Since I didn't really update while in Korea in order to keep this semi-short I decided to use my favorite: lists.
So in chronological order (not importance) I give you the best things about my trip to Korea:
- Seeing fabulous family friends for a brief visit during my layover in Amsterdam. They made a six hour layover fly by!
- Having someone who knows what the heck is going on pick you up at the airport
- Visiting a friend of a friend (hi Jess!) who is now my friend, Michelle. And for experiencing a small world across the globe. (One of her friends who she hadn't seen since 5th grade Sunday school found her in the street in Seoul Sunday night, not to mention that Michelle was born in South Korea so she blends in more than say, me.)
- Having all the Korean waiters/sales people come up to Michelle and ask her what we'd like in Korean just because she looks Korean.
- KOREAN FOOD (to be repeated)--specifically the meat that gets roasted over a fire, and kimchee--it's actually delicious! All I can say is it is wonderful and delicious and sooo spicy--I am having a hard time adjusting to the bland food in Switzerland!
- Train trips. Now you know I already love those but these were SO MUCH CHEAPER.
- The price of just about everything in Korea (but then I started to actually feel bad that it was so cheap--I think Switzerland is rubbing off on me!)
- Going out to eat again.
- Visiting Jack (of course).
- Busan, Haeinsa & that flat top Buddha on top of the mountain.
- Asian architecture.
- The day I spent in Busan with Jack (and touching the Pacific!).
- The food--seriously, Jack's girlfriend and one of her pals took me out all day Saturday (which was awesome) and we ate the street food (don't read the following Cushing or else you'll probably be sick to your stomach): fried squid (like most food it is much better fried), this rice cake things in a spicy sauce, the rice cake wrapped in a layer of fish of some sort, and this ball of meat and vegetables--all this was before our actual dinner, of course.
- Korean people--so friendly and giving.
- Soju, a Korean watered down vodka-y drink and Makali (sp?) which is a Korean rice wine. Well I have a love hate relationship with these two; I love them while I am drinking them, and hate them the next morning.
- The prices!
- Dr. Fish--this neat/weird cafe where, while you have your latte you put your feet in a tub and fish come and nibble the dead skin off!!! Terribly tickling but a neat experience.
- Korean bath house. Jack's girlfriend and friend took me to a Korean bath house which was an incredible experience. Having started the day incredibly hung over (sorry mom) it was a relaxing and amazing experience to end the day with. I definitely felt clean and refreshed after!
- Seeing where Jack lives & works.
- Jack's friends & co-workers.
- Learning what its like to live as a true minority. I've never had to do this before (sure I'm a "minority" in Switzerland but as long as my mouth is closed I could potentially pass for Swiss) but in Korea there was no doubt in my mind. This was especially awkward when I was waiting at a bus station and there was an Olympic race on between an American and a South Korean. When they showed the American flag I could feel all the eyes in the station make there way towards me...
My friend told me it's funny that I came to Europe and ended up going to Asia which is true, but I am so glad I went and I had a wonderful time. Thanks to Michelle & Jack for being great hosts!