How Korea changed my life.

Asia 22 de sep. de 2014

If you didn’t know that, 聽on聽July 2014I traveled to South Korea, to meet my friend Jae聽(who I hadn’t seen in 2 years). It was probably one of the best experiences聽(if not the best)聽that I’ve ever had so far. Are you wondering why? Well, just let me tell you:

1. I took my first solo intercontinental flight.

Downtown

For many of you probably this is something super normal and nothing very extraordinary. For me it was. I have flown many times alone and well, probably the first 3 times I was very nervous聽(and sweaty too)聽but after that I sort of got used to that. But always they were flights within Europe. So no problems with borders checkups, passports, customs… That’s why I was a bit nervous. Passport. What if they didn’t let me into the country? What if there was a problem and I had to stay聽18 days in the airport聽without being even able to get into the country?聽Sometimes, when I’m stress I tend to get a bit paranoid.聽Just for you to know, it all went smoothly-amazing.

2. I got to discover a whole different and new culture.

Myeongdong

One of the things that I enjoy the most about living in聽Lithuania聽and studying in an聽International Students Program聽(basically, foreigners program, the word international makes everything seem cooler)聽is that I get to know a lot about other cultures and traditions from first hand. I just need to ask and get interested in what my friends or university mates have to tell me. But having the chance to live in such a different country of my native one, woah. Totally woah.聽Amazing experience.聽And also, if you didn’t notice by now, I am a聽very curious person. What means that I make about 123,349 questions on average per conversation.聽Just kidding. I聽only make approximately 1,000 questions.

3. I had mouthgasms on a daily basis.

Yukhoe

I totally fell in love with the Korean food. I love trying different stuff whenever I have the chance, and since I was聽10,000km away from home聽I tried not to have anything similar that I could have in my culture’s cuisine. Well, one day we went to a Spanish restaurant, but well, that’s another story to tell.

The food was spicy and hot. And full of new tastes I’ve never experienced before. I totally miss it. If you like my blog, please, consider sending me some Korean food. I will love you forever.

4. I was on a baseball match. And enjoyed it.

Baseball game!

I am not so much into sports. I do love practicing them. But when the watching time comes, well, I don’t really enjoy them. But when I had the chance to go watch one match of聽LG Twins(by the way, now I’m a real fan of that team. Just know few names of the players, and don’t really understand the rules of baseball, but still, I like how they play)聽man, that was a real spectacle. The songs, the beers, the fried chicken wings.聽If you happen to be in Korea you should definitely go and watch some baseball match. You won’t regret it. And please, consider supporting聽LG Twins.聽

5. I was astonished by the architecture.

Gyeongbok palace

I was so impressed to discover such different buildings to the ones that I’m used to see. It’s true that Lithuania and Spain have different types of constructions. Well, almost all the countries in Europe are quite different from each other when Architecturally-talking-about. But聽Seoul聽was amazing. Lots and lots and lots聽(and lots and lots and lots)聽of skyscrapers, and many palaces too. Like the one you see on the picture above. Isn’t that so magical and authentic?

6. I understood what overcrowding means.

City Seoul Area

If I had to use one word to describe聽Seoul聽it would probably be massive. Lots and lots of people everywhere you go. It seems that the city never sleeps. 24/7 stores, people on the streets and sound of cars and motorbikes. Well, that’s what you have when you live in a聽10.5 million inhabitants聽city. The biggest city I had been before that it was聽London聽(during my Eurotrip in 2013)聽but I only spent there like聽20 hours聽so I didn’t really get the chance to get overwhelmed by the amount of people.

7. I mastered my chop-stick technique.

Traditional Korean Restaurant

Well, I had to. I was given the possibility to use a fork. But I said,聽no way. I had been practicing with chopsticks on a weekly basis for the last 15 months聽(yeah, I really enjoy asian food, and if it’s with chopsticks better)聽so there was no way that I wasn’t going to use a stupid fork.聽Forks aren’t stupid, but I really didn’t want to use them.聽A funny thing happened. I got a small contracture on my forearm because I was using those sticks 3 times a day. My Korean friends couldn’t stop laughing.

8. I realized that in Spain we are loosing the respect for elder people.

Prayers

And that’s something very sad. Korean people are very respectful. Especially with older people than you. Even if you are only one year younger that the person you are talking to, you can’t call that person by its own name. You should use the respectful ways. And the reverence to say hello. And how to pour the drink. And how to sip from your drink. I’m sure I only learnt about 50% of all the rules聽but still, I quite like it. We could learn respect from Koreans. We really should.

9. I understood that I’m a born traveler.

Bukchon Village

Someone this summer told me something very interesting about me聽(or that was her point of view). She said that I am a wanderer and an adventure seeker. Well, I have to agree that she was totally right.


 

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Pau Mateo

M茅dico veinti-algo-a帽ero con una pasi贸n por la fotograf铆a y la aventura que es f谩cilmente contagiable.