Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Korean impressions.

We've been in Korea a week now and I'm starting to feel my way about a bit. Most of the blog so far has just been a list of the day to day so here are some of my pyher impressions of the country.

The food so far has been amazing. Before I left a lot of people told me that the food would be wonderful and so far they've been absolutely right.  From Em's local cafe where you can buy dumplings, noodles,  kimbap (Korean version of sushi) and pork cutlets to seafood you see down by the water front, fresh as can be and sometimes still wriggling when being eaten (not by me, I'm too much of a wuss). 

The weather is cold. Colder than home and in the sort of way that makes your teeth hurt and your cheeks sting after a while. But if you're in the sunshine it doesn't matter so much and it's amazing weather for hiking.

Which brings me to the outdoors in Korea.  Everyone goes hiking. Seriously.  They set off up these moutain paths for a day walk dressed up like they're about to climb everest or spend five days in the wildernesd.  Everywhere you go there are hordes of people in bright puffer jackets, hiking boots and with hiking sticks headed off up some reltively well traversed and often paved path. But I can understand it, the cities are crowded and not always that attractive,  but once you are out of the towns the landscape os beautiful even cold and brown as it is in winter.

Perhaps the strangest part has been being in a monocultural society.   Korea is not multicultural - seeing someone from a culture other than the local is something of an oddity.  The only exception to this so far has been Seoul, and even then not by a lot. But western chains like 7/11, paris baguette and starbucks are all over the place so it's an odd mix.

That's all for now, maybe so more things will come to mind over the next week or so.

Love love xx

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