Monday, September 10, 2012

A South Korean Summer Vacation

This summer my family and I went on a huge trip across the world to visit my sister who is teaching in South Korea. We went at the beginning of August and stayed for 2 weeks. Not only is this the longest my family has gone on a trip, but it's also the first time we've all gone on the plane together. We were excited. 
Stoked faces for takeoff 
The flight takes a full 24 hours to get all the way over there. There were 3 connecting flights that we took too. We went from Halifax to Toronto (2 hours), Toronto to Vancouver (5 hours), and then from Vancouver to Incheon, Korea (14 hours). We flew with Air Canada and I was actually super impressed by the service and timing and everything, which is surprising I know. But we got cool airplane food because we were an over night flight and we also got to have the snack for free too! Drinking red wine and eating Lindor chocolate was probably the highlight of the flight.  
My sister had Korean beer, noodles and dried squid at the ready when we arrived at her apartment. All things which I later found out to be VERY common amongst the streets of Korea. I gave in on the last day and tried some of this so called dried squid, and let me tell you, it was disgusting. Mind you, I don't like seafood anyway, but it actually was pretty gross. Dad didn't mind it though, so maybe there are some people out there who would like it. All I know is that I don't. 
We did A LOT while we were there too. Now, I know some of you might be saying, what is there to do in South Korea? WELL my friends, there's lots. We were there for a total of two weeks, did something every day and could have easily filled up another two. First we started out with a tour of Seoul and the Palace, then we went to Seoul Tower another day and got a 360 degree view of the whole city (really beautiful with an unexpected amount of big mountains surrounding the city.), we went to the school where my sister teaches, and went to an aquarium that was inside of an underground mall named Cotex. Yah, I said underground mall. These are only some of the activities we did too, other days were spent shopping, walking around, museums and lots drinking. 

The best things about the Korea trip as a whole, was the fact that everything was super cheap, all the translations were terrible and you can buy liquor at pretty much any store. I'm making myself sound like an alcoholic here, but there is just something about buying a 2,000 won ($2.00), beer at Family Mart (equal to Needs here), grabbing a table, and sitting out in public drinking with your friends and family. I think Canada could take a few hints from these guys, they're on to something.  
In addition to all the other things we did over the past coupe weeks, we also went to a baseball game and went to the UMF music festival to see Skrillex and Steve Aoki. The Baseball was amazing, with people cheering literally the entire time. It was like nonstop background noise with loud thunder sticks and choreographed dance moves. 

The concert was nothing short of amazing either. My friends made me bring their pictures so that they could be a part of the excitement too. I was happy to have the company. Skrillex seemed pretty excited too. You know it's a good concert when you leave having a different color shirt then the one you came with. I swear I danced so hard I will never have to exercise again. Worth it. 
The fashion there is another thing all in itself. It was such a shock being from Canada, a culture where women don't really dress up unless you have to, to Korea where the girls wear 4 inch heels to go to Family Mart. Everyone dresses very respectfully and always look presentable. I didn't wear pants the whole time I was there because A) it was wayyyyy to hot, and B) you almost feel as if you have to. I love dressing up though, so for me it was just an opportunity to wear all the dresses getting dusty in the closet. Another thing too is that because there's so many people there, anything goes. I could have worn anything and it would have been fine. I may have gotten a couple stares, but no more then the regular ones you get for being a non-Korean. There may be a lot of people, but there isn't much diversity. 

I actually kind of liked being the minority for once. As a Caucasian female I don't really get to experience that very much. By the end of the two weeks the stares and lack of personal space were getting to be a bit much, but all in all being in Korea was an experience I won't soon forget.    


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