I can’t believe that it is all over. Three months in South Korea felt both like an eternity and a blink of an eye. While I was there, it had felt like I had been there for years. I have seen more of South Korea than I have of my own home state Minnesota. And yet, now that I am home, it feels as if I had never left it. But I did, and I will have the memories from my time in Korea with me for the rest of my life. It was an eye opening experience. Here in the good ol’ United States of America, the majority of us have the “We are the best!” mentality. I’ll just say this once. We aren’t. We do have a lot of things going right, but we also have so many things that we could learn from other countries including South Korea. Gun laws, public transportation, general politeness, karaoke. All of these could be improved by emulating South Korea. And that it only one of the many other non-U.S. countries. Just imagine if we took a page out of every other country’s book. Then we truly could become the best.
Anyways, I really loved my time in Korea. The people there were wonderful! They were all so helpful and patient with us foreigners. Heck, on our way back from Seoul one weekend, a girl who was sitting behind Dacotah and I just randomly started talking to us! After some introductions, she learned that we were staying near Daegu and since that is where she lived, she offered us (two complete strangers) a short tour through part of Daegu! Because of her kindness, we were able to explore a completely different part of Daegu which had evaded us in all of our expeditions to the city until then.
First off, we went to a museum that we didn’t even know existed before then! And because we had a Korean there, we learned soooooo much more than we would have on our own. The place was set up to emulate different parts of Korea’s history and it was all pretty cool. There were tiny shops, videos played on a smokescreen, and tools from many different parts of Korean culture.
Dacotah and I found an interesting form of a Dunce hat. Unknowing what exactly it was, we followed the picture next to it that showed the basket like thing put on a child’s head. Our tour guide, Unmi, laughed at us and told us that it was worn by children who peed their pants or wet the bed. Hey, It would work for me. No way would I want to wear the pee hat of shame!
We found the Korean hopscotch and decided to play a round.
One of the floors had a lot of entertainment articles. Records, movie theaters, and music instruments (which I made sure to play around with). The accordion was really fun to play with! And the piano was pump based. A little boy sat down at the piano while I was playing with the accordion and once I showed him how to work it, we played a little hodgepodge duet.
There was also a chalk board where someone had left Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence on the board. So I left V=F lambda.
On the final floor, we found some reeeaaaly old books. I wonder if the ancient book smell is better than old book smell. Just a random thought.
After the museum, we went out for food and then walked around town until we found a really cool street of murals. They were mainly depicting a famous Korean singer/guitarist (with the random cartoon network and minion murals).
We had a great last adventure. It was a good way to finish the trip. And to finish our last excursion, I finally tried the watermelon milk!
Saying goodbye was hard. These people had taken care of us, complete strangers, for three whole months! And chances are, I won’t ever meet them again. But I am happy for the time that I got to spend with them. For our last night in Korea, Hyung Bae and Hari took us out for one last Korean BBQ.
The next day consisted of a lot of sitting. Sitting in cars, at airports, and on airplanes. We left Seoul around 4 pm. We then proceeded to fly into the night until we arrived in San Francisco at 11 am. While I was on the plane, I took a lot of pictures of out the window. While I did this, the small kid in front of me played a game of pika boo with me. It made me smile. It felt good to just be able to look out into the sky and play a goofy game with a random child and see him get so much enjoyment out of it.
To anyone even considering traveling, DO IT! If it is even just barely within your budget, make time to go visit other countries and experience new cultures. It is an eye opening experience and I would do it again. Not right away, but within a couple years if I found another experience like this one, I would jump on it. This is my final blog. If you have any questions, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kyle Out!