I was the middle of the day in the middle of the week. It was bitter cold.
Faces were freezing off. Really. Conditions not normally conducive to gathering a crowd. Yet the subway managed to transform into sardine cans hurtling through the tunnels. A young solider and his sweetheart boarded. They bundled themselves with each other against the throng. His arm gallantly protecting her against the horde of commuters. Every time the train lurched she would grab his shoulders and stare up at him wide-eyed. It was quite theatrical. Lurch.Grab.Wide eyes. Lurch.Grab.Wide eyes. This went on for a couple of stops. At the third stop three women who looked older than the fates boarded. There were no seats. They crowded against the young couple. They obviously noticed the Lurch.Grab.Wide eyes routine. At the next lurch in the car a new routine emerged. Lurch. Grab. Wide eyes. Smoosh. Every time the subway car lurched the old women would smoosh the couple even closer together. Lurch.Grab. Wide eyes. Smoosh.
The soldier, his sweetheart, and the three women older than the fates got off at the next stop. As I struggled to keep a straight face, one of the old women turned to me and winked.
I wished them all well and two stops later got off to go to the aquarium in Coex mall and meet my friends. I met C. in the food court then walked through the hotel California that is Coex. We only got lost once so there is that small victory. We got there first, then met up with everyone else. The line wasn’t that bad, and there was only one school outing so the kid factor didn’t disturb our good time. The opening is quite beautiful, and they had a Korean fish vs Foreign fish display. I think we won, but then I’m a little biased.
The aquarium is really nice. It isn’t large, but it is packed with cool displays. I thought it odd they had bats, monkeys, chipmunks, and hedgehogs, but the bats were very active despite the daylight, and the monkeys were sweet. Because the aquarium is small, they have the displays set up in a winding path, that doubles back on itself. They even had a sardine show, that I missed because I was wandering aimlessly, but S. said is was quite cool. They had a few huge displays that were surprising for such a small aquarium. There was the stingray tank, that as you climbed up could watch from the top. They had manatees playing with some underwater toys, and we decided that it would take a hell of a lot of rum for them to be considered mermaids. The otters were fun, and the beaver refused to wake up no matter how many kids slapped the glass. ( I don’t blame him)
As we walked along we came to the underwater tunnel and the sharks. Three sharks could have used an exercise/diet guru; but I don’t think any of the staff were brave enough to suggest it to them. There were a surprising number of species of shark skimming along the tube we walked through. They even had penguins. All of whom seemed happy and healthy and certainly one had a pretty good sense of humor.
Once we had all regrouped outside we attempted to brave the labyrinth that is Coex. Actually I’m not a fan of malls in general, but I had to admit that Coex had done an outstanding job. The place was quite nice. I might just go back to shop or just wander around “eye shopping” as the Koreans like to say.
The crowds had not abated by the time we separated and made our way back home, but there were no more mini- soap operas
It is the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010. I have been thinking of my year.
My New Year’s resolutions: Love more; Laugh more; Worry less.
I hope the new year is filled with joy and laughter for you.