I’ve had wifi for a bit from a company in Korea that’s name is hello backwards. (Olleh!) I’m hoping that I’ll get a routine going again, I’m still trying to get in the swing of things so I guess we’ll see how it goes.
I flew in at the end of March and that was a long, long amount of travel. I flew out of Chicago to Denver to San Francisco to Seoul. As I got in line for security at O’hare, I was tired, I hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep the night before. It was still dark out, the sun hadn’t risen yet and I was hoping I had brought everything I needed. I was also panicking. While trying to at least learn a bit of the language before I left I had just run out of time, and here I was about to leave. So armed with basic lessons in hangul, I boarded my first plane, shoving my heavy backpackers pack above and scooting past a woman on the aisle seat to my seat at the window. They turned off the lights so I couldn’t really practice but it did spark a conversation with the woman since no one sat between us. A two hour long conversation that calmed my nerves and turned into a beautiful crash course on South Korea. I was told so many lovely stories about her own trips to Seoul and South Korea and her family and it just put me at ease. I even got a must-do list from her to which I’ve added to. It’s not too big yet.
Go to the Olympic Park watch a movie in 4-D eat a Korean apple and a pear try a watermelon Baskin Robins ice cream cake Check out a Dunkin Donuts Eat street food Cat cafe Lotte world jeju island
All of my flights had short transfers between them, essentially I landed, made my way to my next flight and got in line to board. Which I suppose is nice, but I would have liked to have time to wait in line to get food rather than wait to eat until my international flight. On my last flight I got to chat with another woman who was going to South Korea for the first time to visit her son at an army base. After we got off the plane we stuck together until I met up with my driver. I’m grateful to all the strangers who made my journey easier. Especially since I didn’t get a wink of sleep.
My trip from the airport to my new home wasn’t that great. The van was hot, I was fried from lack of sleep and from sitting so long, and it was a long ride, so I started to feel nauseous and almost fell asleep. I tried to stay awake and put together my gift for my co-teacher who was meeting me at my apartment. (Note: For whatever reason I thought glitter tissue paper would be great for wrapping up my gift, it was a terrible idea. Glitter gets everywhere. I should have known this from 3 years of being a RA. Luckily most of the glitter landed on me, so the back of this guy’s van didn’t look like Tinkerbell had exploded.)
We did eventually arrive at my apartment/housing. I got to my meet my co-teacher and dump my stuff. I was expecting to just sort of crash, but instead my co-teacher invited me to dinner along with coworker. We went out for a traditional meal, where we had to take off our shoes before entering the restaurant. Which was a bit of a pain since I had worn my winter boots to save some space in my luggage. We had Soondubu Jjigae, or a tofu hot pot. It was somewhat spicy and I found I couldn’t enjoy the broth but I could eat the rest of it, with rice. It came with a ton of side dishes. My favorite was gosari namul or bracken. After sitting and talking for a bit, getting to know each other a little, they drove me back to the apartments and I forced myself to unpack before crashing.