It has been a really fruitful trip.  It is the first time I spent an entire week in Korea (usually it’s just 3-4 days), and everyday has been jam-packed with meetings, store checks and focus groups.

I made a presentation to  the Korea team on Thursday. Talked for about 25 minutes using just one summary slide.
I must have internalized all the information as I worked on all the slides – I just talked, gave figures, elaborated on each point without having to refer to any notes.
The Korea marketing director told me she learnt a lot from my presentation, and the brand manager came to me later and said she thought I had presented very well.
Really happy!! :)

Oh, and I have a new idol – the moderator we used for our focus groups. She is 40 but looks like she’s only 30. She’s not a typical beauty, but she dresses really well, regardless of season (we saw her in summer when we were here in early July). Her skin is totally flawless. In fact, I think she has no pores! Haha. And she talks gently, with an air of sophistication and elegance.

I was having a briefing with her and the asst brand manager, this Aussie-Sri Lankan guy. When she left the room, I told him, “I wish I would be like her when I’m 40.”
He went, “Well, I wish my wife would be like her when she’s 40.”

In fact he had such a major crush on her, even though she is, what, 11 years his senior, that it became really obvious on the final day of the research. His manager and I just couldn’t stop laughing and teasing him on the way back to the hotel.

His manager described his look as ‘yearning’, which was really quite funny.
I just thought he had this silly grin the whole time she was talking, and he looked completely mesmerized by her.
“I have no idea what she’s talking about, it just sounds really nice,” he confessed.

Come Friday, the final few hours in Seoul were spent in a part-peaceful, part-frenzy manner.

There were no meetings on Friday – the big bosses left for Singapore early in the morning, and the asst brand manager and I decided we were both too fried to have any serious meeting on Friday.

I woke up without the alarm clock, took my time washing up, and had a nice, unhurried breakfast at the hotel cafe.
Checked my work emails, did some work, packed up a bit, before going to Gangnam for some quick shopping.

Gangnam is, according to the locals, somewhat like the Orchard road of Singapore, and only 5 minutes by cab from the hotel!
Despite coming from a so-called prestigious brand, I simply love buying the cheap masks from Facesh0p and Skin-f00d. One piece of mask retails between $3.30 to $5 in Singapore depending on the type you get, but only 1,000KRW to 2,000KRW in Korea. That’s S$1.33 to S$2.66 – one third of the retail price in Singapore!
Cosmetics from Facesh0p are pretty cheap too, so I got a few for my sisters, a colleague who gave me her ‘orders’ and for myself.
Also got some creams a friend asked me to get for her.

I couldn’t buy too much, for my luggage was already full before I got to Korea. All the winter clothing lah.

It was a tad difficult communicating with the Korean shop assistants – had to do a lot of gesturing, haha. Nonetheless it was fun shopping alone!  I spent nearly S$150 in just an hour, which was really quite liberating.

Then, it was back to the hotel, which just 30 minutes left  before the stipulated check-out time.
Which I spent wrestling with my luggage – it just wouldn’t close!!

I gave up, for it was already 3pm, and I was supposed to check out at 3pm. -____-”

I packed a third bag, which was kindly given to me by the shop assistant in the last shop i visited. Seeing that I was already carrying three separate bags, she gave me a huge recycle bag and helped me put all the stuff in. How nice!

And then it was a long, 2 hour bus ride to the airport, a little shopping at the DFS (couldn’t do much, since my arms were really aching by then), and a quiet time at a cafe.
I’d wanted to go for a quick shoulder massage, so I walked over to a massage shop – in their service menu, there was body massage, foot massage.. but I couldn’t find any shoulder or even head massage. I found it eventually; they called it ‘chair massage’. Haha. I didn’t know chairs need massage. ^^

And it was time to board the plane.

The ride wasn’t too pleasant; I found myself in a mini little-india section.
There was no one in the middle seat beside mine, but an old indian lady sat next to the empty seat – she snored almost the whole time and I had to turn away because of the vague scent of strange spices.
An indian couple with a noisy toddler (assume it’s a girl, coz i can’t really tell) sat in the same row, next to the old lady, and the toddler wouldn’t stop wailing. I said wailing, but she was really WAILING, not merely crying – for at least half of the flight duration. She was not wailing because she was not feeling well; it was simply for attention. She would wail, stop to rest for 10 seconds, and wail again. 
 Her parents did nothing to console her, and at some point simply left their child in the seat, wanting to ignore her.
At one point, I really wanted to lock the toddler in the toilet!
Lack of sleep lah, I’m equally cranky. If I wanted to WAIL like this, I would have won the competition.
I hate parents like this. I hate babies like this.

Touched down at 1am and it was 2am when the bf finally got us home.

Anyway.. it’s good to be back. :)