Saturday, November 10, 2007

10/8 - 10/9 Getting to Seoul

I'm always excited to visit Korea but I was particularly looking forward to getting to Seoul after my less than successful trip to Moscow. I longed for the relief of being able to communicate and being in a familiar place.

I flew on Emirates Airlines and had a stopover in Dubai. I wish I had known to take advantage of the "Dubai Stopover" program that Emirates offers. For a very low price, they take care of everything from your accommodations to car service. It would have been a great opportunity to see a city with one of the fastest growing reputations as a major international destination. The Dubai international airport was abuzz with travelers from all over the world. It's a shopper's heaven as their duty free is open 24 hours a day and products offered range from liquor and cosmetics to dvds, books and electronics. Even at 2 a.m. the shops were packed with people making last minute purchases.

With the time change, traveling to Seoul took a whole day. I left Moscow on Monday afternoon and arrived in Seoul Tuesday afternoon. Nancy met me at the airport, after reassuring me several times that she'd be there. We met two friends for dinner in Hong Dae, one of our old haunts and a neighborhood surrounding Hong Ik University which is Korea's premier fine arts college. This started my nearly non-stop consumption of Korean food. It's not as if I don't eat Korean food in the U.S. But for me, nothing beats the pojangmachas (street carts) and they're out at all hours of the night, a dangerous convenience since it allows me to get my fix of late night eating. Nancy looked on with horror as I stuffed myself with dukboki
and odeng all month long. It's disgraceful the way I treat Korea as my personal all-you-can-eat buffet. I ought to be ashamed but I'm usually too busy eating!

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