*Disclaimer: this is something I would NEVER do at home (maybe). When living abroad, sometimes you get to play the foreigner card. This is one such time. Don't judge.
A few weeks ago my friend Jamie invited me for homemade lasagna. To say dinner at the Chef's is swanky is an understatement. In fact, sometimes I think my friendship with Jamie makes me classier, kind of like osmosis. Anyway, after preparing and rolling our own pasta and meatballs from scratch (see, classy!), we headed to the rooftop for some wine and to enjoy the sights, of, well, other rooftops.
After waxing poetic about the finer points of meatball assembly, it was time to check the lasagna. That's when I noticed her: the Finest Roly Chair my money could buy (that is to say, FREE). She was perched atop a pile of used shelving and cabinets that also looked mighty fine, but a girl's gotta draw the line somewhere, ya know?
"Jamie," I asked, "How long has that furniture been here?"
"I dunno, a few weeks maybe. Why?"
Score!! He'd spoken the magic words and that was all I needed to hear. I lifted that Fine Roly Chair above my head and lumbered down to Jamie's place, reveling in my new found love. I could already picture the laziness this new piece of furniture would afford me. See, my apartment, while bigger than last year's, is still quite small (think Carrie Bradshaw's bedroom and kitchen, and you've got the idea.) With this new Roly Chair I would never have to get up. I could literally roll ANYWHERE I needed to go: TV? Check. Computer Desk? Check. Bed? Check. Fridge? Check. God, the possibilities were endless. (In reality all these items are within six feet of one another, but do not underestimate my extreme laziness.)
So after a lovely dinner with good wine and even better company, I bid my friends adieu and lugged my Fine Roly Chair down to the street. And there, on the street, were THREE MORE Roly Chairs! It was like the universe knew how painfully broke I was and was throwing me a bone. Or four. Not one to make a snap decision in matters of Free Used Street Furniture, I tested each chair. Now, I prefer my Roly Chair to have a cushy fabric seat with armrests and a smooth glide, but beggars can't be choosers; sometimes we have to compromise. After much consideration and a fair amount of rolling, I settled on chair number 3. She had a cushy red fabric seat and an incredibly smooth glide, (but no armrests). I was elated we'd found each other.
My Fine Roly Chair and I headed home. Jamie lives in a quaint neighborhood (by Seoul standards), so I had no trouble maneuvering her down to the main drag to catch a cab. Hell, I even stopped at the Family Mart for an ice cream treat ('cause that's just how I roll. Ha!) And that's where I ran into trouble. Apparently Seoul cabbies have got a set of standards so high they are above picking up a Tasty Dish and her new Roly Chair. Whatever. After four tries, lucky cab number five got us home safe and sound. (And although Amanda put on a brave smile for me, I think she almost had a heart attack when I introduced a piece of street furniture into our shared space.)