So I exaggerate a little now and then. But I have to say the Koreatown Plaza is my new favorite place. And to think it was pure chance that I ended up here after lunch with an out-of-town friend and some in-town friends. I will definitely be going back, I don’t know when, but I have a feeling there’s some kpop with my name on it somewhere in the record store.
For today, I scored a HUGE bowl of green tea ice cream. Okay, so it wasn’t as huge as what you get at Coldstone if you order their bigger sizes. But what I was expecting based on the size of the bowl and the price ($2.50) was a pitiful scoop like you’d get at most L.A. independent ice cream shops. But no. The man kept piling on ice cream. I’d say he gave me two large scoops. He was also the recipient of my first communication in Korean with a Korean. When I said thank you in Korean, he broke into a smile.
I also picked up a book at the bookstore. My original plan was to buy a book I’d read in English so I would already know the story as I was trying to get through it in Korean. And maybe I should have done that. I almost bought The Little Prince, which I’ve read in French (I can’t remember if I’ve read it in English), and my mom has it in Russian (I can’t remember if I’ve read that one either). I figured if I bought it in Korean we could make it a tradition: for every new language, The Little Prince. But I didn’t end up buying it. I hesitated over some classics I hadn’t read in English, much less Korean, although I sort of semi knew the stories. But finally I bought Momo, a book I’d heard of in, of all places, a Korean TV drama. So I have now purchased my first Korean book.
I was one of maybe four or five non-Koreans in the plaza, and one of them was with me. Actually I only saw one other non-Korean there besides the one with me, but I’m allowing for one or two extras who may have been lurking around unnoticed. But I didn’t feel out-of-place particularly. Well, maybe a little. But I loved it there. I’ll never pass for Korean the way I do for Russian, but that obviously isn’t stopping me from developing a love for the language and culture.
P.S. According to a site I found, the Koreatown Plaza was the only shopping center in Koreatown to be untouched by the L.A. riots (since it’s entirely enclosed). I had no idea the riots went that far north. I thought they were all down in south central… Kind of scary. It’s not all that far from me.