[Day 5 in Seoul. Status: Not blown up by North Korea.]
I walked into a new world of Seoul today.
Before, I’d been staying mostly in my room, making familiar journeys to familiar places (namely, Daiso for household items and embarrassingly, 7/11 when I was trying to live on cheap rice triangles while my bank figured out the block they put on my card and I tried to figure out where the grocery store was).
Today, I stepped out after a successful first class with Prof. Doyle on Perception and Cognition into a side of Seoul I hadn’t seen yet: a place I would be calling home, a honorific I was exponentially growing more comfortable as we walked along streets lined with huge trees, past construction site, explored underground grocery stores 1000x better than the 24hr mart by our dorm.
Was it having a friend by my side when I’d been feeling so lonely that made my perception shift from slightly scared and worried about the days to come to so excited to explore and feeling capable of taking care of myself?
Was it finding a grocery store where I could buy items I had just this morning thought might be out of my reach until my return to the U.S., like coffee filters (#2), full fat and sugar free yogurt, olive oil?
I think it was the discovery of a small cafe with easy-on-the-wallet prices, easy-on-the-ears k-pop ballads, and very easy-on-the-eyes Korean men who jumped––to attention, out of a k-drama––when we walked in.
The moral of the story? When in a new country… surround yourself with friends, food, and fantastically attractive men.