First weekend of February was nerded out with a 3D viewing of Avatar. Post film, we did some exploring of Itaewon, the biggest Waegook (Westerner) district of Seoul. We stumbled upon a cabazillion of knock-off purses and enjoyed some Canadian (turkish) shawarmas, and momentarily devoured a little taste of home.
As the next weekend rolled around, so did the beers. Our Friday nights have turned into rituals of grabbing a post-work beer with Brent, which consistently turns into several pitchers and late night crashing. Brent is one of our co-workers and a great time. We've both become really good friends with him and are pretty stoked we have a good pal to enjoy this country with.
The following afternoon was spent at home as we proudly viewed our Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremonies. We were quite the site: two Canadians in a far away country, curled up on our couch, both sporting our red Roots mittens, and ever so proudly cheering on our homeland. Never mind that it was dubbed in Korean, it made our actions all the more patriotic. Huge shout-out to Cheryl Parnell for sending the mitts abroad: they provided a piece of home while watching home, and it felt great. Go Canada, eh!
The following day we headed to Namsan, a small Seoul mountain, for a mid-winter hike. There is a tradition where lovers buy a lock, make it their own (engrave, pictures, inscriptions) and hike up to the top of the mountain. There is a massive fence surrounding the 360 panoramic of Seoul where you "lock your love". So we took part in this beautiful Korean tradition and locked ours; not a bad way to spend Valentine's Day 2010.
Next up was a particularly special weekend: Bryan's first Korean roommate, Greg, is still kickin' in Korea, and got married February 20th. The wedding was on an island off the South Eastern tip of Korea, a perfectly magical wedding destination. Friends and family from all over flew in for an undeniably legendary wedding. It included: knockout hotel on a cliff overlooking the ocean, some of the best food this country's got goin' on, and a perfect amalgamation of characters from Korea, England, South Africa, and Switzerland. Topping it off was the impromptu reception, in a no more than 20x20 samgypsal restaurant, shadiest of all shady venues, relaxed yet overflowing at the seams with love for the happy couple. The night stumbled back into the hotel, where noraebong (Korean karaoke) took over until the wee hours. We stumble upstairs and crashed, high on life and even more stoked for pending travels ahead.
I'm feeling a change that I had been waiting for for a while now. A growing up and a coming-to-be that I don't believe can be done within the comforts of your own country, inside the familiar walls of safety. I am even more excited for the endless possibility that awaits. I have a strong feeling that this question mark I have embarked on has only just begun.
Gan Bae to life.