Recently I browsed through a handful of blogs about travel and more specifically, foreign travelers in Korea, and found them incredibly boring. Oops. Sorry if this blog is turning super dull because I’m mostly talking about what we’re doing in Korea now and the minor culture shocks and oddities we encounter everyday. I’m not too sure why I’m finding these other blogs so boring, maybe it’s just me. I mean, there must be plenty of people who love reading travel blogs… right? …Someone’s got to be reading them. Anyways.
Here’s a little Korean experience fun for you! For those of you who don’t hate travel blogs.
We have a really awesome apartment. It’s the first place Eric & I have had together, all to ourselves. Which us funny, considering our 2 year anniversary is in less than two weeks (don’t forget to wish us a Happy Anniversary! I’m reminding you here, you have no excuse). We have two bedrooms, bathroom with tub (almost unheard of in Korea), kitchen, dinning room, and balcony with a sliding glass door thing. There’s practically no furniture though. We slept on the floor for the first couple nights, but almost every day for this first week someone at the church has brought over something new! First we got dishes, then a washer/dryer (yeah, still need to figure out how to work that thing… Also, only in Korea will you ask “where can I do laundry” and instead of directing you to a laundromat someone will just bring you a washing machine. Heh), then a bed, and finally the church hooked up wifi in our place.
The location of our apartment is super convenient too. I think I mentioned earlier that we’re in the same neighborhood that both Eric & I lived in the last time we were here in Korea. Our apartment is right across the street from the Galilee Church, and less than 5 minutes from E Mart, a good sized department/grocery store. I actually found our location on Google Maps. Our apartment is circled on the left, the church on the right:
Even though we’ve been here about a week already, we still haven’t been able to sleep in at all, and the early mornings are really causing me to fall in love with our little balcony. We’ll have our coffee and tea out there, and watch it rain or watch the wind sweep thick clouds away. Plus, right before we left for Korea I picked up a small sketchbook. At home I work on so many commissions when we’re not playing shows, that I haven’t really forced myself to sketch for fun at all. In the past I’ve loved having travel sketch journals, and those books are some of what I consider my most valuable possessions. So I’m trying to do at least one sketch, drawing, or watercolour a day, and I find that I typically do them in the morning on our balcony.
We have a small local grocer right outside our apartment courtyard, and we’ve been getting eggs, ramen, and vegetables there, which tend to be our main food when we’re not eating at the church or going out for Kimbap Nara or Paris Baguette. Mushrooms are super cheap here, so we’re cooking those into almost everything.
Finally, some not so awesome stuff: I guess you’re not really suppose to drink the water. Took us almost a week to realize maybe that’s why we’re both having really bad stomach bugs. I asked a girl here at the church if drinking the tap water was safe. Her response: “Hm… You can if you want to, but most Koreans boil their water.” So, that’s what we started doing two days ago. And filling up water bottles at the coolers at church. We’re still getting over it, but we’re definitely doing much better than we were.
And also, as we were driving to the airport last Friday, Eric noticed a teeny spot of poison ivy on his arm. Since getting to Korea the entire thing has exploded to cover much of his torso, arms, and thighs in a severely itchy rash. And of course, since we’re in Korea and they don’t have poison ivy here, there’s no medication we can get here to sooth it. We were able to find him some anti-itch lotion and an allergy medication at a pharmacy, but it’s been spreading daily. I feel so bad for him.
And, yeah. That’s about it. Mostly this week we’ve just been trying to settle in and get a feel for what’s up with the church, where we’re living, and familiarizing ourselves with the area. More adventures will be coming soon I’m sure.