I spent my first full day in Korea really doing nothing. My hotel is in a pretty boring tourist ghetto and the only things in walking distance were restaurants and bars. Nothing really interesting. Although there is this weird and giant net box that could be some sort of driving range. I can see it from my window and even though it looks way too big to be a driving range, I can’t think of anything else it could possibly be. Though I have a nice view of the ocean from my hotel room, it is inexplicably 20 degrees hotter than the rest of the hotel. I've tried adjusting the thermostat but no matter what I press it still has the little 'heat' light glowing. I asked the front desk and they told me to turn it off. No really? turn off the heat? Gee, I never thought of that. Also, no light switches. Obviously, I have not yet developed the necessary telepathy required to properly maintain my room as a habitable environment.
For lunch I had some local cuisine – and by ‘local cuisine’ I mean convenience store microwavable noodles – and it was pretty good. Also, cost less than a dollar. It was very spicy, though nothing I was unprepared for. I seriously don’t believe I have any capsaicin receptors left in my mouth after India. The only way I knew it was hot was that my nose wouldn’t stop running and I had some serious coughing spurts.
I did end up going for several walks because sitting in my hotel room all day didn’t seem as entertaining as it had yesterday. I did learn that sidewalks are not necessarily only for pedestrians. In Korea they are more extensions of the street. I learned this because I was almost run over on what I believed to be somewhere where cars were not welcome. Silly me.
The snack-type food in the convenience store was strange. They had cheese sticks and they had meat sticks. But then they had cheese and meat sticks. The next evolution. The number and variety of meat sticks were a little overwhelming as well. I’m not even sure I know what half of them were made of.
On a related note, Koreans, apparently, have an unnatural interest in Spam. More on this later.
I hear the US Hockey team is in the running for the gold, although they may have won/lost by now. Korea’s perspective on the Olympics is interesting because it’s so different from America’s. In the States it all ‘let’s win the gold! We are the best! USA! USA! USA!’ In Korea it’s ‘we probably won’t win but won’t it be fun to watch everyone compete?' I’m still not sure whether this is more about national sentiment or the fact that winter sports are more popular in America than they are in Korea.
I am going to move into my apartment either tomorrow or the day after, depending on when it is ‘ready’ for me, whatever that means.
My goal tonight: stay up until 10pm