How Korea changed my life.
If you didn’t know that, on July 2014 I traveled to South Korea, to meet my friend Jae (who I hadn’t seen in 2 years). It was probably one of the best experiences (if not the best) 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.
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 (and sweaty too) 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 18 days in the airport without being even able to get into the country? Sometimes, when I’m stress I tend to get a bit paranoid. Just for you to know, it all went smoothly-amazing.
2. I got to discover a whole different and new culture.
One of the things that I enjoy the most about living in Lithuania and studying in an International Students Program (basically, foreigners program, the word international makes everything seem cooler) 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. Amazing experience. And also, if you didn’t notice by now, I am a very curious person. What means that I make about 123,349 questions on average per conversation. Just kidding. I only make approximately 1,000 questions.
3. I had mouthgasms on a daily basis.
I totally fell in love with the Korean food. I love trying different stuff whenever I have the chance, and since I was 10,000km away from home 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.
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 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) man, that was a real spectacle. The songs, the beers, the fried chicken wings. 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 LG Twins.
5. I was astonished by the architecture.
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 Seoul was amazing. Lots and lots and lots (and lots and lots and lots) 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.
If I had to use one word to describe Seoul 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 10.5 million inhabitants city. The biggest city I had been before that it was London (during my Eurotrip in 2013) but I only spent there like 20 hours so I didn’t really get the chance to get overwhelmed by the amount of people.
7. I mastered my chop-stick technique.
Well, I had to. I was given the possibility to use a fork. But I said, no way. I had been practicing with chopsticks on a weekly basis for the last 15 months (yeah, I really enjoy asian food, and if it’s with chopsticks better) so there was no way that I wasn’t going to use a stupid fork. Forks aren’t stupid, but I really didn’t want to use them. 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.
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 but still, I quite like it. We could learn respect from Koreans. We really should.
9. I understood that I’m a born traveler.
Someone this summer told me something very interesting about me (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.