Of course, my first weekend back in Iowa meant good times to be had in Burlington.... At the Paddle Wheel!!! It was good to see all of my old friends and it was funny to find out that in 7 months, I have missed absolutely no action! Nothing has happened and nothing has changed! Ha ha! Gotta love home for that. Hell, my boyfriend hadn't even unpacked our pantry from our old apartment yet!
The flight was crazy, but most bargain multi-stop flights are, I think. I flew with Northwest Airlines from Incheon to Tokyo/Narita followed by and 8 hour flight to Seattle. When I arrived stateside, it was foggy and snowing. Naturally, my next flight had been canceled. One of the United ladies took pity on my soul and hooked me up with a flight to Denver and the connecting flight to Chicago. When I arrived in Chicago, I was dazed but only about 2 hours behind scheduled arrival time. Not too bad. To my pure amazement, Will and his sister were waiting at the gate and my luggage rolled down the line in good time!
Pure luck. I could kiss the ground when I finally touched solid ground again!!!!
Northwest Airlines buddying up with Korean Air.
The closest I have ever been to Tokyo!
The Japanese style lunches served on the flight to Tokyo/Narita.
It just started to feel like it was time to leave. Not ever being one to overstay my welcome or put up with being unhappy, I spent my last days in Korea making peace with the streets. When you know you are going to go away and not look back, you start to become nostalgic about every little thing and want to frame it in your mind forever.
I know I will not be missing 8 lane traffic, dirty air, spit and piss covered streets, and high rise buildings as far as the eye can see. In retrospect, I am trying to look past all of the flaws of the place and the lonely times in my one-room-dungeon and remember those beautiful late summer days sailing on a bike trail with Lindsay or the peace of hiking in rain soaked mountains in fall. Those are the memories I will keep, I think.
Boy oh boy do I ever love the Seoul Toy Museum in Insadong!!!! I took something like 200 photos in there. The place seems to be operated privately by an eccentric old man and the collection consists of an array of random toys old and new. The museum is so kitchy and strange with its mix of old movie posters and strangely racist toys, and cute, over-the-top Asian toys. And clutter everywhere! The walls are covered and every inch of the museum is being used to display items. This place is by far my favorite place in Korea and it only costs 1,000 Won to enter!!!!!
In the busy streets of Insadong, there was a crowd surrounding something. As I got closer to see what that thing was, I discovered it was none other than Sugar Glider Man, this sweet dude my boyfriend and I had previously seen a few months back on the subway. He had 3 on his hat and one Sugar Glider crawling on his hand. Sugar Gliders are soooo cute!!!!!
While walking through the streets in Seoul, there is one distinguishable and rather putrid smell that hits your nose and alarms your senses. This strange odor wafting in the air is from the silk worm larvae cooking in the street. This is one snack I will definitely be denying myself of!