Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Travel Gear: Makeup and Mirror

I noticed the woman when I was riding the Busan (South Korea) subway at morning commute time, earlier this year. She was middle-aged, and quite unremarkable until she started her morning makeup routine. Seated in the crowded carriage, out came her creams, brushes, and other makeup paraphernalia. She then painstakingly, unselfconsciously transformed her appearance, right in front of me. By the end of the process she was no longer the plain-looking person who had walked on the train.

More interesting, though, was her use of technologies. She didn't have a conventional mirror, and when she ran out of one particular cream, her actions to ensure she would have a fresh supply next day were remarkable for their efficiency.

Instead of a mirror, she used her tablet computer, possibly with an app like this one. When the cream ran out, she calmly proceeded to take a photograph of the tube with her smartphone. Next she tapped a message, or maybe an order, into her phone.

Now ready for a day at the office, she started watching what I think were family videos on her tablet. This drew in the woman beside her, and a pleasant conversation ensued. I believe they were strangers when they separately boarded the train.

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