It’s official. Spring is here and it’s getting warmer and people are starting to show their legs! I decided to venture out a few weeks ago to see the cherry blossoms at Seokchon Lake near Lotte World Tower. It was packed. There were too many people. Good thing I can take pictures while walking.
We had a three day weekend and went to Busan! Busan is the second largest city? I think? We traveled there via the “slow” train. It took about three hours but the view was nice.
I’m in my city! I’m also in my apartment but there’s no wifi because I don’t have my alien registration card yet, or a bank account, or a cell phone plan. It’s been a difficult week and it will be another difficult week. But hey, there’s always Starbucks and overpriced drinks!
I went to Expo Bridge because that’s one of the most iconic images when you google Daejeon. I went with a friend, we actually trained together in Seoul and we’ve been doing practically everything together ever since. I figured out how to take the bus and that was an experience. It’s true what they say about the drivers and their driving and how crazy it is. We missed our stopped but enjoyed the walk to get to the bridge so it was all good.
I can’t even begin to talk about how overwhelming it is to move to another country and I haven’t even moved into my apartment yet. My knowledge of the Korean language is only Hello and Thank you. However, I do know how to read Hangul so that’s been a big help even if I can’t understand what I’m reading most of the time.
In order for me to compartmentalize the many emotions I’m feeling I’ve made a list (yes another one!) of things that I want to accomplish in terms of me growing as a person. The one fear I have is completely shutting down and not interacting with anyone at all…followed by only interacting with foreigners, while that is a nice safety net, I want to interact and make friends with the people who actually live here.
If you put your mind to it, it’s really easy to get around in the Philippines. You don’t need a car (but sometimes it would be nice to have one). There are plenty of ways to get around (mainly four to five here in Zambales, but it is similar all over Luzon).
The smallest vehicle, the tricycle, is mainly used for shorter distances within the villages and the towns. Not particularly fast but virtually no stops. The tricycle is a motorcycle (or now scooters) with an attached, modified side car. Depending on which part of Luzon you to go, the shapes of these vary and it’s actually quite interesting. The ones in Manila are larger and more boxy and I wish that the ones here in Zambales would catch on.
I’ve been here for ten weeks. Ten whole weeks of figuring out how to get a stronger, more stable internet connection. Ten whole weeks of living off of and rationing 700 megabytes per day. Now that I have it, my days still haven’t really changed probably because the data is prepaid for a certain amount (10GB for 10 days) and I don’t really want to spend a lot of money on buying more. I wasn’t aware of how much data I consumed until now. But that’s boring, let me get to the slightly less boring stuff.
Here’s a day in the life! (Sidenote: all of our meals are cooked and eaten outside.)
When I was looking at flights going to (and returning from) the Philippines, I knew I wanted to do a long layover somewhere. The question was, where. When I found out that Incheon International Airpot had free transit tours, that was it. I chose a flight that had a 15 hour layover, but our flight leaving the Philippines was delayed by 3 hours. Not a big deal though because we had plenty of time to get to the first transit tour. You have to reserve your spot on the tour in advance and sadly, the one that I wanted was completely full. Also, if you have enough time during your layover, you can book more than one which is what we did.
First stop is the transit tour desk to fill out a short form and then customs/immigration. They verify your name on the list and you go through customs and get a stamp in your passport.