Friday, October 23, 2009

South Korea - Day 1

Jeff and I caught our first flight in DC at 9am on Friday, but it wasn’t until 4:45pm on Saturday that we arrived in Seoul.

Since I stayed up until 3am doing last minute packing, I barely even remember the 9am flight to Atlanta – I was asleep before the plane took off. The flight from Atlanta to Seoul was about 15 hours – long enough for me to read the entire background section of our Lonely Planet Korea book, and to watch 3 movies – Sister’s Keeper, X-Men Origins – Wolverine, and the Soloist. (I was very happy when I saw that our flight would have the screen in the back of the seat that you can control – the trip is so much nicer when you can start and stop movies at will.) Since we were on Korea Air, we had our first Korean food of the trip – Bibimbop, a bowl of rice, veggies, spicy red pepper sauce, and sesame oil that you mix together yourself.

When we arrived in Seoul, we caught the airport but to City Hall downtown, and then started wandering around trying to find our hotel. We didn’t have exact directions, but we knew it was close-by. Luckily, we spotted the reflection of our hotel sign on another building and made our way there. As we passed through a park to get to the hotel we saw a stage featuring a group of guys performing dances set to Michael Jackson music. Pretty cool.

Shortly after we got to our hotel, our friend Susie came to meet us. Susie had been in Jeff’s econ program, and I had met her a few times. She lives in Seoul and offered to show us around.

She took us out to a restaurant called ‘Bulgogi Brothers’ which specializes in bulgogi – a traditional Korean food. It’s beef and some vegetables cooked at your table. Also, in Korea they served meals with lots of little side dishes, including kimchi – spicy, pickled cabbage. Susie ordered a feast, so we got to try lots of different things. We also had a raspberry wine, which was very tasty.

After dinner we walked along a stream that had recently been renovated and was very busy at night with families and friends walking along the sides. We also went to an area with two statues surrounded by a water fountain choreographed to music.

By the time we finished our walk (around 9:30pm) Jeff and I were both about to fall asleep on our feet. We went back to the hotel and I fell asleep almost before my head hit the pillow. Luckily I was able to sleep through the night (until almost 9am), but Jeff was wide awake starting at about 5am.

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