First impressions of korea? CONGESTED! Being on a bus with lovely blue curtaining over the windows and seats that makes it look like something out of a Bollywood film and being stuck in traffic for 2hrs, crawling along a 10 lane motorway on a Friday afternoon at around 5pm. LOVELY! This place just seems to have that quality that everything is everywhere and life goes at this mad pace until you hop into a cab and can't go anywhere because everywhere you turn is traffic! Lanes mean very little in Korea. I think they are there as a guide for you to drive over the top of before deciding exactly which side of the road you will actually drive on. Swerving and meandering is the norm in these big buses and cadillac style cars and the chaos must be appreciated by all for it leaves me stumped how accidents don’t happen everywhere you look!
When you get onto the pavement you have no relief because you are confronted with an array of automobiles, both stationary and moving all vying for a position on what should be a pedestrian walkway! It is not unusual to find yourself in armed combat with a lorry as it backs into you as you walk along the shopfront. And don't get started on the motorcycles, that seem not to obey any roadrules whatsoever! If they come to a red light they just veer onto the pavement, at full speed, and pretend as if they are a Mountain Bike hurtling across gutters and racing the oncoming traffic in a bizarre game of what appears to be Asian Chicken! The locals do a lot better at tolerating this kind of intrusion on the pedestrian space and once again I feel as though I am a bumbling westerner unable to deal with the normalcy of motorised transport on sidewalks! Oh well. Adapt as a tourist so they say!
We arrive in Korea amidst a great bumbling of organisational chaos. When flying we were told that it was a mere 1.5hr flight. Ah, easy we think. So when you end up being 9hrs in transit on a 1.5hr flight with no stop for food because that would just disrupt the transfer from airplane to bus to hotel, you could imagine how a company of dancers were taking to that. Not to mention how irrate I get when I don’t eat! Combine this with the fact that we are about to share accomodation YET AGAIN on this leg of the tour and my mind was not handling the situation very well indeed! You know those days when all you want is to sit quietly and close your eyes and find some solace otherwise you are going to literally shackle someones genitals to the ceiling! Yeah well you get the idea of how I was that day! When we finally got off the bus and into the tiny motel lobby with ALL our bags just sitting there we realised that we had left the completely structured and efficient Japanese behind, here it was fend for yourself!
My best decision was to actually request a room to myself. At a cost of course, but quite frankly I couldn’t careless! I need some space and some personal time away from all the people in the company. I am so relieved I decided to do so as the apartments (yes not just rooms) are FABO BABO!!!! Wooden floors, full size double bed where my toes don’t stick out the end, full size wardrobe, desk, comfy couch, air-con, windows that OPEN hallelujah, cute bathroom and KITCHEN!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYQAY!!! Absolute heaven where I can cook! Oh what delight. Very happy and already feeling so much better! But of course the first thing on my mind was food. So after putting everything away in MY flat and deciding what goes where and doing some minor furniture rearranging, I went out in search of food! Quick easy filling food. I am ashamed to say it but my first meal in Korea was Pizza Hut! Laugh away, at my poor misfortune but I am telling you that after that hideous day, it was the perfect thing to eat whilst curled up on my couch watching English TV. Like I always say, the simple pleasures!!!!!