To top it off, I walked over to Itaewon and stopped in to see Minha, the woman who makes the patches for the hash. (Her mother, in between selling souvenirs such as kimonos and keychains, sews them onto our happi coats.) They told me they had a present for me and presented me with a gorgeous, and gorgeously tacky, baseball-style jacket:
It's very comfy, but I won't be wearing it in public; ornate as the design is, it looks like the kind of thing a 19-year-old GI would take home to his girlfriend. Next to the kimonos, it's probably the most expensive item Minha's mother has in her shop. Minha made sure that her mom brought out a midnight-blue jacket, knowing that it's my favorite color. I was very touched by their generosity; I'm just a customer, after all, and they weren't doing it to drum up business, just being extraordinarily nice; there's no place else I could go to get the patches made. I'll remember their kindness for a long time.