Friday, 7 May 2010

Full speed ahead

A few weeks ago it dawned on me that my time in this country is limited. And as soon as that happened, the weather picked up, with days of sunshine and brightness gracing us for all the adventures that laid in store.

The past couple of weeks have been filled with trips to amusement parks, neighbouring cities, traditional markets and coffee shop terraces.

May 1st was spent at Lotte World for my friend J's surprise birthday party. Lotte World is the equivalent of Canada's Wonderland in terms of amusement parks, with the exception of fancier decor and an indoor park to compliment the lavish outdoor playground. Seven friends and I spent the day being kids, while indulging in all the fair food we could get our hands on. We paid for it by feeling ill in the days that followed, but for the time spent in laughter and giddiness, it was absolutely worth it.

The main castle at Lotte World amusement park in Seoul. Has a definite Cinderella feel to it.

May 5th was Children's Day in Korea. It was a national holiday, so all schools were closed, including banks and some government buildings. Three friends and I decided to take a day trip to Incheon to check out the country's biggest Chinatown, while eventually winding up at the ferry docks, where we indulged in a few carnival rides.

Chopstick sets at a traditional Chinese store in Incheon's Chinatown.

The close to perfect weather has been bringing us out of hiding a lot more these days. It's starting to make up for the endless months we spent indoors, avoiding the bitter, winter cold, and then, the brutal yellow dust that followed with spring.

A shot of the fairgrounds at the Incheon ferry docks.

It's been nice seeing people less tense than they were in the previous months. There's a sense of lightness in the air, along with more opportunities to explore the country I've been living in for the past eight months.

A large number of the friends I've made here will be heading back to their own countries in August. I can't imagine what it will be like saying goodbye to people who've become like my family while living in this country. In fact, I can easily say that some of them are my family. Yet, I find it comforting to see beauty in these circumstances, knowing that I now have a global network of friends who I'm sure I'll be seeing quite often - in different parts of the planet.

They say everything in life happens for a reason... and if that's true, then coming to Korea was a wonderful idea, if the reason was to meet kindred spirits such as them!


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