I feel fortunate to have once again cheated death and successfully flown over the Pacific Ocean. The boyfriend and I are back in our apartment, which did not burn down in our absence. Illinois looks dark and flat compared to hilly and neon-filled Seoul.
I will write about meeting my birth mom and aunts soon as many people have expressed interest in hearing about my experience. However, 1am after a 12-hour flight and 2-hour drive is not the time to address my reunion.
For our last night in Seoul, we met up with Kim and Mark, who had just returned to take Korean language courses as Sogang University. Kim is also an adoptee, and I lurked on her blog for awhile to read about her reunions with both of her birth parents. It was really great and fitting to meet Kim right after seeing my birth mom because she could understand and appreciate a lot of things that had happened from an adoptee’s perspective.
After wandering around looking for a “Dr. Fish” spa (where hundreds of tiny fish eat the dead skin off of your feet), our unsuccessful search led us to a café for coffee and green tea lattes. Poor Mark was really hungry after a few hours of conversation, so we headed across the street for samgyupsal, which is pork belly that we cooked on a grill in the table.
A grill, filled with burning coals, inlaid in our wooden table. Yeah, you don’t see that in the US um…ever.
I asked one of the restaurant owners (?) to take a photo, but he was baffled by the DSLR. I had to show him how to use the camera, and I caught everyone off guard:
On Friday morning, the boyfriend and I did our last runs on Namsan. I managed four miles, and the boyfriend ran up the entire freakin’ mountain. I will miss that running path, and I am sad that my legs will get weak now with Illinois’ lack of hills.
For lunch, we headed out to Myeongdong for some last-minute shopping and street-food consumption.
I finally got a giant green tea and yogurt swirly ice cream cone. Note: I am not sticking it in my nose; it just looks like I am.
“It was delicious, but I wouldn’t eat two.”
We departed Korea from Incheon airport, which is new, clean, and beautiful. It even has a little Korean history/culture room where you can do crafts. Ladies in hanboks walk around and assist all the tourists in butchering Korean traditions beyond all recognition.
The flight itself was relatively uneventful…minus some weirdo Chinese woman who started speaking to me in Chinese. Later, she wedged in front of me during baggage claim and whacked me with her backpack. She sucks.
Also, the boyfriend would like me to mention that a little Chinese boy was running around the baggage claim area…without pants. I love being greeted back in the US by tiny wieners!
On that note, time to go unpack and go to bed. Thanks for following along in my travels.