Sunday, February 08, 2009

Enjoying the new gadget from Yongsan

After my recorder crapped out, a trip to Yongsan (famous for its electronics) was in order. I was avoiding the place at first because even though I'm a pretty good bargainer (schooled by my parents in the mean streets of SE Asia lol), I don't like doing it. I went to a conventional sticker-price shop, and found that their cheapest recorder was expensive ANYWAY... sigh. So I thought ok, might as well see if I can get a bargain at the piles of electronics at Yongsan station.

The electronics plaza is attached to the station (which happens to be a big train station too... reminded me of the movie "Total Recall"). As I made my way through the brightly lit stalls of ajeossis (Misters) welcoming me to their particular stall (they're all the same, they even trade stock amongst themselves and pretty much have agreed upon price ranges) I settled on one friendly looking chap and I brought out my old broken one so he knew I was serious but only willing to pay around as much as I did for my old one. :) We wheeled, dealed, of course, he brought out a calculator... I brought out the "I'm a student"... and we arrived at a very nice domestically made Safa 2GB recorder. It has much more capacity than the old clunker, smaller, higher quality sound, and an FM radio among other additional features.

As his assistant was packing it up, we chatted and he asked which university I was at, and I said "Seoul Dae"... and he commented that I must be very good at studying! He left and came back with an ‘ear MIC’ which records mobile phone conversations with the recorder I just bought and said “suhbisu” (service) which means “complimentary.” Not bankrupting them with my ajumma bargaining skills had its benefits after all... and if the prices online are any indication, I actually got a really really good deal (about 30%-50% off).

Tested it today by doing an interview in a really noisy coffee shop... and the sound is beautiful. One might dare say "sparkling."

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