19 July 2009

So Long, Korea!

Monday, 10.24 am.

It’s Monday morning, and I’m sitting in the Seoul airport, waiting for my flight to Tokyo. I’ll meet cousin Ian there, and we’ll have a good time.

Yesterday morning, HyeRan and I saw Eli off. Yosup drove him to the airport, and HyeRan and I went into Seoul for the day. We met up with JJ and had a nice lunch of dumplings, boiled pork, kimchee, lettuce, and Japanese-style soup. After lunch, we wandered through Seoul as JJ led us to one of the larger palaces. The buildings were typical Korean buildings – simple rooms, ornate architecture. The grounds were beautiful. Big trees, meandering paths. A greenhouse! We saw a shrine where Korean nobility would store placenta after childbirth. Weird.

After that, we crossed over into Jongmyo, which used to be a shrine center for dead kings. Now, it’s a big park. Again, lovely architecture, nature, paths, etc.

From there, JJ took us to Insadong, which is a couple blocks of pedestrian-only shopping. Lots of stores with souveniers, jewelry, drums, clothes, etc. I didn’t buy anything, because I was a bit overwhelmed with the crows of people. JJ, HyeRan, and I stopped for tea at a lovely little teahouse in a park where Tuida performed their first show.

From there, they took me shopping to buy some Korean music. After that, JJ left us, and HyeRan and I went to meet Sandy for dinner. HyeRan left, feeling a little ill, but I had a good time. Too good a time. I drank a lot of soju, and by the time I left the restaurant, the trains had stopped running. I had to take a cab all the way back to the hotel, where I promptly passed out.

This morning, HyeRan, Yosup, and Seok came to see me off at the hotel. Yosup brought a lovely painting he had made. Seok drove me to the airport, and we stopped for McDonalds so that I could get some grease to calm the hangover. At the airport, he helped me get all checked in, and then we said our final goodbyes. I invited him to visit us in the states!

Now, we’re about to board the plane, so I should post and close the computer. So long, Korea, and thanks for the good times!

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