Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Earlier this very morning, I was talking with one of my students about rock climbing. He mentioned that there is a rock climbing gym across the street from the school. Since I have a little break between classes (as in six hours after I eat lunch and prep lessons), I decided to go check it out.

After entering the gym and paying a fee, I went upstairs to the lockers armed with a key and bracelet that the front desk lent to me. I walked around in little circles, but I tried to look purposeful while doing it, as if to say, "I have no idea where I'm supposed to go, but I'm sure that meandering aimlessly is the right thing to do."

A man soon noticed me and asked something in Korean. After smiling sheepishly, pointing to my ears, and saying "Sorry," a pattern that I follow too often, he asked (in English) if I had my own rock climbing shoes. I told him I didn't, and we went to a fitting room.

He provided the biggest pair of shoes for me to try. I now (kind of) have a greater appreciation for how Cinderella's stepsisters felt when they tried the glass slipper on. The shoe and my foot were not going to get along.

The man asked me to wait. Then he left. Then he came back in, glanced around, asked me to wait some more, and left. This process happened about two more times; I should mention that the man was very kind and patient. He provided a new pair of shoes which were just as uncooperative as the first pair.

After leaving and entering a time or two more, and after talking with his boss on the phone, the man apologetically explained that the biggest shoes the gym rented out were a Korean size 280, which is about a US size 10. My feet are a US size 12. Not exactly a match made in heaven.

Thankfully, the gym gave me a refund. Maybe another time, K2 Gym.

It's interesting...I know that I'm tall in the US, meaning that I'm quite tall here, but I usually don't feel like I'm that much bigger. Today was a reminder that I'm quite a bit bigger than the average Korean!

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