Lovely South Korea,
Do you remember me? I’m Marc and I am the one who visited you right one year ago and for over five weeks. Honestly, before getting to know you, I had never expected to enjoy you so much. Yes I did, despite the cold, notwithstanding kimchi and all your kinds of spice and in spite of your obsession for rice and all its ways to be prepared that caused, undoubtedly, real traffic jam in my body’s evacuation system.
It’s seems to be yesterday when I stepped in Busan coming from Fukuoka by ferry. Do you remember the first thing I did there? Yes Korea, yes, I went to Lotteria! At that time I had no clue that Lotteria was your own “McDonalds”. I liked it, however, my travelmate suffered her first “oh-my-god-how-spicy-this-food-is experience”. It was fun, specially because she thought she liked spicy.
Then I took one of your bullet trains or KTX (up to you) and started visiting your land. One of my strongest memories about my days in Korea (against my will, I swear) is the damn cold. I know it shouldn’t be like that, but you gotta admit that the way you welcomed me was way too cold. Catalan people have warm blood and we are not use to your dry yet agressive winter temperatures.
Not all was about the cold though. Even the cold was there, that didn’t make me enjoy less your attractions or your people. Don’t get upset but the reason why I came to you was neither your food nor your landscapes… it was, basically, because of my friends living there. I know you understand that and, at the same time, you as well know that, eventually, I did enjoy all your beauty.
Really, are you aware of how many of my friends I met there? It was incredible! Bora, Mikaël, Jenny, Ethan, Charlie, Ria, Ji Hye, Leo, Sue, Ji Yea, Semi and, not enough with that, I also had the chance of meeting some of their friends. Amazing LSI New Zealand reunion, indeed.
Not to talk about “you”. Not many people from what you call “western countries” get to know you as good as I did, really. Having “local tourist guides” was the best thing that happened to me (to us) while discovering Korea. I mean, we didn’t bump into many tourists while climbing up to the top of the Wolchulsan and I liked that… to me it meant that “the real country” was being walked.
Well, as you can read, this letter is nothing else but a one-year attack of nostalgia. Now, in retrospect and having experienced other countries in Asia, I gotta admit that the memories I have about you are really positive. I’m aware that I enjoyed Korea because of the people I had (and still have) there, so what? At the end, a country is nothing else but the people living in, don’t you think?
Your favourite visitor, ever ;)
감사합니다, Kamsa habnida!
Just in case you had forgotten me, here you have one picture for every single day I spent with you. 36 days in 36 pics, from December the 29th 2011 to February the 2nd 2012.