed!” I tried to hold onto that anxiety by telling myself, it’s fine. It’s a credit card. You call Chase, cancel the card — they’ll take care of any bad transactions. You made it to the day before you leave, and you still have your bank card. CHILL THE FUCK OUT. But still, my mind raced. All I could think was that I must have left it in the store with the moisturizer. We just needed to go back there, ask for my card and I’m sure they’d have it. Of course, I say this; however, my brain was still, “FIRE!”

Luckily we were done lunch, SaraG covered my portion (I’ll tell you all about the app we used to keep track of this in our last post.), and we essentially bolted from the restaurant as casually as possible, trying to find the store. SaraG is a rock, telling me all sorts of calming and placating things, but I was pretty focused. 

Thank goodness this was a Misha we’d been to before as, like I said before, Seoul is COVERED in Beauty shops. Literally almost one on every corner. We twisted and turned down the streets and found the shop. I tried to be calm as I said to the girl at the door, “I left my credit card?” Gesturing with my hands the universal signal for credit card which apparently is making a rectangle with your fingers. She didn’t understand me and gestured to the man who had checked me out. I repeated my question and gesture. 

He told me I hadn’t left it there. 

My heart sank. 

Not today, Satan! Nope, determined that this was the answer I told him that I had, in fact, left it there. With a shrug, he went to the register to look. 

And found my card. 

Dude. It was still in the machine! Whew! Of course, then I was worried I’d just bought the last hour’s worth of customers their purchases, but again, had to remind myself, no, he probably just hadn’t had any more customers on that register since we were in. Then I felt bad for him. But they talked me into buying mumble-mumble won worth of product I still have yet to use so, turns out, I don’t feel too bad. 

We shopped for a bit more, but luckily, the frenzy was officially over, and I returned to my routine, horrified at my spending self. 

As it was cold and gross out, we decided to not give in to temptation and go hang out at a coffee shop for a while while we flipped through our Albums. Zico was a hit! It was hilarious. The album was called Television, and on the inside, there is a cut out (think paper doll) of a tv and various insertable ‘tv screens’ featuring Zico. So clever!

The slight drizzle flipped to a downright pour, and we decided, rather than chill in the rain, we’d head back to the apartment, start packing up, and get ready for our night out with Gloria! 

With another pass at the Milk Tea Coffee Prince’s window (he was there with a male coworker this time), we went back to the apartment where I continued on with my favorite game: Organize all of my shit in order to make it fit. Catchy, right? 

With my purchases of the day, even with the new bag, it was going to be a tight squeeze to get everything sorted. I refused to regret the blanket I’d brought with me to Korea or the blanket-like jacket. No. I was going to make everything fit! 

Or buy another empty bag tomorrow. Same/same. 

It was still cold and rainy out when we ventured out for a trip to see Gloria. We were to meet her in a subway station in Gangnam. While we waited, I bought another pair of heat packs for myself (so cold!) and some water as hydration, besides hazelnut americanos, had not been high on my make sure to do list. Luckily, living in the very dry Denver air, I live a near-constant state of dehydration, so it’s pretty on par for me. 

Then she arrived, Gloria, just as cool as we remembered! She did like us, she did! She told us we were going to go back to the Coex Mall, where she’d find us some mandu. What she hadn’t mentioned before she navigated us through the winding mall, through the food court, to the mandu stall, was that this wasn’t our final stop. Nope, we were buying mandu and then sneaking it into a soup shop. Because Gloria is badass like that.

(Don’t you wish this ad was a drama??)

In the soup shop, she tucked us into a corner, surreptitiously looking around for staff, who she was certain was onto us (I’m wondering if she’d tried this before), handing out mandu. We chatted about ourselves, got to hear all about her and how she got into touring and her plans to make an official tour company with her friends. Oh, and music! Turns out, we have a lot of the same tastes in music, which just validated our, and her coolness. (I love those shocked moments, we had one with Gloria, we had one with Steve, where we…or SaraG told them about the music we listened to, and they were surprised and delighted it wasn’t just standard Kpop. Yeah. We have layers. We dig. Or SaraG does, and we only reap the fruits of her labor.)

We managed to eat all of the delicious soup and most of the mandu without being kicked out by the company. Woot! Stuffed full, we decided to roam the mall itself, telling her of the task Ms. Alix had left us, to find a particular magazine with Suho from EXO on the cover. SaraG and I had no such luck ourselves and really wanted to be able to do this for Alix. We spotted a bookstore, and wandered in, our conversation drifting to books. I stalled out at some BT21 stickers and but then we spotted the magazine section. Unfortunately, we didn’t see the one that Alix had really wanted to buy. Bummer. (Also, still no Sewoon.) So on a whim, I picked up another magazine with another cute kpop boy on the cover, while SaraG and Gloria waited I paid for my purchases and got a bag. 


Gloria, excited, realized what she wanted to do with us and lead us to this unbelievable store which is apparently a Japanese chain. It had everything. Any kind of merchandise you could think of, it was there with bright signs and loud music. There were even two floors, and through the food portion of it, Gloria walked us through all of her favorite snacks, which we purchased, and SaraG returned the favor and in the wine section, introduced Gloria to one of her favorite wines, which she purchased. 

Our snacks in hand, we head up to the register to pay. I paid first and then SaraG behind me. I scooped up my purchases and put them in my bag, offering up some space for SaraG (a lot of places you had to pay for bags). 


As it had gotten late, we decided it was time to go. We bid a reluctant goodbye to Gloria, separating at the subway once again, and headed back to Hongdae.

And when I say it was time to go, we actually decided it was time for one more go of Hongdae, and one more street waffle. Because, why not?

Anyone know what this sign says?


So, my important notes for later? 

We got back to the house, and SaraG grabbed her stuff from my bag and headed off to her room. During another round of pack, unpack, pack, I realized there was a bottle of fancy moisturizer in the bag that wasn’t mine. Must be SaraG’s. 

I called out to her and handed her the box. “Not mine,” she said.

Ummmm….it wasn’t mine. 

Guys. I’m not certain, but I’m pretty sure I may have, possibly shoplifted! All I can think of was they must have had it at the cash wrap when I was at that Japanese shop, and I must have scooped it up when I put the rest of the purchases in my bag. GAH! Jeez. I’m sorry South Korea, my bad. Please forgive me and let me come back. 

Our last full day in South Korea coming to a close, our bags were (mostly) packed, and we were ready for our trip home. 

Of course, that doesn’t mean we didn’t try to cram a few more adventures in our last day! Stay tuned for our last day in Hongdae featuring the resolution of the Milk Tea Coffee Prince saga, our most meh meal, answers to the eternal question “How many new cute notebooks can Stephanie justify, and finally, the question security has for me, “What is that white powder in your bag?”


1 Comment

  • Reply kfangurl September 26, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Oh wow. PHEW that you got your credit card back!

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