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Monday, March 14, 2011

Moving from here to there, a Korean retrospective

Well, I'm nearing the end of my Korean adventure, in just a couple of weeks I'll be Moscow-bound. As I get ready to leave, I'd like to reflect on some of the things I liked and will miss most about Korea.

No. 1 - Sunshine

Busan in early March

The past winter has been one of the sunniest of my life. While Korea can get very cold, it stays clear and sunny for a lot of the year. And especially in Busan on the southern coast, there's only a short period during the year when it's hard to find something green.

No. 2 - Transportation

Even the small towns in Korea are readily connected by relatively inexpensive modes of public transportation. By taking a bus or train, you can get almost anywhere you need to go in under four hours. The high speed KTX runs the length of the country from Seoul to Busan, takes only 3 and a half hours and costs only around 35 dollars, plus it is so comfortable!!!

Enjoying my seat on the KTX

No. 3 - Food

I'll miss everthing: galbi, jjimdak, bulgogi, kimbap, bibimbap, dakboki and yes, even kimchi. Actually, kimchi has really grown on me, it's so spicy, crunchy and fresh. I don't think I'll realize how much I really miss all of it until I've already left and can't have it anymore. :-)

Jjajangmyeon and other treats at a "Chinese" Korean restaurant

No. 4 - People

Busan station

Koreans in general are very welcoming and friendly. Someone will almost always help you if you get lost and many people go out of their way to make foreigners feel welcome. Most Koreans are well-educated and have traveled or lived for a few years in other places. Many people are eager to practice their other languages, ask about places they are familiar with or just express interest in things external to Korea.

No. 5 - Seasons

Korea is extremely proud of its seasons, and for good reason. The trees bloom in spring, grow green in summer, turn red and gold in fall and dark in winter. The seasons correspond very closely to three month periods on the calendar: March-May is spring, June-August is summer, September-November is fall and December-February is winter.

Goodbye soon, Korea, maybe I'll see you again later!

Michael TheMonkey


  1. This is a very beautiful post. I'm sure you'll go back there soon :)
    I wish you a happy coming back

  2. I'm sorry for you that your trip to Korea is finished now. We really enjoyed learning new things about that country! Looking forward to your new adventures!

  3. Thanks Raquel and Hammie, I'm really glad you liked it! Yes, I think maybe someday I will have to make a trip back to Korea to see it again, but I'm really excited to go home, too! Only for a few days, though, I have a new trip planned already! It's a surprise that I'll reveal in a couple of weeks ;-)

  4. Best wishes for your new trip Michael! Will be looking forward to reading about it.