I arrived in Seoul last night and I am mesmerized by the beauty of this city.
It’s very cosmopolitan and very safe. Koreans are so kind, to the point where the man at the pizza store pulled up a stool and gave me a glass of Coke while I waited for my pizza (everything here, from stores to apartments are uber tiny so there is normally no space to sit). They totally appreciate the smallest things from foreigners so they laugh when I (try to) say thank you in Korean.
The Han river running through the city is more like a vertical lake because it’s probably over a kilometer wide and runs through the entire city, and there are numerous bridges which are gorgeous at night because they light up.
It’s such an amazing feeling to be somewhere that is so unknown. It’s an adventure for me to walk out on the street because even though people stare, I love that I don’t know how I’m going to find my next meal in this land where they eat fried grasshoppers as a snack (that are also normally sold on the streets).
For some reason I’m not jet lagged atall.
Part of it might be the feeling of being in a brand new country where there is so much to explore. The other part might be the fact that I’m so excited to begin teaching, but I don’t start till next week because the new school year begins in March here.
I’m teaching junior kindergarten a Canadian run private school that offers an immersion program at the primary level. When I step into school it feels like I’m in Canada since the school environment is exactly the same. But even when I’m in the streets I forget sometimes where I am because living in Markham has totally desensitized me to Asian people and their language. Then I look up a little further and see the mountains that surround majority of South Korea and it hits me; I’m the foreigner here yet I have not felt like that quite yet.
I’m currently staying in a hotel because my apartment is in the process of getting furnished. Korean television has kept me amused for the past day.. I can’t even begin to describe the kind of shows they have (Karoke singing competions with people in wierd outfits), and Spongebob speaking Korean is a riot!
This was a bold move for me, one that took quite some time to decide on. But now that I’m here, I don’t regret it for a second! Seoul is more than I could have hoped.
My first impression of this city has taught me never to believe what you read on the net, because while doing research while deciding if this was the right place for me, I came across a lot of negativity.
Lucky for me I also knew some people who had first hand experience living and teaching here who told me the real deal.
I will be here for a year, in which I hope to explore the south and get a glimpse of north Korea. I also hope to visit China and Japan, maybe even the Philippines.
This is my first time in Asia, and slowly I am reaching my goal of hitting all the continents.