We love Seoul! Wonderful people, great shopping, delicious food... what a great way to start off our trip. Everyone he is so amazingly friendly. We are still trying to get the hang of finding our way around. The subway is pretty easy but once you get off it's kind of confusing. Plus we were pretty unsure of ourselves so we kept double checking to see if we were going the right way. People would just walk up and ask us where we were going if we had out map out. One young woman walked us all the way from the subway to our destination about three blocks away. The city is super clean, modern, and is so picturesque with he mountains in the distance. I bet is is really beautiful in the summer. The cold is something that I have not experienced. I have seen many a cold day living in Michigan but this for some reason takes the cake. It is bone chilling cold. I knew it would be cold so I packed lots of layers and long johns, hat, gloves, scarf, etc. but the cold still takes your breath away. Once nice thing though is that the seats in the subway are heated (or the heaters are under the seats) and they feel sooo good!
The very first thing I noticed though after arriving is that I feel huge. I am not a very big person in the US, but here... I am bigger than the men. Everyone is sooo thin!!!!! The women are amazingly beautiful... Ron is loving it. :) They are just so thin and stylish with their black leggings and super high healed boots. I don't know how they can stand it with the cold and ice.
Also, it is so strange to not only be the only white people but to not even see ANYONE of another race. We have seen a few caucasion people but that is it. It is strange to stand out so much here.
This is kind of a rambling post and I am not going to edit it. I know I am jumping around but I am too tired right now to fix it. Just going to keep writing...
We napped for a while then went to Insadong. This is an outdoor shopping and eating area. They have some fun shops and some really expensive upscale shops too. We didn't buy too much today as we have two other shopping areas we want to hit and didn't want to spend all of our money the first day... I could have though! :) We ate at the first place we could find which wasn't anything special but we were sooooo cold we just went in not caring! We ordered a Korean beef barbecue and is was soooo good! I have been nervous about eating here since I am pretty picky and I packed a lot of food just in case. Ron asked if I was planning on living on granola bars and Wheat Thins for the next week and that was by backup plan. Anyway, the food was soooo great! We had no idea how the whole thing worked but the nicest lady helped us get started with making out beef at the table on this heated plate thing in the center of the table. It pretty much turned out to be some onions in some kind of marinade, the beef, and some other seasonings that you wrapped up in a leaf and ate. I tried some other salad looking stuff with red stuff on it and it was alright.. kind of spicy. Ron tried the kimchi and he said it was good. There were some other side dishes that neither of us could figure out. Overall it was a fun experience and I am so relieved that I know of one dish that I can order and like!
Oh, and the Korean phrase book I got is great! It's great to just point to what you are trying to say! Although many people here do speak some English, Ron and I agreed that it would have been really helpful if we had learned some basic Korean.
It's now 4:22 and we are back at SWS. We are tired and trying to thaw out from our time out today. I need to get our gifts ready for tomorrow and we plan on watching some of our new DVDs we got for Christmas. I want to get lots of rest for tomorrow!
We will be meeting at SWS at 9:30 and Eden's case worker will be taking us to Eden's foster family's home. Not sure when we will get to take her with us. I hope to find that out tomorrow.
Thanks so much for all of your comments! I find experiences are the most fun when they are shared with the people you care about. Thanks for letting me share this with you!
If I have the energy I will post some pics. Gotta go lay down now though.