Sunday, September 23, 2007

Korea: One Week Left

My apologies for the lack of updates. Summer can do that to me. I didn't take any vacation days, but it did feel like a vacation nevertheless. I just had my weekends booked with activities like camping, parties, dance shows, etc. Now that Fall is in effect, I can take my vacation. Haha. I have one week left until my adventure to Korea begins. I decided to go now because it is the best time to visit the country. Winters are bitterly cold, Spring can be unpredictable (ie. dust storms), and Summer is hot, humid, expensive, and busy. The Fall still brings mild weather and it is a beautiful time of the year with the leaves changing colour.

I really have no plan about how I will be spending my time there. All I know is that I will be picked up by my aunt. What I have in mind is that I'll do the subway tour in Seoul. Basically, I will take a map of a line and see what sites I can visit off those lines. I plan to go to one other city called Daejon to meet up with another aunt and uncle, and maybe see my friends who are teaching English there.

Now my Korean is quite bad, like really bad. I can't even keep up a conversation. I'm looking forward to what comes out of my mouth to communicate with extended family I haven't seen in 22 years. I know my one aunt who spent a couple of decades in Italy before moving back to Korea speaks a bit of English. I'm hoping my one cousin who is the same age as me speaks a bit of English as well. Maybe all the Korean I spoke at 5 years old is trapped inside my brain and will unleash its power. Who knows?

So I've been thinking about what to pack this week. I'm glad I bought a camera that takes "double A" batteries. It's a bit challenging to think of what electronic equipment I can bring without having to charge it or plug it in. The power conversion is different. I'm pretty sure I'll be leaving my iPod at home because I have no idea where I can plug in that usb bad boy. I'm thankful that each seat in my plane leaving from Seattle is equipped with an LCD monitor so I can watch whatever they have. I'm thinking it'll be a good time to read all the books I haven't read that I bought.

I got my Hep A shot a couple of weeks ago. I heard from friends that this virus is quite rampant because of the unsanitary conditions from street food to who knows what. I have to remember to try to stay away from anything raw because getting food poisoning sucks.

My parents are gathering some items like smoked salmon, vitamins, and honey. I guess those are the hot commodities to have in Korea. I was initially pissed that I have to bring these items because I hate carrying extra stuff. But I began to realize in my selfishness that it would be a good gesture to present gifts to family members who I might be staying with. I made it clear to my dad that I didn't want to meet a whole bunch of people that I have either met when I was young or never met. I want to sightsee Korea as much as I can which is basically the purpose of my trip. I'll be making sure I let them know I want to do that without being too rude. Canada has really influenced my life to think and do things independently, but Korea is quite the opposite where dependency is the norm. We'll see how that pans out.

Keep visiting my blog as I will do my best to update how this "banana" survives in a foreign homogenous world where the saying, "All Asians look the same," becomes a reality.


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