The life of a trotro!

So this weekend was a lot of fun! I went out on Friday with a couple coworkers–danced off my issues with work, haha, and met some folks. It takes a while to find a niche here, but then again, in comparison to Hamline cliques, I suppose that’s probably a good thing. Finding your niche too early can guarantee that you’re stuck there, for better or worse.

On Saturday I met with my Ghanaian friend–the man I met at Homeplus last week–who was still in the country. He was leaving on Saturday, so I went to hang out with him while he packed his things. He is a fascinating man! His business is to come to Korea, pick spare parts from scrap yards like Samsung, and then ship them back to Ghana. It’s a tough business. Sometimes nothing good comes in. Sometimes things don’t sell back home–and he said that things were selling very slowly.

But in the long run, it seems like there are a lot of trotros who start their lives here in Korea! I don’t think he buys vans–he seemed more interested in trucks and 4x4s–but there are many other men like him. They stay in a company apartment for a few months, while they collect things for their containers, then ship their containers home. They haves someone meet the containers–a business partner, and then distribute their goods in various spare parts markets. There is a whole market in Accra devoted to spare parts! Of course, while I was there, I didn’t go–because why would I need spare car parts? But next time I will probably meet up with him, and he will show me!

Anyway I find this to be a fascinating business. Taking other people’s junk and turning it into a functioning car–the backbone of transportation in a country. These are the folks that make things spin around the world. It’s amazing how things go back and forth. I love it.

Yesterday I went to church again, but the Sunday message irked me. I don’t know if I will go back. Even still.. the church is a beautiful place and seems to be a good hub for English speakers doing various things. Though someone else told me that there was another English service over by one of the universities, and that I might have a better chance there.

After church I took a nice comfy afternoon nap, and then I went shopping. I didn’t really plan the shopping too well–I just went to the place where I always go, and explored that area. But I know there are better, cheaper areas. Next weekend maybe. On this adventure, I ended up downtown, in “The Galleria” which was INSANELY expensive. I was wearing a tshirt and a long skirt. People stared at me, haha–“What is this dirty foreigner doing in here?” I didn’t even explore all the floors before I knew I had to get out of there. So I wandered around the downtown area, took a few pictures, explored, and then ended up at Starbucks, haha, where I sat and drew for a little while. I haven’t seen any Starbucks’ yet, but this time I saw two literally facing each other from across an intersection. It’s so weird. Why does Starbucks do that? I mean… you would think that you could diversify a little. Of course, it is REALLY expensive, and maybe that was part of it.

I am growing eager to go on some trips outside of Daejeon, but I don’t know where! I have two days off for Chuseok, which is like the Korean thanksgiving. Stephanie is coming down, wooooo! But on Monday I will have enough time for a day trip, I think, so I am not sure what I will do! There are a few towns close to here that were the seat of ancient dynasties, which would probably make a good day trip. There are also mountains around here that need some serious climbing by Maggie-Cube. Anyway.. I’ll leave you now with a few photos!

This is where I went last night! Downtown! Shiny and expensive, but very pretty!

And this is what I see when I get off the subway at 5pm! A glorious mountain sunset. Wowza.

And here is a view of the other side of Daejeon, from the river, last week when I took a walk.

And one more… this is the commercial area on my way to work! My school is at the very end of this strip. Hello colors!!

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