A month ago, my tennis trainer asked me if I was already counting down the days. My dad came with the same question one and a half week later while Yeşim has been saying I’m going to be so far away every time I see her. The truth is, no one really seems to be aware that I am leaving this soon, and the truth is, neither am I. Because which day is it now, Friday? That means there are only three more days left after today. So am I ready? Probably not.
What does one do before going on vacation? Packing is the first thing that comes to mind, but it is the last thing I will do. I booked my flight a few months ago and I don’t have to book any hotel because I can stay in my friends’ apartment.
During last year’s summer vacation, I visited Ina for about two weeks in Germany. When I do, Holly always comes over as well and on the last day she was there, we were lying scattered across the floor in Ina’s room. It was half dark although the sun outside had already come up. We were counting the hours we had left together. There would be no way to see each other again soon. I couldn’t come over during Christmas again and neither could they come.
In February, Ina would leave to Korea for a year. That’s when she said: “You should come visit me in Korea.” She had said so before, but neither I nor Holly had taken it seriously. We did then, and I decided it could be possible.
To be honest, I never thought about going to Korea before. The only reason this country fell into my area of interests is because of Ina. When I seriously considered trying to go there I thought: it’s still Asia. I always wanted to go to Japan, but Korea comes close enough, and, really, who cares, I’m going to visit Ina.
In case you are wondering, Ina studies Korean at university and, therefore, has to reside in Korea for a year. She is staying in a flat in Seoul together with 2 fellow students (Hang and Truci) from Germany. At the moment, temperatures in Seoul lie between 24°C to 30°C. I’m assuming Koreans eat lots of white rice and noodles and I’ve heard there are dishes with a lot of meat. I’m also assuming the food will be a bit spicy and in order to eat any food at all, I’ll have to learn how to eat with chopsticks.
In terms of things I want to see? Em, Korea’s culture? I’ve heard Hang and Truci are very excited I’m coming and have already listed down all the little places and restaurants which are worth a visit in Seoul. How great is that?! A thing I’m interested in myself is the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea. Next to Seoul, I’d like to see a bit of the countryside, as well as one or two temples. However, I haven’t planned anything out yet. I guess I’ll figure it out over there.
The other day, Truci told me all about couples in Korea, the way Koreans respond to foreigners and about a hundred of other things over the span of an hours time. Meanwhile, Hang was cooking while Ina went along with everything. We video chatted around 10 pm which is 5 am? for them. I’ve gotten so much information that I pretty much forgot all of it again. Moreover, I’ve learned that it might be clever to stick to the Dutch time zone while in Korea since they obviously don’t seem to sleep at night??
So yeah, I’m going to Korea. At least I know I plan to post about it while I’m there.
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