Seoul Jazz Festival 2014

Last weekend I went yet again to Seoul to go to a jazz festival. I am starting to get tired of that bus ride. Usually there is a break in the middle of the journey, but not this time. I was sitting like a crouched hunchback while silently squealing for myself the last hour trying to prevent a rather unorthodox place to pee. The girl sitting on the other side of me on the bus several times clutched her bag while staring at me, probably wondering if she should ask if I needed help or scream to the bus driver to kick me out. I wouldn’t mind the latter, then I could just have hitchhiked after doing my business in the bushes. The (not so charming) story does have a happy ending though. I basically limped (Not joking, I have never been more focused my whole life) out of the bus when we arrived and found a human made toilet, for Koreans or foreigners. We all experience drama in our lives sometimes.

After getting lost only for 15 minutes I found my guesthouse. I had decided to not only spend my time in Hongdae, so I went to the even more famous Gangnam, at Kimchee Guesthouse. For the first time since arriving in Korea I would have my own room and toilet. It’s surprising how much I love having alone time considering how much I can jabber everyday. The room was small, but comfortable. Although I sliced my middle toes four times on the high floor from the bed to the bathroom during the weekend I was still pleased with the guesthouse.

Friday was quiet and happy, spending time with Hanbeet, eating shabu shabu and talking and talking.

Saturday, May 17, Norways national day, and the first day of the festival! Mind you, there was quite a lot of different artists there, so I believe anyone who has interest in music would love to go. I have little knowledge or experience in jazz music, but I never got disappointed with the concerts! The festival itself was in the Olympic Park, and it was a huge place with two outdoor arenas, and one indoors, a huge dome. They sold all kinds of food, and the prices was lower than I thought they would be. I was alone the whole day, but even so I felt never lost or lonely, but a big sense of freedom and happiness. All the concerts I saw was great. The two that left the strongest impressions on me was Eric Nam and Damien Rice.

Saturday I started talking with Robert from the US at the guesthouse during breakfast, and he asked if I wouldn’t mind if he joined me in the festival. Being a very interesting person we had a lot to talk about the whole day, but we both enjoyed the concerts in silence. Perfect combo at a festival I would say.

I find it hard to describe the concerts itself, but I do know I am really impressed by the Korean audience. Every time I went to concerts in Norway there would be at least one person who ruined it for everyone, or people who was too drunk to appreciate the music, or hitting my head with their elbows. Perhaps it was because this festival had no camping (the last concert finished at 22:15), or that Koreans are a lot more used to being in crowds. No bumping, no one misbehaving, and the ones who were drinking could not have been more than slightly drunk. This doesn’t mean they kept quiet! They clapped, laughed, screamed and danced, but only when it was suited to do so. It sounds too good to be true, right? I believe half of the reason for my extreme happiness with this festival was how the audience had such a strong connection to the artist, and the artist with them. The last concert, Jamie Cullum, he seemed so happy and amazed at how everyone was, I just could not stop smiling. I find it hard to express the feelings I had during this weekend –  but I know I will be back.

Purrunkum

Hello dearies!

Green Dream high school! Since I got here the days has become warmer, the cherry blossoms has been replaced with green leaves, and the students are just as crazy. The change in some of them is though that they approach me more easily (but outside class), and I know of several students who actually is really good in English, but they have been too shy to talk to me. I  now have two girls who even call me unni (big sister), and two who call me imo (grandmother) ….. Oh well. Especially the boys are very naughty, but they get so cute and shy when you give them a compliment or try to make them speak in English to you ^^

I have frustrations sometimes, but that is to be expected when you are far away from home. All in all I absolutely love this place. In the morning it is often still foggy, and the mountains look amazing. At night all the frogs sing together, and when the moon is out it’s really a magic place to walk around. I have taken some walks around the area, and every time the locals greet me happily. There is a lot of farmers here who work in the rice fields. Other then that me and Mita have started to join in an English class every Wednesday afternoon at the local children center. I lost count of how many times the children almost poked my eyes while commenting the colour. The only real uncomfortable thing I can think of is the vicious and crazy dogs everywhere who go absolutely mental each time you pass them. Thankfully all of them are chained. No wait! There is one! I have only encountered it twice though, while walking to the “city” Anseong. It’s tiny and yes, it chases you. Even when I shouted loudly at it it didn’t stop running. At least you get to shout back and release some anger. Next time I should just run after it.

Daejon

The weekend after Busan I went to what was supposed to be a one-day trip to Daejon. I was planning on meeting Hanna who was one of the Koreans I met during my volunteer time in Thailand in 2010. I was a bit nervous considering we had not spoken a lot that time in Thailand, and now we would spend the whole day together.

My nerves disappeared quickly and was replaced with happiness and energy, since Hanna is a very welcoming and social girl. After updating each other for 40 minutes about our lives, she quickly suggested that I should spend the night at her place, since my last bus back to Anseong was at 18:40. She called her parents, and then it was settled.  As I have said already so many times, I never stop being amazed at how welcoming and nice everyone is to me here. I don’t know about you, but not many are so brave that they invite someone for a sleepover after talking to you for only 40 minutes. Well, unless you are drunk, but that’s different! This is considering the culture and language difference. *Hrm* Moving on!

We had a really jummy lunch at a restaurant Hanna often visits with her boyfriend for some spicy squid. She was a bit worried if it was too spicy for me. But since I’m awesome this was not a problem, and I devoured too much as usual. After a very warm and crowded bus ride we jumped in a taxi to see the famous KAIST University. The campus was really beautiful, and everywhere we turned our heads we saw young couples with their infants or small children waddling happily in the green grass.  I was lucky enough to meet both of Hanna parents there. Her father in the bookshop, and then after ten steps her mother working in the café. Then they knew I was not a maniac who would rob their house in the middle of the night. I just snore.

The rest of the day went by quickly, which included shopping in an underground and chimek! On our way to find some dinner we saw an ahjussi selling chicken hearts! On a stick! It was really dark and tender and jummy! He even gave me some ddukbokki and an extra stick with hearts for us to share. Perhaps he thought we were starving. After dinner Hanna showed me the famous shopping arcade called Sky Road. It’s a long street with a huuuge LED screen. It’s 214 meters long, 13.3 meters wide and 20 meters above your head. I turned immediately into derp mode and kept staring and running around, almost breaking my neck.

Her family welcomed me warmly, and gave me cosy clothes to change into, tea and hugs. We sat together in the living room after we had removed our makeup, eating grapes and laughing at a re-run running man episode. I had seen it before, and laughed just as much as the others, despite of the absence of subtitles. I probably would have laughed if I hadn’t seen it before too. If you don’t get the joke, just laugh anyway; at least you get some tummy exercise.

Daejon is a nice city. Perhaps in a touristic point of view it might not be SO much to do, but it was a great one-day trip where I was really lucky to get to know Hanna.

BUSAN BABY

Every second weekend the students go back home to stay with their families. There is a rule then that no one can stay in the dormitory, so I decided to travel to Busan. Inhwan, my friend who I earlier met in Seoul, had invited me. Busan is his hometown and he wished to show me around.

Ok, this is the only way you will be able to get to Busan from Anseong/Muju. Journey: Get to Anseong with car, driven by your contact teacher.

Anseong –> Daejon. You go there by bus for 1 and ½ hours. Make sure to get along with an old lady before you enter the bus, then you will get a snack and a scolding because you forgot to put your seatbelt on.

Daejon –> Busan. If your original plan was to get to Busan with another bus, cancel that after kakao chatting with your oppa (Inhwan) who said that train is so much faster. Jump in a taxi, chat with the driver in some Korean and a lot of hand gestures. Get a KTX ticket to Busan. Since you will have 30 spare minutes, get water, some spicy rice triangle (I know there is a shorter word for that!) and a small paper bag with warm and fresh baked chestnuts.

Get on train. Listen to k-pop. Sleep.

Get off train, check your kakaotalk while walking confusedly. Find your oppa after leaving the main entrance by the end of the escalator. Congratulations, you have reached Busan.

Alrighty. Busan was actually one of the cities I most wanted to travel to while in Korea. It is the second largest city in South Korea, with the biggest river and several beaches. It also has (as almost everywhere in Korea) several beautiful mountains. Having most likely the nicest and thorough local guide my experience of this city is so wonderful. I must have seen almost everything there is to see, and had so much of their famous food. An issue you might experience as a tourist in Busan is that it is difficult getting around with local transport. So please make sure to have oppa drive you everywhere around in his dads car.

Food:

Street: Ddeokbokki and fishcakes: Jummy rice cakes in a spicy sauce with warm fish cakes on the side.

Hoddeok: This is a fried and plump pancake with taste of honey, nuts and cinnamon. I remember hearing about this through EYK, and will therefore add this link for you to realise how EXTREMELY delicious this is. Check out their video here:  http://www.eatyourkimchi.com/korean-hoddeok/

Hwae: This is basically raw fish. We walked around Jagalchi market, which is a huge and wonderful fish market Busan is very famous for. Remembering my summer childhood playing in the ocean and joining my grandfather on his boat fetching crabs or fishing I was very happy and excited. We went inside for a market where you could point at any kind of sea animal and they would send you upstairs to wait for your chosen meal. Luckily the part of ending the creatures happy (?) trapped life was not a part of the experience. We got a big white fish, and we managed to devour the whole thing by ourselves. I wish to brag about myself here and say that Inhwan was very surprised that I enjoyed the meal so much as I did. Apparently a lot of Koreans find this kind of seafood too extreme. Good, more for me then. I think this meal was the most exciting and enjoyable I had. I assure you, all the meals were wonderful, and are famous in Busan.

Dwaeji gukbap (pork soup): We stood in line for perhaps 20 minutes outside this famous restaurant called “Ssang Doong I Gook Bab” to have some amazing pork soup. The pork that was on the side remined me a lot of samgyupsal. I was as happy as a kitty. Or pig. No, not that. Cannibalism. As always when eating in Korea you get a lot of side dishes with radish, kimchi, salad, perhaps some fish, garlic and so much more. If you are out of something it is common to shout out to the waiter and ask for more, without extra charge.

Maeuntang (spicy fish soup): A wonderful and brothy soup with lots of white fish in it. In Korea you get the whole thing, there is no one to pick out the bones for you. I still need to practice my chopstick skills so I can quickly get rid of the bones. Skilled Koreans do this very well and without squealing angrily. I seem to be able to handle spicy food pretty well for being a whiny white girl. But even if the food is not too spicy for me, the random tickling I get sometimes in my nose is really extreme. I sneeze, and wiggle my nose with my hands like a bunny having a tantrum. Then I get all red and teary eyed, and my mouth swells. Then I eat more and the tickling starts again. Hopefully it is entertaining. What can I do, the food is so good. *Steals all your food and runs away while sneezing*

Attractions:

Jjim jil bang:

Basically a sauna that could be used by anyone. It is a very popular destination for locals, and it was something I really wished to experience while in Korea. The large closet where you could put your stuff away and the big showers were very impressive for me. I was quite awkward when I stumbled in the shower area. It was so big with the opportunites such as shower, warm bubble bath or just a bench you could sit on with a bucket of water you could dramatically (if you wish) splash all over you. First I decided to put away my glasses just outside before entering this large room. Since I am blind as a drunk cow on makgeolli I almost crashed into two naked teenage girls. I hastily got out again, put on my glasses, and entered bravely again (I was naked and did get some curious stares of my white body). The heat and steam quickly blinded me and I almost slapped an ahjumma again. Life is full of challenges. When I was clean and had my oversized and pink clothes on I met Inhwan upstairs.

Since it was night a lot of the things one can do such as swimming and playing (what?) was closed. But we went into s salt room that was around 50 celsius, and then an ice room. The fun part was the fantastic view we had in the sleeping room looking all over the Gwangalli beach and the amazing Gwangangdaegyo bridge. We slept fairly well that night, but I would suggest to anyone visiting Korea to not spend more than one night in a jjim jil bang. It’s a fun thing to do, but you don’t sleep as sound as a baby. Except the old lady beside me. But we shouldn’t expect to be as fortunate as her.

Busan tower:

A 120m high tower, which gives you a fantastic view of Busan. We were very impressed by how much we could see, the mountains and seashore is very beautiful.

Other then that there was several nice cafés, walks by cherry blossom trees at the mountain side, singing in the dark by a stony beach while looking at the fishing boats, and Haedong Yonggungsa Temple by the seashore.

I think the weekend in Busan will be one of the best touristic experiences I have here in Korea and it is all thanks to Inhwan. Seeing a new country and it’s culture feels so much more close and true when you have a local with you.

And everyone: Seoul is good, but Busan is so so lovely and fun, you should absolutely visit this city as well!

 

 

 

 

A Korean weekend

Hello darlings!

This will be for once a short blog post! Last weekend we were invited to join Hanbeet (an intern teacher at our school, and now a really good friend) with her father for a car ride. We went to Mai Mountain and saw the small Pagodsa buddhist temple there. Since it was Saturday the place was very crowded with eager ahjummas and ahjussis going hiking. We didn’t walk for more than half an hour, took some photos and then went for a lovely lunch with bibimbap and warm spicy ginseng. They were so nice and friendly to us, and Hanbeets father gave us many interesting and unique details about the area and the food. AND I had makgeolli. Not my favourite Korean alkohol.

We popped by Muju city to get some groceries, and just when we were about to leave all the girls squealed happily of the sight of cherry blossom trees. So, we ran around in a park as well. It was a really nice day!

 

My first week in Green Dream High School

Hello there my fuzzy friends!

So, it’s been a week and two days since we arrived at school. Here are some keywords:

Sleep: Girl dormitory!

Girl dormitory: Crazy! The girls are really sweet with a lot of energy. They seem really funny and bubbly, and then suddenly everyone is washing the whole dormitory and washrooms with an amazing speed and accuracy. Everybody says hello to us all the time, and they also giggle a lot because they don’t know how to talk English. We love our room, and yes, we sleep on the floor, and don’t mind it.

Alarm: K-pop! The lady who is responsible for the girl dormitory wakes everyone up by playing music from 06:40.

Food: Cafeteria! Yummy! I enjoy the food we get from the school, which is the total opposite side of the dormitory, so there is a lot of walking and stairs to challenge in the early morning. I am still struggling a bit with very spicy and salty food the first thing in the morning, but after I started drinking black coffee (+ nuts or fruit) in the dormitory while getting ready I don’t get nauseous eating breakfast. Ah, kimchi, I like you, but not in the morning. The ladies working in the kitchen are really sweet and helpful, and often yell at the kids for taking too much food.

Teachers: Cute and shy. We spend a lot of time at the teacher office, where we either prepare for classes, or just procrastinate through blogs (what!) or facebook. This is also the only place we have an Internet connection, so this is where my skyping takes place. The teachers are all really friendly and give us snacks and a lot of smiles all the time. But mostly all of them don’t speak English, so it’s a lot of smiling and me guessing what they are saying through conversations.

Area: It’s so so beautiful here. Not just the school itself, but also the surroundings with farming fields, trees and mountains. The weather has been both extremely cold and pretty warm. But that’s spring. And let’s not forget the ugly but cute dog that wants to be petted all the time, and the sceptic bunnies. There is also a lot of squirrels running around, a few times stopping up to stare defiantly at you. I still haven’t managed to get a picture of them.

The students: So cute! They are like all teenagers. They are very eager to talk and get to know us, but most of them really struggle with speaking English, so they get quickly shy. A lot of them play instruments, sing, dance and do great art such as pottery and painting. Me and Mita joined pottery class, and well… Let’s just say it’s important to try!

Other activity we have joined is a badminton tournament. I must say that I got fairly good at it (considering how bad I am in sports) after a few days practice. But alas, we lost the game today. The students have a wonderful game spirit and keep cheering everyone.

We have only had a few classes so far, so I will save that for another blog post later. Our main worry is not their eagerness, but rather that they get easily embarrassed by trying to speak.

We have also been shown some local areas by one of the teachers here, and on Sunday our principal brought us to the Muju Ski resort. We went in a gondola all the way up to Hyangjeokbong peak. So thanks to the principal, Mita finally saw snow for the first time in her life.

In another blog post I will write about the wonderful Saturday we had together with an intern teacher at our school and her father, who I actually think we managed to call earlier our Korean god.

Toodles!

 

Seoul 2!

The last days I had in Seoul were very busy but exciting.

We met up at Better World and had some efficient and awkward (in a good way mind you) ice breaking so we could all get to know each other better. Koreans really love to play games, and in Norway I know many would have not let them self loose while being shy in front of strangers. But the mood was great, a lot because of the happy and cheerful Better World staff. The program we then had the next days was packed. We talked a lot about expectations, what we wanted to teach, why we were here, and we also got a lot of information about the school, precautions we needed to be aware of, and so much more. For those of you who know me you know that I am quite well informed about Koreans, their culture, humour and their differences from me. In a way it was good for me to be informed that the things I had read and heard about was facts, and not just ideas a know it all white girl had created through blogs and entertainment. We also had a mission the second day! We were sent in a groups of four or three to go to different places in Seoul. We got to go to Sincheon and take a picture in front of a shop opposite a cinema. Luckily we had one Korean with us (who didn’t know Seoul!) that got us in a taxi, and later after a successful photo, ordered delicious bibimbap and cold noodles for lunch. I was then informed that yes, I do have a lot of aegyo*, and that just made me even more hyperactive. I was still then very nervous and excited for soon leaving for my school. I even got bubble tea for dessert.

**Aegyo: “Aegyo (Korean: 애교) in Korean refers to a cute, affectionate style often expressed through a baby voice, facial expressions, and gestures.[1] Aegyo literally means behaving in a coquette-ish manner and is commonly used in reference to the behaviors of male and female k-pop idols.[2] The word is often translated as “cuteness” in English, and can be compared to the Japanese concept of kawaii” (Wikipedia).

On our last night together we very exhausted, but happy from all the information and talking we had done. We went to a fried chicken restaurant. KFC, go to bed and be ashamed. Actually, you should do that anyway, your fried chicken is no no. THIS on the other hand dear ducklings is the best thing I have ever tasted in a long, long time. And I’m absolutely not a big fan of fried food. But the shocking thing was that I drank beer. THIS.IS.NUTS. Seriously, I hate beer. I always have, and swore that I would never ever start to like it. I probably will never drink the ones we get in Norway, or many other countries. But Laura next to me said that the beer was so mild and good, and my nostalgic k-drama fascination took over and I had a sip. It was good! So, for now, if I ever have Korean chicken again, I will drink it with the Korean beer Cass.       Chimek (Chicken and beer) is a very typical food to consume in Korea while watching sports games together. Apparently, when the K-drama “My Love From the Stars” started airing, Chinese k-drama fans started getting in line for over two hours to eat this in China. I’d stand in line because it’s so darn good. But hey, the drama wasn’t so bad either (Kim Soo Hyun, stop it!). Hrm. Enough about my food ranting, I need to save some of it when I will tell you about samgyopsal.

The rest of the volunteers left that Friday for their destinations, but Mita and me were told that we would stay in Seoul until Sunday, since the teachers at our school were not available to stay with us in the weekend.

The following days we didn’t feel too great, getting a heavy cold. On Friday I had a two hour-long walk around Hongdae and was happy to find the Eat Your Kimchi studio. TJ from Better World asked if we would like to meet up for lunch on Saturday with his lovely wife and SO CUTE daughter. We had a really nice and traditional Korean meal. Thank you for inviting us!

Later that day I met up with Inhwan, who I met during Thailand at Christmas 2010 for volunteer work. Even though during that time I didn’t really talk that much to him he decided to travel an hour from his house to meet me in Hongdae. Thanks to him I now know of several destinations I wish to travel to in Korea, and we had Samgyopsal and soju!! Holy cookies, that was so good! It will absolutely be in the top five best Korean meals I ever had. I’m so amazed at how sweet and gentleman-like Inhwan was with me. It was small things, like making sure I was comfortable, opening the door for me and shielding other peoples umbrellas so I wouldn’t get it in my face, and making sure he was the one closest to the car side of the road. There are many things Korean boys have as qualities that makes me understand why so many young Western girls wants to get involved with them. Don’t misunderstand what I’m writing though; boys here will treat you like this when you are friends as well. And since Inhwan is one year older than me, he is an oppa, and therefore it is even more common that he takes care of me.

It was a great day, and I can never say enough how impressed I am of how welcoming and warm the Korean people are.

Whoa, long post! I’m sure this is just as messy as the others. I always forget how impatient I get whenever I write. But it’s my blog, I’ll write whatever I want.

Next time I will write about my first week in Purrunkum High School! ^^

Seoul!

Anyonghaseyo ^^

The last days in Seoul have been amazing. I had a horrible jetlag the two first days. From earlier experience I know that the best way to avoid jetlag is to adapt immediately to the new country time zone.  So even though I tortured myself to not go to bed the first night here at 20, I stayed up until midnight. So I was quite frustrated to then wake up at 4:15 in the morning being this awake O-O

I met up with two Norwegian girls, Camilla and Embla in Myungdong for some casual shopping and talking. Camilla is a girl I met while volunteering in Oslo during Christmas. To both our surprise we shared an interest in Korea, and she left a week before me to study Korean in Seoul. Call it fate or coincidence; we are still pretty amazed by this. Myungdong is a very touristic and popular shopping area, especially for Japanese and Chinese tourists. I myself am not fond of extreme crowds of people, but I can always adapt. What I do NOT find comfortable is Korean girls shouting to you in English/Korean/Japanese/Chinese to enter their shop. The whole aspect of being followed around in shops and pressured to buy more and more is something that makes me defensive and tired. If you go to Korea I know there are many other places to go shopping for almost no expense (Norwegian girl going bananas over the prices here) without being pestered and pushed. When that is said, I felt a big comfort meeting up with Camilla and Embla when I was overwhelmed by Seoul and feeling jetlagged. Ever been jetlagged? It is not just feeling tired due to lack of sleep. You can get pretty nauseous and dizzy, and you really don’t feel like eating anything. The heeerp deeerp part might just be me though. Abby from the Mini Pencil Hostel very kindly showed me where to change lines at the subway to get to Myungdong from Hongik uni, so even though I messed up a bit on the way back home I felt pretty awesome nailing this quickly. And oh, Green Tea latte from Starbucks: Yes please!

I shared rooms with a 15 year old (!!) girl from Malaysia called Darina. She was in Korea for her fourth time, travelling by herself. She decided to show me around Hongdae in the evening so I could eat something proper. I was amazed by how mature and kind she was, and even though I felt like an old lady not even knowing how to spell my own name beside Darina, I was very grateful. I had bibimbap and got a simple soup on the side with some kimchi for just 3500 krw. Korean food, stop being so yummy!

Everybody here in Seoul is so nice and welcoming. I know how frustrating it must be for big cities to always look out for stupid tourists (Berlin and Paris, I’m pointing my finger at you!), but so far I have only been treated well. It’s small things like ahjummas saying you are pretty, to young kids smiling to you while walking past them. I remember standing at a traffic light wondering if I could cross over or not. A man waved kindly at me to come over. When I had jogged over to his side he bowed and smiled at me. On the 26th Darina and I went to Ewha womans university for some shoe shopping. Oh dear, everything was so cheap, I felt ashamed when we were back on the subway. I plan to back down from shopping now until I am getting closer to May. I can’t really say I have that much faith in myself. My time was getting closer to meet up with my organization Better World, so after shopping Darina walked with me to find the building where I would meet up with all the other volunteers. I’m not sure if she didn’t trust me enough to not get lost, or if she was just extremely kind to me. I believe both. I did get lost in my city Bergen just a year ago, while using gps on my phone. Mother, you should be grateful for all of these people guiding me so well!

There is so much more I want to tell you about, but that will be for next blog. Thank you if you are reading this, I know it is quite messy. I am right now in a hostel in Hongdae with a really painful cold, and I need to get ready to meet up with my Korean friend Inhwan who I met in 2010 in Thailand. Hopefully my writing will get more organized when I am finally in my school. Until next time!

Confused arrival

Hello, this is my blog.

I seem to be in Seoul.

What a journey! After landing in Istanbul via London to wait for my next flight I was feeling so dizzy and annoyed by my clogged ears that I could not sit still. I have a lot of issues with my sinuses because of allergies and a cursed life (not that I’m bitter), so activities such as pressure difference while travelling really messes me up. So I kept on wandering around the airport in Istanbul, mumbling to myself and grumpily checking the screen to see when my gate would show up. I can be quite restless, and I always forget how quickly I get bored waiting or sitting still. I even followed a group of Japanese people around for 15 minutes, until they started commenting my presence. I need to try and blend in more in Korea.

My flight from Istanbul to Seoul was even more uncomfortable, but I had a super cute lady beside me. We didn’t know how to communicate with each other at all, but even then we both managed to agree on each other’s beauty, and she gave me some Korean candy.

It is a very peculiar and emotional experience landing in a country I have wanted to visit for so long. Today is five years since my father passed away. A while after he died me and my siblings inherited some money from him. At first I didn’t want the money. But then I remembered talking about travelling with my father the last time I saw him, and I decided to spend the money on exactly that.

Five years have gone by so quickly, and I have already experienced and met so many different people in different places. One of the reasons I am here in Korea now (for those of you who do not know, I am going to volunteer as an English teacher for three months at a school in Muju county) is to keep on meeting people outside of my cultural zone. The reason for that is because I believe one of the reasons I have learned so much about myself and my cultural strength/weakness is through meeting people who is so different to myself.

All right, enough with the melancholic writing! Hi Dad! I miss you and love you everyday! Look! I’m in Seoul!! I did it! (with some local help mind you). I haven’t even been here more then a few hours, but already now an older man helped me finding my hostel (I probably looked so miserable and confused with my suitcase and frown) and I have been fed wonderful Korean dinner. All without being able to speak English, they have been so kind and generous.

My first Korean meal

Please read my blog and hear about my experiences here in Korea. Hopefully I will keep on writing when I come back to Norway about not just Korea, but also about how to stay positive through hard times, and to not take yourself always too seriously.

And I will write less messy next time! Maybe.