My mother is an amazing, determined person, and was set on visiting me as soon as she possibly could after my move to Seoul. So, just eleven days after I turned up in my new city, mum touched down too! She was on a mission to help me settle in, and that she did! We only had six-ish days together, including a Saturday and Sunday, but the amount we got done was quite impressive (and I would most certainly have procrastinated doing a lot, if not all, of it if she hadn’t come to do it with me).
I now have a mattress topper, new bedsheet, decorations up in my little flat, new kitchen equipment and some groceries. I also have a plan for more possible furnishings to make my little place feel more like a real home, and I braved online shopping for the first time. But of course I couldn’t let my mum visit Korea, and in fact Asia, for the first time and not get her being a real tourist!
We visited the beautiful Gyeongbokgung on a clear Sunday afternoon (and were accosted by a Korean man hunting Westerners to have conversations with), went to Gwanghwamun Plaza to see King Sejong, shopped ’til we dropped in Myeong-dong shopping district, ate haemul pajeon, donkasseu, jjajangmyeon, tteokbokki, kimbap, Korean fried chicken, and even went partying with my friends in Itaewon!
I'm playing tourist at Gyeongbokgung today. Eating and drinking and shopping is all great, but I felt like I needed a bit more culture! The last time I came to this place it was the summertime and all the lilies were out, so it's interesting to see it during the winter with the pond empty and the trees bare. #visit_Korea
The highlight of her trip (for me) was having her with my for my 23rd birthday on the Tuesday! After a particularly stressful day at work, we went to eat dwaeji galbi, pork rib meat BBQ, at Jangin Galbi in Seongsu, and were scolded by the waitress for burning the meat a little (“But that’s how I like it!” – mum). The next day we met one of my friends for bulgogi, and she took us to the lovely area of Samcheong-dong for a night walk and a visit to a traditional tea house.
The last couple of weeks at work have been difficult, with lots of screaming children who don’t listen to me, several crying students, and one of my student smashing his face on the table and bleeding on the floor after swinging on his chair. My patience is most definitely being tested, but I still haven’t broken down just yet, something I consider a personal success. Having mum come to visit was absolutely great and I couldn’t be more thankful for her making the long journey to come and see me and get me sorted so early on in my time here…oh, and for bringing me Cadbury chocolate!