March 8th: Officially in Korea! Flew over Arctic Ocean, Russia, China, and avoided North Korea by way of Yellow Sea.
March 9th: So far, mastering hello and thank you, rescued a giant teddy bear, braved a minute stay in the Cat Cafe (the smell of coffee and cat pee was too much), and trekked around Gangnum side of town. Everyone is friendly, heart-warming, and take pride in what they do.
March 11th: The best part of Seoul thus far is how many people have gone out of their way to show me where something is, how to pronounce words, and even hang out. Today was the first day on my own and met two ladies (one from Japan and one from here) at the Namsan-gal Village, where I tested out my calligraphy skills, and invited me to go shopping with them. Also tried out Dr. Fish, nothing like having squeaky clean feet via fish. Karaoke with Joshie and Gen Mo is the best way to end an awesome day!
March 13th: Went to North Korea via DMZ. It was sort of breathtaking to see their flag in person after studying the country for 2 years. Tried peanut butter squid…om noms! Really digging having to be completely dependent on my senses and so far I've gotten the subway maps down and getting lost seems like just what I've needed. Hope everyone is well.
March 14th: Yesterday (technically today for everyone back home) was White Day (2nd Valentines Day in Korea) where the guys get the girls gifts. February 14th still stands here too. One of my new friends here took me around town; saw the changing of the guards at Gyeongbokguna Palace which is better left for the video then for me to describe. Inside was the National Korean Folk Museum. On our way to the Tim Burton exhibit, I found a Hello Kitty Cafe. It wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be but I got a tumbler. The Tim Burton showcase was amazing!! They displayed how his films where created via paper and it’s always nice to see how the magic happens. For dinner Derek took me to a place that serves Korean BBQ and so far that is my favorite meal. You cook the meat on a coal pit in front of you with traditional side dishes…so I’m somewhat a fan of pork but maybe only in Korea. Also I can’t wait to share my favorite dessert/sweet with you all: Hotteok, a small pancake like pastry that is maple brown sugar goodness. Oh…and Happy Trance Thursday!
March 15th: Had an amazing Friday: spent all afternoon at a Buddhist temple becoming solitary. After dinner, Josh and I helped out the local homeless with his group Kickstart that he helped actually “kick-start". I have one more day left and so far all I can say to sum up this experience is to remind myself and others that ALL life is precious even when you feel like you don't belong. I am ready to go home and tackle what seemed like an endless wave of fears and try to stay the positive and compassionate person in a country where it is easy to get lost (USA).
CHANGING OF THE GUARDS
TIM BURTON EXHIBIT AT THE SEOUL MUSEUM OF ART