Work in Progress

“In the best travel, disconnection is a necessity. Concentrate on where you are; do no back-home business; take no assignments; remain incommunicado; be scarce. It is a good thing that people don’t know where you are or how to find you. Keep in mind the country you are in. That’s the theory.”
–Paul Theroux

A human who loves the world, finds beauty in the unknown, and can't keep her feet on the ground. I like finding unique (and cheap) ways of making my way around the globe. Interacting with people while living, learning, and loving the culture I'm surrounded by.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A night out in Samsan

Samsan is the name of the neighborhood with encompasses "downtown". This is where everyone goes to party, Koreans and foreigners alike. It's a good 30 minute bus ride, with no traffic. And there's typically traffic. But, buses are easy and it's a nice way to check out what's going on outside of my Dong-gu bubble.

Before we made it downtown we went to dinner at a restaurant which creates the "best pizza in Ulsan." It was good, that's for sure. Anyways, it was orchestrated by Karyn who takes part in a "meet up group" where anyone can come and meet people. Koreans and foreigners. We had a rough head count of who was coming, all of which she, or someone, knew. BUT, the beauty with this meet up thing is people just show up. Two Koreans and an Indian engineer joined us for dinner. MORE NEW FRIENDS. 

My friend Charly, who I met the night before, drove a few of us downtown. French people apparently can't drive very well. Haha. But we made it to Thursday Party (a nice foreigner's bar) in one piece. The place was crowded and there was a mix of different people. Old white engineers and Koreans and English teachers everywhere. I made the sweetest little Korean girlfriend and we talked about differences in culture between America and Korea. Koreans don't wear thongs, and they don't show off their chests. But it's okay if I do because I'm just a silly miguk - their term for American. 

She asked me why I chose to come to Korea and what I was enjoying the most, which has been a hard question for me to answer. I am still in my honeymoon phase, everything here puts me into a state of amazement. It's been hard to single out my favorite part or exactly how I feel about all of it. But, I was able to come up with a decent response. I love that I'm so out of my element here. Every day that I wake up, there is a new challenge ahead of me. Whether it's something as simple as learning how to order gimbap or catch a cab home or traveling around the country - it's all new and it's all a learning experience. Everyday is a new adventure, at least that's how I look at it. 

Anyways. Karyn's Korean boyfriend, Q, wanted a change of pace. So we called around and got a table at a club. THEY GAVE US CANDY AND FRUIT. And two bottles for $100. Deal. It was quaint and the music was a mix of really Korean EDM and some typically mainstream songs, but I was loving it. We had a great group of people, good vibes make all the difference. And dancing. How can you not be happy when you're dancing?

The next morning I was well hungover. Karyn made me a green smoothie for breakfast and then we went out for a delicious shabu-shabu lunch. 12,800 won for a salad bar with all of my favorite things (dokboki, chapchae, donkus, and an assortment of salads) AND a giant bowl of delicious veggies and meat set right in the center of out table on a hot plate. You get to watch the meat and drool while it transformers into a pot of delectable stew.

And then, despite wanting to stay inside and cuddle in my bed, I worked up enough energy to get out of the house and enjoy the afternoon watching extreme frisbee and strolling around a park. The weather was PERFECT and the park was lined by the river, which made me happy. Because water makes me happy, in any form. I made a good decision.

It's hard not to be incredibly happy here. 

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