He was open and had some gorgeous Japanese silk/wool yarn next to the yarn I wanted. So I got a couple (okay, four) skeins. When I went to pay, he told me in Korean and English that it was expensive. Way to make a sale, dude. I bought it anyway, $13 for 50g- he was telling the truth.
Then it was on to the shopping. I got a crap load of presents (the lion's share of that $500) that will hopefully be well-received. Since I was on the street of the yarn shop rumored to have Koigu (the only one in Korea), I decided that TODAY WAS THE DAY. I've looked for it before and never found it, but SUCCESS! To celebrate, I got 3 issues of Interweave Knits, one skein of Kuryeon, and two of KPPPM. Total damage, an even $100. Merry Christmas to me.
High on my success, and a little (lot of) Starbucks caffeine, I trekked back to the original yarn shop, because I had two yarns in mind to buy from her. She was open, but had sold out of the yarn I saw but didn't buy last time (note to self, buy it when you see it). The other yarn I wanted was white fingering weight for the Sock Madness pattern. She doesn't sell white wool in fingering weight and I'm too cheap to get Italian cashmere. So I bought four skeins of sock yarn, two periwinkle/ cornflowery blue, two black.
Then I went back to the "expensive" guy and bought two more skeins of the expensive yarn in a different colorway. He was gone and the woman who replaced him also let me know it was expensive. Really, that's not what I would consider a great business plan.
Along the way, I saw guys in traditional costumes (GITC) guarding a street corner, GITC practicing for a performance, GITC grinding something in the world's biggest mortar and pestle, and GITC having a procession (including a horse and a hearse) down an alley that had not been closed to traffic. This was at various points throughout the day in several different places "downtown" (such as Seoul has).
First- a temple-style building at a major intersection, second- part of the procession, third- a man and woman in costume (for no apparent reason) grinding grain.
I took about 50 pictures, but I'll guess you're most interested in the yarnpr0n, in lieu of that, I'll give you yarn shop pron. These shops are in the same little underground arcade (about one block long). I've included a picture of one closed shop to show typical Korean security. Really. It's one of the things I love about this country. Have I ever mentioned that I've walked home in the middle of the night alone? It's true, I've done it many times.
First and fourth- the "expensive" shop, second- the shop next door, third- the securely closed shop directly across the corridor. Yes, those are sheets.
I took pictures of the yarn, but the colors did not come out nearly so mouth-watering as they actually are, so I didn't post them.
BTW I heard from my SP about eight seconds after I posted last. Not only did she have her baby, but she was sick with a fever. I'm not a jerk, really.
I've got a couple of other swaps on the horizon. One of the yahoo groups I belong to is doing a bag swap- project bag with a yarn pattern and the necessary yarn. The other is a private one. I sent one of my mom's friends some Korean paper a while back and she offered to send me some yarn as a thank you (she's a knitter, too). I declined, but suggested a future yarn for paper swap, which she agreed to. So, much to look forward to in the new year.
Now I must go do my online shopping to buy all the things that I can't get delivered to Korea. :-)