Apr 032014

As part of my Japan visit, I decided to take the short two-hour flight over to Seoul to see my long-time adoptee friend, K. The last time I met up with her or had been to Korea was just before I moved to Abu Dhabi; thus it had been just over five years.

As always, we picked right up where we left off and reminisced on days of old when we were young campers at Holt Adoption Camp. It is amazing to think that we have been friends for almost thirty years!!!

I also did a bit of shopping and got to eat my favorite snack/treat of Hottok. I remembered eating them the first time I went to Korea in the middle of freezing winter. It was the one thing that gave me great joy at the end of the work day walking back to our hotel in the cold. πŸ˜‰

01-Apr-2014 11:59, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 32
01-Apr-2014 11:59, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
01-Apr-2014 15:03, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.4, 2.15mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 50

When I first went to Korea in 2002(?), I stayed in the Insadong area, which is where I returned to do some shopping. One of the cool things about Insadong is the Starbucks sign. Back then I was a bit obsessed with Starbucks and loved the fact that this sign was in Korean since there had been some struggle regarding the fact it was in Korean. Apparently, Insadong wanted to preserve it’s traditional feel, but also have the draw of the coffee shop for all the tourists that come through. At the time, (maybe still?) it was the only Starbucks to not have its name in English.

01-Apr-2014 15:10, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32

The rest of my trip consisted of a whole lot of eating and drinking!

01-Apr-2014 12:31, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.059 sec, ISO 320
01-Apr-2014 19:31, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 320
02-Apr-2014 12:47, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 80

A big thanks to K and J for their hosting!

01-Apr-2014 19:39, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 640

-T πŸ˜€

Nov 272008

I have come full circle since my first posting from Korea this trip. I am now on the bus back to the airport.

The weather is a strong contrast with rain and cold approaching to when I came with warm sunshine.

Like camp, the time spent with Kim was like a dream and it hardly seems that 7 years had passed since our last meeting. Hopefully not so much time will pass next time.

So I ate, slept, drank and relaxed. I also met some interesting people and gained a new perspective on adoption and adoptees that I will still need to digest.

I’m happy I came and sense I will be back….

Sent from my iPhone

 Posted by at 10:35  Tagged with:
Nov 272008

We went to a show called “B boys” with the Korean all-stars hip-hop dance crew. The show told a love story between a ballet dancer and a B-boy. While the story was a bit cheesy, the dancing was great to watch.

Apparently Korean hip-hop dancers are putting the Americans to shame in competitions. All I know is that the Step-In club at school could take a few lessons from these guys.

After the show Kim took me to the local “dyke club” – W – where the underground gays can be accepted. I guess they are not even recognized here, which I find strange and yet not too surprising considering the fairly conservative culture here. A drink and tequila shot later, we
went for more shots, food and drinks at another place. SY and I had a good time giving Kim advice on how to get a phone number.

The night ended successfully and I totally passed out once in bed as the drinks worked through me. Unfortunately, mosquitos are still around here too so I was rudely awakened by one having bit me twice.

Eventually, I will sleep again…

Sent from my iPhone

 Posted by at 06:55  Tagged with:
Nov 262008

I may be finally catching up on my sleep since I woke up around 830 this morning without feeling too groggy and was quite happy to feel relaxed. Kim even brought me coffee as I was waking up! Now that is service!!

After chatting online and another nice breakfast, we headed out. Kim made an appointment to visit a volunteer organization called G.O.A.L. to continue with her birth mother/parent search. It was nice to finally see the organization since I have only heard about them on Facebook and through Kim. We were there for a bit and then stopped at the local cafe for drinks.

I am search of some gifts so went down towards Sinchon to the Daiso but I couldn’t find what I wanted so we headed back to SY’s place.

Now Kim is studying and I am sated by the mandu I just had. It may be time for a short nap before we go out again later!

Sent from my iPhone

 Posted by at 12:24  Tagged with:
Nov 252008

Vacation is what life should always be instead of a break from it.

After a late night last night I thought I was doing well sleeping for 7 hours. So getting up at 930 or so and reading, chatting with friends and waiting for my hosts to wake up was a great way for me to start the day.

Once we got ready to go, SY took us to Yongsan to look for electronic items or rather I was looking for cheap movies and Kim needed a new battery for her phone. Me being an enthusiast (note sarcasm) for shopping wasn’t so successful, though I was being particular about the movie I wanted. However, we found a battery and ate a tasty lunch and got to walk down the red light district street. So not at all a waste of a trip!!!

Sadly, SY had to leave us to work, so Kim and I braved the subway on our own and we went to the Namdaemun market where the locals go for everything! I was in search of Christmas gifts, though it was tough to know what to buy. Still we had a good time walking around and knowing
Japanese came in handy to buy things though I think perhaps some prices were raised due to them thinking I am Japanese. However, I got a few purchases and am happy with them.

We then headed back with a stop at the nearest grocery store, which was slightly different in that the concept of a line differs for Koreans but yet there is still order to the madness.

Since we still had to pass time before dinner, what else were we to do but to warm up with soju?? At last we had a reasonably good meal at Shanti, a nearby Indian restaurant.

Tonight is an early night as we sit in, still drinking soju and relax.

Sleep is quickly overtaking all thoughts and actions…

Until tomorrow,

– Tara
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 Posted by at 18:59  Tagged with: