Service with a Smile

Last night we went shopping and found a nice herringbone jacket, looks regulation rugby warm stiff upper lip British, but is light enough that I don’t cook in it. It matches jeans and every pair of dress pants I own. Nice. So I wore it today when I attended our school’s first graduation ceremony. Three years ago the school opened for their first class of sophomores (first year high school students in Korean parlance). Today the first crop matured as graduating Seniors and was blessed and sent out into the world. [yes, the Korean school year begins in March and ends in February] Parents and brothers and sisters were all over the place giving bouquets and snapping pictures. I looked good enough to be asked into grad day pictures again and again.

Oh, about buying the jacket. We found a good deal in an outlet store downtown. Problem was most of the places topped out at size 105. Don’t know what the 105 refers to, maybe cm around the chest? Sounds right, 110 would be 44. So found this one jacket for $100 that was perfect (Larry’s perfect = matches jeans and all my pants). But only in 105, about 2 inches short in the arms and 5 buttons short in the tummy. The woman running the shop, also the owner, calls around and finds out that the shop in Ansan has one 110. Ansan is about 30 or 40 minutes by car. Hmmm. Just a second, she says, dials the phone, "Big Sister, how are you? Are you busy? Um-hmm. Are you still moving around? Um-hmmm. Are you far from Ansan? Well, maybe you could do me a favor? I have a customer here who needs a jacket for graduation tomorrow. … " And then, "Okay, my friend[Big Sister means any female friend who is older] will give you a call when she gets into NonHyun and drop off the jacket sometime this evening; how’s that? Oh, don’t worry, she’sin sales and always going here and there; she won’t mind a little detour."

So, about 8:00 o’clock we got a call, and I hustled a couple blocks down to the main intersection, because our place is hard to find, and found Big Sister parked on the side of the road. Thanking her heartily, we exchanged pleasantries, and I walked home with my new coat.

Yuh, how’s that for service? Only in Korea.

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