I can still clearly hear my dad say: “You might get a cultural shock when you’ve landed in Korea.” I landed and set foot in Korea, but it didn’t happen. Life over there was pretty normal. The biggest change I had to make was perhaps remembering not to throw toilet paper in a toilet. (Shocker, I know.)
I bowed my head and smiled sincerely. “Goodbye,” the Korean stewardess said to me. “Goodbye,” from the pilot as well and the next few I passed. All to whom I didn’t manage to respond with goodbye, no… I was expecting to hear Korean and was ready to respond with kamsamnida (감사합니다). This ‘sudden’ change of greeting left me awfully flustered.
The Netherlands… you are in the Netherlands now. Were those people speaking Dutch? You need to think… think… switch back to thinking in Dutch. English words were lying on the tip of my tongue as the guard started to talk to me in Dutch. You’re in the Netherlands, Malou. And everyone is so… tall over here. I turned my head around and looked at the Korean group in ‘agony’. It sucks to be little again.
Michael cooked for us… He made a typical dinner that we eat very often. I had always missed it after going on vacation to Germany but this time I had no appetite. I will have to go back to potatoes and I’m already missing the rice. There will be no more Chicken Mayo or octopus in my noodles. Hello, ordinary bread… Maybe I even prefer the weird sweet one in Korea.
How the hell did Ina adjust back to Germany once she returned after the first time she went to Korea? I’m sorry Poekie (our meowing cat), but the screaming Koreans at night were easier to sleep with. As was the bed over there… my mattress feels way too soft. Time to move to the floor?
“You might get a cultural shock when you’ve landed in Korea.” I think I’m rather experiencing it now that I’ve landed in the Netherlands. Truth be told, I didn’t expect this to be the case. I’ll miss the food, the free water everywhere and free and clean toilets in all public areas. It may sound like I’d rather be in Seoul, but I’m also happy that I could leave. There’s no longer a smell of trash, the heat isn’t as bad despite the weather forecast and the streets are quiet. Best of all though, there are no mosquito’s in this room and, finally, I will be able to enjoy the light from outside until 11 pm.
There’s one thing though that I can barely manage to miss and this thing isn’t a thing but a person. We may or may not have had tears in our eyes when we pulled each other out of our hug. We’ll see each other again in Europe.
2015: I didn’t finish all my posts about my time in Korea. Expect a few more to come. PS: due to our recent move we do not have wifi yet… <\3
Other posts in my South Korean Travel Series:
Preparing my trip to South Korea
The way things are
Arriving in Korea
Nothing touristic, just Korean food
Gay supporters, OUT
To the summit of the Hallasan mountain!
The pond of God
Monkeys in our backyard
Yakcheonsa Buddhist Temple
Surrounded by mist on Udo Island
Busan day one
Busan day two
Seoul in ‘one week’
A large palace with little doors
Enter the Secret Garden
Love conquers hate
Bukchon Hanok Village
Chicken and beer at the Hangang River
Hello Kitty Cafe and actual cats
No more kamsamnida