It was around noon and he was finally able to get away and we had to get out and get some lunch - the kids were getting hungry. And we were getting antsy to get out of the apartment. So, we all left, and started to walk around the neighborhood to explore different streets that we hadn't yet gone on. We walked out of our apartment building, turned right, then kept going straight. We hadn't yet done that! For some reason, just getting out and exploring our immediately area was hard for me, not sure why. Anyway, we walked a little, turned right, then turned left and WHOA! Right there, just about a 5 minute walk from our apartment, was a cool playground! What the...sheesh, I could have used that before! Well, the girls went nuts! We couldn't get them away from that place for lunch now. So, Chris stayed there with them while I walked around more. The playground was pretty much surrounded by residential buildings, so there were no restaurants or even convenience stores (which here have lots of good food and very good prices). So I went back to the playground and then Chris took a walk around in the opposite direction. He found a convenience store that way. So that's where we were going to have to get lunch.
By this time, Maya had made some friends and was thoroughly having a good time. The two girls she met were about 7 and 10 years old. The 10 year old spoke a little bit of English and understood a lot, so they were able to communicate. Maya didn't want to leave with us and the girls and their mother were staying there for a while, so we left Maya there with them while we walked to the convenience store which was only a block away. I would NEVER have done this in the US, but in Korea, it is actually a fairly common practice. It is so safe, it is not uncommon to see kids as young as 5 walking down the street at anytime of the day. It is a disconcerting feeling to actually feel so safe. I wasn't sure we should have done that, but Chris was confident about it. So we did, but we took Nadia with us as she will just walk off if no one watches her constantly. We were gone for about 5 minutes, got back and Maya was still running around having a great time. This was the first time in a long time that she had other girls to play with, and older than her. We sat on the benches and had our sandwiches and drinks and Maya went to sit with her friends to eat with them (they were getting their lunch out too). It was so cute to see her. And she was so proud of herself at making friends so quickly and with girls who didn't speak much English! They had such a good time that they exchanged email addresses and the older girl (Jung Hoo) already sent her an email this evening!
My only wish was that I had brought my camera!