I feel like I am sitting on cloud 9 at the moment. I have only been in my city for a little over a week and I am falling in love with it more and more each day! It’s amazing what being in another country, by yourself, can really do to you. There are so many things I would have never done that I can now say I have done and enjoyed! For instance, Saturday I mastered the subway system – by myself – got lost in the market – walked in circles – but eventually found my way home. And today … I ate raw fish for the first time and it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. The texture was a bit overwhelming at first, but after awhile, I got used to it. I’m not sure it would be the dish that I’d order at any restaurant, but I wouldn’t decline a dinner invitation if raw fish was on the menu. At least now I know what to expect 🙂
Today was the most incredible day. Prior to dinner my co-teacher took me on a little tour of a couple of the beaches close to my apartment …. she took me on a road through the mountains that overlooked the ocean and I can honestly say I was unable to speak. It was the most amazing view I had ever seen. And unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me, but I don’t even think the pictures would have captured the true serenity of the moment. It was breathtaking. I will be going back to those places in the near future … I didn’t want to leave! And next time I will have my camera!
After dinner, my co-teacher and 4 other teachers and I went down to the lighthouse and walked along the pier just as the sun was setting being the mountains and the full moon was out. The way the moon sparkled on the water was paralizing. Koreans are incredibly warm and caring people; I felt like I was walking along paradise with 5 of my best girlfriends – even though I have only known them for a few days – and I don’t understand a word they say – it was an extremely peaceful moment. (No offence to my lady friends at home … you are in no way being replaced!) It was unbelieveable. By the time I got back to my apartment my heart felt like it was going to leap from my chest and I just knew I needed to come blog about what I had experienced.
This has already been a life changing experience for me. I enjoy watching and respecting the Korean culture. The way they hold on to and practice their traditions is so symbolic and touching. The respect for elders, and something as simple as you do not pour your own drink – but you pour others and they will in turn pour yours to me seems so respectful and unselfish. Speaking of which – I found out the difficult way that if you do not want more to drink, you do not empty your glass – because as soon as a Korean sees an empty glass, you can be sure it will be filled again! (And I am talking shot glasses here people.) haha I am so glad that I get to be a part of this culture and that I have been accepted and complemented for how quickly I have caught onto the traditions and that they appreciate the respect I show their culture. It’s truly incredible.
Lisa Brown – you were so right – when you travel with locals you taste and smell and see things like never before!
I do miss all of you, of course, and there is no place like home, but I am truly smitten with my new temporary home. Everything seems so perfect.
Next time – I promise to include pictures 🙂
P.S. This wednesday the teachers and I are playing volleyball … I’m sure some funny stories will come from that 🙂