SK Adventure: Day 2

My South Korea Adventure

Ashley and I decided to take a nap when we arrived at the Guest House. The plan was to get up after an hour and get dinner. Plans change all the time, and we definitely decided to keep sleeping. Now in the long run of things, this was probably a good idea but the next morning we woke up starving. All we had the day before was airplane food.

Lee & No Guesthouse was an awesome place to stay in Seoul. There was always something delicious for breakfast (my favorite was this potato thing with eggs and diced paprika). Everything seemed to taste better. The coffee was amazing and I was introduced to Aloe Water (I recommend at least trying it out. You can find it at your local Asian grocery store). Ash and I woke up super early and got to spend a good portion of our morning at Lee & No talking to one of the managers, Nahyun Yi. She was very fluent in English and did not seem to have any troubles communicating with us. She was very friendly and helpful.

It was fun to stay at a guesthouse because we got to meet so many different people. The first night we met two girls from Hong Kong. We are not 100% positive, but we are pretty sure that one of the girls had a very promiscuous job…The other girl spoke little English or Korean and was using Google Translate to communicate with everyone. The next morning when Ashley and I were eating breakfast, we met a family from Malaysia. They were pretty quiet and to themselves. It was two sons, one’s girlfriend, and their Mom. If you know Ashley and I, we had them pretty chatty by the time they left. When we came back the second time to stay at the Guesthouse (more on that later), we saw them roaming the streets assumingly trying to find their next guesthouse residence.

Ashley and I got our second day started fairly early in the afternoon. We made our way to metro, which is awesome in Korea. It’s fairly easy to use and nothing like the ones you’ll find in the States. We saw a girl in the train with a Grateful Dead shirt on. Just like you, we are pretty sure she had no idea who that was she was representing upon her chest.

It was really interesting to see how much American advertising was in Korea. Almost at every metro station there was a huge ad with someone famous or just a white person (not a lot of Asian people in the ads). It was blowing my mind. Everything is so different there…

We went to Changdeok Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace, and Temple. We got pretty worn out from walking around. We had also gone to this shopping district, Itaewon and Ashley was interviewed by a group of school girls on why she was in Korea and would she recommend it to her friends (that’s a big obvious yes). We were getting really hungry, but also knew dinner time was getting close so we went to a family convenience store and got these rice triangle cakes. It was so good and my lunch was only 75 cents!

Ash really wanted to get some new eye glasses while we were there. Our last destination of the day was Ewha University, a women’s university where Ashley had studied before. She ordered her glasses at the school’s lens store, we found a place to have dinner, and headed back to Lee  & No.

Things I had jotted down that day:

* Men carry women’s purses for them
* $3.00 for each Palace visit
* Skin whitening cream is huge here
* Jewel is playing in the eye doctor’s office
* Birthdays/ages are different here – I’d be 26/27 here not 24/25.
* Girls hold hands – EVERYWHERE!
* Guys are super close here, but Ashley tells me they are not homosexual – that’s just how the culture is

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SK Adventure: Day 1

My South Korea Adventure

Most of my trip I wrote down in a great little book that my Mom got me before I left. Basically, I’m just going to type what I wrote down and add some here and there to what I remember.

Day 1:

2:00 AM EST- Wake up and shower for travel!
3:00 AM EST – Taxi to Union Train Station in D.C. -$42.00
4:00 AM EST – Train ride to Baltimore International Airport. ~$28.00
6:50 AM EST – Flight to San Francisco, CA for connecting flight. ~$1,400
11:00 AM PCT – Flight to Incheon International Airport (SOUTH KOREA!) -(Freaking forever flight!)

I’ve never been out of the country so this was an interesting experience for me. It was really odd to be in the waiting area and, literally, the only people around you are Asian. I know you are thinking, “Well you were going to South Korea…” I realize this, but it was an experience to be in the majority and not the minority for once. I swear this one guy kept blowing his nose…on the floor. It was gross. I also wasn’t accustomed to Duty Free items, so at first I was so confused with what that line was…

It was a long flight. Ashley and I weren’t sitting next to each other, but luckily the guy next to me was young and decided to try to talk to me. He was a student going home for the summer and said he would switch seats with Ashley (who was in the back of the plane). That was really nice of him, especially since Ashley was stuck with two Asian guys….who didn’t seem like they were very friendly when I went to tell her the good news.

Airplane food was odd. I think my favorite part was the to-go ramen noodles. It was a “snack.” And yes, we ate with chopsticks.

We finally arrived in Korea after an 11-12 hour flight. We got a little lost on our route to the Guest House…we were both a little cranky because we were exhausted, but we were so excited for the next day…

Evolving

My South Korea Adventure

Wow. I did not realize March was the last time I wrote.  A lot has happened in the 5 month time span.

Today’s post is probably the most serious that I will write, considering what has been previously posted. I have also decided that this blog is going to evolve and not just contain funny stories that happen to me because I’m Asian. I will still post the stories, but I also want to include a section about my experience in Korea. I’ve realized I never sent out an e-mail (after searching for 30 minutes) describing all the sites and foods from my trip. So here starts a virtual adventure for you…

In May, I finished graduate school and decided to entertain a short visit to South Korea. I always wanted to go. I had the money and a few weeks time before I started my big job. I knew once I started work that it would be harder to take vacations, so I took the opportunity and ran with it.

My good friend from college, Ashley, was going to be in China in June for an internship. She LOVES anything or anyone from eastern Asian countries (literally, if she could be Korean she would be). She’d been to Korea before so I knew it would be nice to go with someone with some familiarity of the country and culture. We left the U.S. the second week of May to embark on our 10 day journey in South Korea…