Monday was a national holiday in Korea, Buddha's birthday, so my friends and I took advantage of the long weekend and went to Seoul.
Seoul makes my heart so happy. I feel like I can breathe there. And I know that's backwards, people are supposed to feel better when they leave big cities, but I feel better when I get there. Nobody's child points at me and says omma...wayogooken. Strangers don't say hello and then run away giggling. No one gasps in shock when I walk into a room. When I'm in Seoul I don't feel like a foreigner, I just feel like a regular person in a big city. I feel free to be my American self.
And the people are so great. They have style. They're not all trying to look exactly like each other. Clothes say so much about a person, and in Ulsan they all pretty much tell the same story. Diversity is refreshing. And I realized I was staring at everyone's tattoos all weekend...oops. I'm just not used to seeing them anymore.
I don't even try to speak Korean in Seoul, because even if I do, people switch to English for me. I should feel guilty but I don't. The subway and the bus stops are all in English too. Life is way easier when you don't have to think about translating all the time.
We stayed in a hostel. These are the things I realized I miss about living in a house: multiple rooms, carpet, and a dog in the backyard. One morning I tried to play with the dog, but he was pretty big and wanted to jump all over me and he didn't understand the words "down" or "no" in English. So...end of play date.
Want to know what I ate? I'm sure you do. Saturday night I had a burger and fries. Sunday I had french toast and bacon for brunch, and nachos for dinner. Monday I had Belgian waffles for brunch and Subway for lunch. There were lots of lattes in there too. I did not use chopsticks once all weekend. Success.
And the highlight...the shopping. Oh the shopping. Forever 21 in Seoul has 4 floors. 4. After about 3 hours and 50 items in the dressing room I bought a dress, pair of shorts, skirt, 4 shirts, and lots of jewelry. At H&M I got 2 more dresses and some feather earrings. I'm that girl now. And at Zara I got mint colored jeans. I dragged my poor friends to about 4 stores looking for these pants...apparently every woman my size in Seoul has them already.
I'm smiling as I sit here writing this. Trips to the big city are always fun and exciting, and I can't wait to go back.