A great thing among many that you come to learn about South Korea, is that nothing is particularly far away. Adventure can be but a day trip. If you’re feeling particularly non-committal that is. Seoul is but a three and a half hour bus trip from here, if that, and I’m in the southern most province. The buses are cheap and are every five to thirty minutes to most cities of your choosing. You’ll be strapped to find a reason to sit on your arse doing nothing on any given weekend. I can guarantee that any excuse you find to not visit a new city, go to a festival, hike a mountain, catch up with some wonderful friends, head to the beach, stay at a temple, WHATEVER; is complete utter bollocks and I don’t believe a word you say. But A for effort I guess. (I’m trying to be a more encouraging human bean)
So yeah, yeah I did. I went to the big bad city of 10 million. And you know what? It really wasn’t that daunting. In fact, I may have fallen in love a little bit. It paid to go during Chuseok when many in the city had migrated South to be with family. And it definitely helped to be able to share the experience with about twenty-odd friends from orientation. Over four days, I don’t recall a moment of rest. There was too much excitement. Too much to do. Too many things to see. Too many people to see them with. And I loved every minute of it. Even getting lost in the subway was exciting, because hey; first time riding the subway! Waiting in lines for up to an hour at Lotte World; first time at a theme park! Getting absolutely beat down by the heat; hey, I’m about to pass out in my first palace! Being on the most crowded dance-floor of my life; hey, I’m clubbing in Seoul! Eating an abhorrent amount of crap; hey, my first churro! Spending an abhorrent amount on quality dining; hey, my first terrifyingly exciting and occasionally disgusting Asian seafood experience! Spending an exorbitant amount on clothes; I’m spending an exorbitant amount Gangnam Style dammit!!! Getting accosted by street vendors; hey, nice sock vendor gave me free Gangnam Style socks!!
And of course, at the end of the day, the city is full of Koreans, and Koreans are pretty damn friendly people. Being the week of Chuseok also meant that Seoul had far more foreigners than usual, and that meant that the establishments that remained open over the holiday were kind of tailored to our experience. That’s not to say I wouldn’t have liked to experience the ‘real’ Seoul, whatever that is, but as someone who isn’t quite accustomed to a city that you can’t simply walk across in 30 minutes or less, I was pretty relieved that the city was gentle on me this time. I’ll return not too far from now, and I’ll be ready for whatever she throws at me. Maybe.
I honestly won’t write too much more about my trip, sometimes the more you enjoy something the less you have to say about it. At least that’s my experience. You just wait till I’m bored out of my mind. You’ll be accosted by tales of nothingness. Oh BOY will I ramble. And I’ll think I’m being clever and witty with my hilarious ramblings and insightful observations about life. When really…really I’m just writing five paragraphs on taking out the garbage. You just wait for that blog post. You’ll wish you weren’t so invested.