After much deliberation, the decision has finally been made in the Inter Galactic Headquarters of The Good Old Boots. I am going to…..
Even though, I am still figuring out the finer details of the trip, I will definitely be travelling to Seoul, and Busan. I will be spending most of my time in Seoul, mainly because of its drinking culture, night life and the jimijilbangs.
So, why Korea?
- I have been watching Korean movies for a while now and always felt that the Koreans are pretty cool and chilled out. I have never seen the Koreans misbehave, shout or be rude. They seem like the kind of people who like to mind their own business and stay out of each other’s way. They seem genuinely friendly and nice.
- The Korean culture is pretty unique and I think it will be fun to experience it firsthand. So, I will be visiting a few traditional villages, temples and markets to get a feel of how the Koreans go about their day to day life and also buy a lot of weird souvenirs. (I actually drove 25 kilometres in Bali and spent a fortune buying a traditional Balinese mask. So, I am pretty serious about buying weird souvenirs.)
- The jimijilbangs too seem like an interesting experience. For those who do not know, these are basically glorified spas where apart from getting massages and sweating it out in the sauna rooms, you can spend time relaxing in the pools, or reading in their libraries, or watching TV. The reason why these places seem so culturally different is because you are expected to be completely naked while you are using the pools. Yes, you have to be naked in front of others, who will be just as naked. Weird!
But wait there is more. Recently I read somewhere that the Koreans are extremely intrigued by foreigners and it is not uncommon to be stared at, or talked to by the locals if you are a foreigner in South Korea. So, being naked in a pool full of intrigued people might a bit awkward. Scratch that… Extremely awkward.
- Now the best part, the food. I have never had Korean food but after doing some research on the Korean cuisine, I have found a few dishes that I will HAVE to taste while I am there. Jamjangmyeon, and Galbi look awesome. I do not know if I will have the guts to have a Sannakji (live octopus), but I will sure as hell, intend to have a lot of Soju. I will also definitely try some Korean Bar-B-Ques while there.
Now, all these point and a few more have motivated me to pay a visit to the South Korea but still there is a small chance that the trip might not happen. Recently, the North Koreans have issued a statement that they are “in a state of war” with South Korea.
I know that North Koreans issue these kinds of statements every now and then but just the fact that the statement came at a time when I am planning a trip to South Korea, makes me wonder if the trip is worth it at this time. I mean, what if the North Korea actually declares a war with South Korea while I am there. Do I really want to be caught in the midst of a war…maybe even a nuclear war (you never know with the North Koreans)?
And the answer is.. Yes.
I do not mind the risk, mainly because I think that the North Koreans are like always, bluffing their balls off.
And even if they do declare a war, being stuck in a war torn country will be an awesome experience. Maybe, if I get out alive, I will write a blog about it.
So, I will continue to prepare myself for the trip by watching a lot of Korean movies and listening to PSY.
And North Korea… Come on. Be cool. Do not ruin my trip.