Rainy day blues: Korea 8

Monsoon season started here in Seoul today. The rain, more like a steady drizzle, has put me in a bit of a mood. It doesn't help that Wednesday is my absolute least favorite day of the week. It's worse than Monday if you ask me. Plus I haven't stopped moving since arriving in Seoul. Rain + Wednesday + whirlwind life = grumpy Courtney. But instead of focusing on how grumpy I feel, I'm going to recap the fun things that have gone on lately.

Seoul is such a fun place, even in the rain. Tucked down side streets are flashing neon signs and tiny little restaurants with only two or three dishes on the menu. You could spend a lifetime here and not see the whole city. In that sense, Seoul is quite similar to Rome: big, sprawling and full of local personality. That's about where the similarities stop though. There is one other similarity: the consumption of alcohol is a staple of life in both, and not just for foreign students. The other night at dinner I glanced at the tables full of Koreans. Every table had at least one bottle of soju on it along with several beers.

There's something so beautiful about the chaos of cities like Rome and Seoul to me. Take Paris for example: Paris is neat. The buildings match. The roads are straight. Everything is...monotonous. Both times I've been I've loved Paris; it's just too matchy-matchy for me. Give me chaos. Give me excitement. Give me movement and disorder. Give me hustle and bustle and vibrancy.

You see cities like Seoul are a challenge. They're an ever-shifting landscape full of possibilities. You don't even have to do anything but step out your door to feel swept away in the current of activity. Even in a city like Rome which lacks many modern amenities like dryers or air conditioning, these cities feel more alive than cities like Paris. It's the possibility that excites me: walking down the same street is a different experience everyday. It's unpredictable. It's different. It's unexpected.

For example just down the street from the Hello Kitty Cafe there's a Cat Cafe. On the way back from class yesterday the cat cafe came up. 30 seconds later the group had decided to head to the cafe for a quick stop. After paying our admission fee we were able to sit down with a cup of coffee and a bunch of cats.

You can't do that in Baltimore. Or really anywhere in the United States. Even though our stay was brief & we couldn't get a cat to come sit on our table the diversion was worthwhile. When else would I get the chance to visit a cat cafe?

I'm ready for classes to end. Not because I hate class but because I want time to explore Seoul without worrying about assignments. Until then I'll have to limit my exploration somewhat. I'll be free to roam soon enough.

1 comment:

  1. Chaos somewhat like your room.... ??? hummmm no wonder you like Seoul.... Love you dear!