Monday, March 17, 2008

waygookin and sightseeing

'waygookin' is the korean word for 'foreigner'. a few weeks ago, when we were hiking in daejon, some children passed us by and said 'waygookin!!'. aaron's korean friend then explained to me what it meant. i thought it was funny, but it's so strange. i really am a foreigner here: i look different, i don't speak the language, and i'm the outcast. never in my life have i experienced that, it's an odd feeling. i do get more attention, but sometimes i wish i could just blend in. it's exciting, but i can see it fading away very quickly.

right now i'm still in the exciting phase, where i make new discoveries and everything is so exotic and seems better than at home. the food is cheap, the shopping is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. it's the dream of every fashionista, seriously. went to the ritzy neighbourhood gangnam yesterday, and i was like a kid in a candy store. the department store galleria carries everything a girl could dream of, all the brands you can imagine. and that's just one neighbourhood. we visited 3 or 4 different ones over the weekend, and i'm loving seoul more and more. the city that seemed huge and scary at first is now more friendly. i can recognize the chain stores and restaurants and take the subway without getting lost.

i also saw the olympic park, where the 1988 seoul olympics were held. for some reason i can remember the 1988 seoul oylmpics so vividly. i don't know why-- maybe we talked about it a lot in elementary school or maybe i just watched a lot of coverage on television. it was exciting to see the installations and how huge it is. it's a nice part of seoul, very wide open with lots of green spaces, something quite scarce in other areas of the city.

so i'm fully enjoying the first few months of excitement, not looking forward to the homesickness. it still feels like i'm on vacation it seems. i remember the first few mornings i woke up in my bed in seoul, i had no idea where i was for the first few seconds, which was terrifying. i also remember being terrified when we got into that plane, there was no turning back. but it's a lot of fun now, i'm liking the apartment more and more, it definitely feels like home.

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