A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Bulls

JULY 2006 "good-bye London hello Seoul"

The journey and our first impressions of The Land of Morning Calm and Korean people

sunny 30 °C
View LONDON - SEOUL on Bulls's travel map.

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After some months of preparations and a very hectic couple of weeks of packing, spring cleaning our London flat and handing the keys over to the estate agent, saying good-byes to our family and partying with friends, on the 27th of July we were finally set and ready to board the plane heading in the direction of The Land of Morning Calm . Although a bit concerned at first about the weight of our luggage and Maja's ability to remain seated in the same spot for more than 2 seconds we soon found out we didn't need to worry - a friend from Korean Air had kindly given us some extra luggage allowance and Maja thoroughly enjoyed the flight looking out of the window for her new home .
Seoul welcomed us with heavy rain and flooded roads which meant we had to take a longer route home. We didn't mind as although it was nearly 6 p.m in Seoul we were still ticking according to the UK clock and felt like the new day had just began ....and so had our new adventure.
We were met by Cathy -one of many (as we later found) managers of the school Nick was to teach in, and driven to our apartment south of the river. Slightly disappointed with the apartment at first we decided that a safe and convenient location was more important that an extra room and situated further out. After some more scrubbing (sorry I can't just skip the fact that the apartment wasn't very clean and prepared for the family to settle in) we were ready to go and explore the area.
Our neighb.. center.jpgAfter following a busy, side street full of local bars and restaurants we joined the main road and found ourselves staring up at the high buildings that seemed to line the road. We were in the centre of Seoul's financial district -5 minutes walk from Seoul's Trade Center Tower and Asia's biggest exhibition hall and our frequent dining, shopping & entertaining destination COEX.Nearby str..t night.jpgWe had had 2 days together before Nick started his work at the college and although the jetlag had already kicked off we were determined to make most of it.
Our first impressions were very good - however distant Seoul had seemed to us back in UK we found that it was extremely easy to move around and find any facilities that one would like to use on a day out. Korean people seemed extremely nice and helpful but most of all very keen on Maja. Having got used to it now I remember our first days and people coming up to look or even touch her. We were not sure at first how she was going to react to all the attention she was suddenly receiving but soon we found that she was as curious of them as they were of her so it worked out both ways. Although she is usually very friendly and joyfully accepts various gifts - from sweets to hairbands -we caught her a few times sneaking her tongue out after a long day.....fair enough. We are just hoping that she won't be too disappointed when we are back in the UK and people don't pay any attention to her any more and definetely won't give her their seat on the crowded underground train as they do here.

We found very quickly that Seoul has plenty to offer and is a great place for adults as well as kids to enjoy! It doesn't look like we are ever going to get bored...

Here we are having swapped fork & knife for a pair of chopsticks. We are not just confident in using them, we have our preferences - I find it easier using trendy heavier metal chopsticks when Nick & Maja like traditional wooden or plastic ones :)

Chopsticks_eating.JPGMaja_and_h..psticks.JPGChopsticks_eating_.JPG

This month we liked:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails" Mark Twain

books:
"Culture Shock! Korea- A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette" by Sonja Vegdahl and Ben Seunghwa Hur
"The Koreans-Who They Are, What They Want, Where Their Future Lies" by Michael Breen
"Explore Korea - Essence of Culture and Tourism"

food and drink :
Asia- green tea, green tea cornflakes,any green tea products,kimchi (rotten cabbage according to the expert Nick)
Nick -Dak Galbi (chicken cooked with dok-rice cake in spicy pepper sauce)

Posted by Bulls 22:53 Archived in South Korea Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

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