Cultural Cravings

Joy in Street Food; Seoul, South Korea
photo by me

Headed off to the island of Deok-Jeok-Do today!

My first time out of the city of Seoul since I arrived nearly four months ago.

So excited to spend time with good people and be at the beach.

The last couple days something has been bothering me. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then last night I walked through the alleys of Itaewon, my neighborhood which is known for it’s gearing towards foreigners.

I found a couple nooks and crannies that actually felt really Korean. and my heart skipped a beat.

I can’t deny that I’m craving some cultural authenticity out of Korea. It’s what I wanted out of my travels.

Seoul is wonderful in that you can get around without knowing much Korean. Many a sign is in English.

But the things that excite me most are the little alleyway markets and experiences that make me actually feel I’m in a very foreign land. Communicating successfully through hand gestures and exchanges involving the few Korean words I know and the few English words a little ajjima (Korean old lady) knows can put me on a high.

Last week at the Lantern Parade, I had my first “holy crap, I really AM in Asia” moment. Surrounded by a celebration of a foreign culture, swept away by the beats of a korean drum, mentally and spiritually satisfied by the visual parade and music of a proud korean people, young and old, carrying beautiful lanterns through the streets of Seoul, passing through the ancient temples…

It took me nearly 4 months to have that ah-ha! moment…

Stand by for a Korean adventure…tbd…


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