April – May Started in Incheon -every city in between- and landed in Busan. Ganghwa Island and then right back up to Incheon
How do i begin..well let me start by saying this was a trip of a lifetime! I went w/my mom to visit her family, we ate, we partied, we found ourselves, and came back home to feeling very different inside. This was a straight flight: 21 hours each way, we were very tired getting off the plane, but the excitement kept us alive. South Korea is very different in meaning its fast like New York City but there’s a smell in the air that wasn’t so pleasant. Come to find out its there sewage… yuck. Oh yes, the toilets bidet style, heated seats, w/remote are standard everywhere and you may see occasional in ground urinal.
On to the next thing ha ha we checked into our hotel room which was japanese style in that the bed was low to the floor and there were sandals at the door. I’m used to taking my shoes off after entering a house so its nothing new but the low bed was a whole other story. Prejudice is still very alive in South Korea: someone who is not of Caucasian decent or oriental they will stare at you the entire way you go. It’s something you’ll have to get used to but there not offensive in anyway, they just stare, and then go about there business. For the first 3 days I felt like I was an exotic animal in a zoo, behind bullet proof glass windows, and people paid admission to see me. I kept in prayer to allow me to get over this since in America I don’t get stared at like this and on the 4th day I was over the racists gestures.
I loved meeting my mom’s side of the family as majority of them were in the military, have mixed kids, and just were so warming/inviting. They paid for everything and kind of got upset when I took my monies out. I had to get used to the way of Korean culture quick! I loved the food OMG, pizza was the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted, they love their coffee after every meal, and I know get why there’s not many over weight people in Korea. It’s not just about the walking.. its all in the food. There food has no trans-fats, additives, its made to order, majority of it is locally farmed/raised, salt/pepper is pre added, and they drink this root tea that helps w/digestion. My mom makes this root tea (sorry I don’t know the name) but you can find it at any local asian market similar to ginseng root. Then their eating in small batches all throughout the day. I’ve never ate so much in my life but once I got used to it, I noticed I felt healthier, even though I gained weight, it was moreso muscle. Street food is in mass abundance, streets are packed w/cars & crazy drivers, but there’s many many temples. The entire time we went to temple & the almighty roman bath houses 2 times a week. Talk about inner/outer cleansing but the waters in the roman bath houses are from deep within the mountains, which help aid in healing, purifying, and overall good health. This was my first roman bath house experience and you cannot be self-consciences about your body because your naked as soon as you hit the upper floors and women of all ages are not shy. Now I understand why my mom taught us daughters to love yourself, this is your temple, and you can’t care what other people think. I love my body an have no problem w/nuidity of any kind. One big thing about South Korea is there ALL ABOUT BEAUTY. I witnessed different types of beauty from outer beauty: every where you go you see women dressed to impress, applying makeup, and they all look the same. Everyone looks like the commercials and don’t really have their own sense of style. Until I met one of my family members I believe she is considered a cousin but she jumps to beat of her own drummer, she’s an artist, and so creative. Inner beauty: going back to my new cousin I met she is the sweetest, honest person, and really enjoyed each others conversations as she wanted my opinion on how I experienced Korean culture. South Koreans love showing off their legs, mini skirts are a big hit, and there not a big fan of the chest area. My lovely cousin took us all to the Korean Disney land called Everland and OMG i’ve never been to disney world and I felt like a giant kid all over again.
South Korea is an overall beautiful place and I mostly enjoyed Busan. Since I love the ocean, the salty air, the birds, the flavors of the environment kept me alive and I didn’t want to leave. I wish Korea wasn’t so far as I would have no problem returning but that air plane ride tore my body up. There’s so much to do, festivals, shops, culture is very much alive, and well in Asia. My mom taught us how to make some korean dishes but there was many I was so happily obliged to be introduced to and will never forget this experience. Nearing the end of my tenure I felt myself being spiritually upgraded, as I felt more/more like home was all around me. I love that fact that you can talk about spirituality very freely there and you don’t get those “oh she’s a looney” type comments like in some places in the USA. When I arrived back into the US, I just wanted to get home as soon as possible, and I felt sad. Being around such a spiritually inclined place of origin, homemade, culturally intact, and natural climate it was a hard switch back to my normal life. Still I’m watching what I eat which is great because i have not been… sorry TMI.. regular in a long time!! My mom is happy to have seen her family from over 20 years and it’s just nice to see part of your heritage. I’ve tried so many new things, it was kinda like scenery overload but I promise I have it all committed to memory. I love it; I love it; and love my extended family