A small plastic pouch bearing the logo of a photo store contains two passport-sized headshots of a young man. He wears a black tee-shirt over a white one. He looks grim, or possibly pouting, but sans flirtatiousness.
I had quite the "ah crap i screwed myself” incident Saturday:
Saturday morning, I rode the subway for an hour to locate a foreigner-friendly travel agency in Hongdae, an area in Northwest Seoul, in order to apply for my Chinese tourist visa. When I found the agency, an hour before they closed, I realized that I had forgotten to bring along with me the photograph required by the application, which I had taken a week before, just to be safe, and had set out in plain sight to take with me.
Fortunately, my friend Melody, who was visiting me, had a digital camera with her, so I ran over to a nearby photo store to print a picture that she snapped on the spot. But I was then informed that my white t-shirt was actually inappropriate for a passport photo, said photograph being required to have a regulation white background, with which my plain white Hanes tee would blend in too much.
So I had to run across the street to an outdoor vendor hawking some cheap joints and bought a 5000Won ($5) shirt just to take this picture.
But in losing I actually surreptitiously stayed winning: the photo store worker felt badly for me, so he told me the photos were his gift to me; and I got a t-shirt that says “PLEASE PICTURE WITH ME”. And I made it back to the agency on time.
This is grace: We lose, but only so that we can keep on winning.