As you all know, tensions are high between the two Koreas. The North claims the South provoked them by continuing military exercises, the South claims the North are a bunch of insane and unpredictable crazies. Meanwhile, the U.S. is currently sending an aircraft carrier to the region, and China is continuing to sit on it's ass doing nothing.
But on this particular day, I could care less about the situation going on between the two Koreas. I bought a puppy!
Admittedly, buying Kimchi was one of the more spontaneous decisions of my life (aside from, say, moving to Korea). I had no idea when I woke up yesterday morning that I would be a puppy momma by the end of the day, but I have no regrets about the new addition to my life.
Let me provide some background. Dogs in Korea are tiny. Really, really small. I suppose it only makes sense, given that the majority of the population lives in fairly small apartments, so why wouldn't they sell pets sized appropriately for the living situations, right? I can't tell you the number of dogs I've seen in purses, with little outfits, and my personal favorite, dyed fur (Poor things! Can you imagine a poodle with a purple tail? How humiliating!). While I'd had my phase in high school of thinking I wanted a tiny ankle-biter of a dog, maybe a Pappillon or Poodle, I later realized that I wanted a bigger dog, more along the lines of a Collie or Sheepdog. Thus, I spent the past four months glancing past the tiny Korean puppies I met, knowing that I would wait and rescue one from a shelter in the States like any responsible, sensitive, patient person would do...
And then I met Kimchi. I was walking through Emart with Alex just looking for a bottle of wine. As we walked past the pet store in the front of the store, we couldn't help but notice a particularly cute little baby puppy in the window, tearing apart a toy stuffed Pooh. Having time to kill and nothing better to do, we walked into the store and started playing with her. She was so excited to see us, jumping up and down in her cage wanting us to hold her. We even made a little game out of it, jumping together. She was just so unreasonably adorable! She looked like a Kimchi.
We made our rounds in the store, looking at all the calmer puppies and imagining them in my life, but we kept coming back to the feisty baby Kimchi in the window. I contemplated buying her right then and there, and then we translated the price tag, and I decided to pass. I liked her a lot, but maybe not that much. As she watched us start to talk quieter and edge towards the door, she got offended and quiet and walked to the furthest corner of her cage and started ripping apart a flower pillow twice the size of her. We walked out empty handed.
We continued downstairs to the wine department. As we roamed around the store, debating between the Syrah and Pinot Noir, we kept thinking about the baby Kimchi upstairs and the ridiculousness of me getting a puppy in Korea. What would I do when I was at work? How would I train her? How would I get her back to the States? So many questions! We decided on a Syrah and headed back to my apartment.
But when I walked in my front door, my whole apartment seemed so empty. I haven't decorated it much, and have assumed for the past four months that that emptiness came from my lack of posters and Christmas lights. But I realized then that it was empty because of my lack of Kimchi. A little puppy trying to jump up my stairs, waddling around under my coffee table. The thought was just too irresistible. Kimchi and I were meant to be. I went straight back to the pet store and bought her.
She's a sweetheart, still in the exploratory phase of her new life in my apartment. She can't get up my stairs, she can't get up on my coffee table, she can't even jump on my mattress lying on the floor in my upstairs loft. It was the easiest apartment puppy-proofing process in the world, I swiffered the floor and made sure the internet cable was propped up 10 inches off the floor (She's definitely a chewer, and I would rather she not accidentally electrocute herself in my absence). She's so excited to have space and someone to play with for the first time in her life. Kimchi is feisty and hilariously tiny, but perfect for me.
So there you go. I am now the proud mama of a baby Yorkie, who I guess you could call my first real Korean souvenir. Who knows, next week I might start buying couple's outfits and wearing a visor. We'll see... I'm pretty overwhelmed with this one part of Korean culture for now, so I might wait a while for the rest...
- Christine -
ps. Puppy advice would be GREATLY appreciated :)