Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Boys Don't Make Passes

I've worn glasses since I was 14, and I've had a total of two pairs in the 12 years since then. I can see clearly for about ten centimetres before everything turns into a horrible blur experienced by other sufferers of myopia and the really drunk, which means I can read a book without the assistance of lenses but I look like a dweeb whilst doing so. 

In New Zealand, a new pair of lenses costs me just under $400, and if I want a decent pair of frames it will be at least another $200. I know some of you are crying out 'but what about SpecSavers, Anna?!' To that I will reply that 'Yes I know they are the world's fastest growing optometrist [chain] satisfying personal eye care needs at affordable prices, simply, clearly and consistently, but even with their amazing two pairs for $199 deal I have to pay extra for special lenses and one pair still costs me $400 excluding the check up and eye test.'

Enter Korea. Despite Buan being on the small side, there are still seven or eight optometrists in town. I picked Davich because it's on my way back from school. I'd printed off my prescription from home but was ushered into the back for an eye test - instead of the usual 'which is better?' questions, I did a lot of nodding and pointing and counting. 

Not this Davich but one just like it.
After receiving a slightly new prescription, the optometrist told me to pick some frames. I'm used to getting a selection and taking them home but I was told to pick them then and there which was a little disconcerting. I found a sweet pair and sat down for the scary part - the price.

Eye test, frames and lenses: 75,000 won. $90 NZD. The optometrist looked a little worried as if the price was too high. I was delighted. He then got me a coffee and told me to wait. I was a little confused, but 10 minutes later I was handed my brand spanking new glasses. No week-long wait. I was gobsmacked. The only bad side was that I have trouble not buying another pair every time I head home.

Excuse the model, I may watch ANTM but I don't learn anything from it.
Let me reiterate that whole experience for you. Eye test. Frames. Lenses. A coffee. No week-long wait. $90 NZD. A-fricken-mazing.

One day I relented and got these babies for about the same price. I took our friend Lauren in to get a pair because she'd been shooed out of optometrists in Gimje with cries of 'No English! No English!' and while I was helping her, the guys in the store insisted I buy them. 

Yeaaaahhhh duckface!

As I mentioned in my Korea is Awesome post yesterday, I also got a pair for Dad. I took Dad's prescription in with me, learned the Korean word for father (Appa) and braced myself for some difficulty. I was almost disappointed. The hardest part was the price, and I wasn't experiencing the hardship - Dad's prescription is particularly bad in one eye, and the optometrist was concerned that I wouldn't be happy with the extra 10,000 won to cover the cost of thinner lenses. It did take an extra three days for this pair, but at $110 all up I wasn't complaining. I got a glasses clean and a Korean-themed cloth for Dad when I picked them up yesterday.

Dad's new specs, pretty sweet for a quarter of the price!
I can't recommend the Davich store enough, whenever we've had a communication problem they've cracked out the Google Translate and we've worked it through. For all you four-eyes living in Korea, I utterly recommend stocking up before you leave. 


  1. great read as always Anna

    wonderful photos too of China etc

    Presumably the Japan earthquake is big news there?


  2. Thanks, Peter. Nice to know there are people reading!

    The quake is big news but we can't understand the local stuff. Thank Korea for our internet. The only thing my coworkers said is it will affect their summer holidays!

  3. Excellent! Ichy, Ichy, Davichy! Best jingle ever!

  4. It gets stuck in my head EVERY time I walk home!!