Wow week one has already gone so fast and I have enjoyed myself so much!
My first thoughts of Korea were just that I am going to have fun with Lizzie and Howard and that I am visiting somewhere that is half Chinese and half Japanese (and with its history that is quite accurate)... Gyeongju a little town about an hour away from Busan is where Lizzie and Howard both teach and during my time here I have stayed in Howard'd apartment whilst he and Lizzie share Lizzie's larger apartment.
Here so far I love the fact that they have heating flooring, good heating systems and even heated toilet seats (good gadgets) and although it is FREEZING here its been as cold as 3oC and snow has been predicted ... it is still Autumn and with that comes a colourful countryside (as Lizzie says its the Autumn that are in children'd storybooks and fairy tales) as it is sunny but cold, leaves are all colours and there is wildlife everywhere (even saw the scariest spider EVER... giant green with spikes for lefs... body about 2 inches... oval long shape and generally scarrrrrrry) EEEK apparently its summer when they are come out in force so I am lucky!!
So this week so far I have sat in a number of Howard and Lizzie's class (almost like a teacher assistant) which has been ace... absolutely loved it...and hanging out with friends... i.e. Korean new friends... students... other Eng teachers... most people who are out and about in the city and done normal things: darts, pool, watched the local footy team, bowling, billabowling (pool or billards but to hit bowling clubs - a fun though random mix!!) and watched DVDs... experienced the DVD BANG - a dvd room where you choose your dvd like blockbusters...get your munch (or take your own in) and you get a private cinema... I dont think chavs exist here as everything is maintained and looked after and nice and no one steals and runins anything... if you leave your money stuffed purse on a table or leave too much tip you will get it back - how refreshing... I better not get too comfortable when I eventually get home!! lol Oh yeah and young couples do apparently use those bangs to erm bang? They can have a bad reputation as young couples instead of holding hands and kissing... wear matching couple items (and express their togetherness but what they do and wear... i.e. matching clothes and sharing lollies etc) and banging in dvd rooms... or love motels - which actuallylook awesome and like some sort of brightly covered LA casino!!
Other things we have done... experienced a multitude of different food places (obviously) OMG no where does ice cream like ASIA- its the best and best value for money - like cheap Itailan stuff... and their hot chocolates... it certainly appeals to me... otherwise the BBQ style of food is very popular where you eat your chosen meat(s) and wrap them in leaves or large pickled veg and enjoy (though there are about 3 or 4 diff sauces on the table and free sides too to enjoy ; this is a sign that your host is looking after you),,, most (not all) very tastey!! so far I am loving the bacon/ pork dishes - keep forgetting the name of it though!!
I have also seen some sights ...the famous burial tombs of Gyeongju (so famous and so WOW ...they are massive hills but each are over a tomb... the bigger they are the more important the person is)....some of these tombs are like mini mountains with trees al growing over them....and for a korean burial site its rather pretty and romantic...a bit different from walking round a london cemetery!
Daegu day trip - wow its like Shanghi bright and vibrant with colour (mainly of all the large western shops and western food - needed somstimes) and its THE place to shop - wow (wallet ouch) ... I have seen from a far some temples, pagodas, museums, bell towers etc... but I feel like I did them to death in both China and Thailand so seeing them from afar has ticked my boxes and suited me fine!!
Other things... mmmm well to tell you the truth its been nice experiencing normality hanging with old friend and meeting / making new friends... for instance while wondering downtown on my own I had enough shopping and was hungry before I went home... a random Korean lady helped me find the best pork restaurant in town...ordered for me in korean her recommendation so I didnt get confused and after anice chinway gave me her number and said lets hang out.... I mean how bloody nice!!! LOVE IT!! Oh course I have experinced some delicious cocktails and SOJU and BEER - which seem like the only alcoholaround in Gyeongju - cheap and mingin' though anyone who has been there for longer than a week loves it... so far its not to bad with beer... a shot almost caused me to throw up - and originally made from rice it is now thought to be 90% toxic ... shares ingrediants with floor cleaner - eeeewww dont know if I will be converted...yet!!
SO far korea is a recommendation!! I hope to see Busan next weekend and not sure about Seoul yet... might need a return trip as there is so much to see ... keep reading Xx