With half of my Intagram feed going to Japan to marvel at the sakura blossom or to admire the red colors of the autumn, I am happily keeping South Korea – with equally gorgeous cherry time and fall colors – to myself. For me, mass tourism takes the magic of the places away (think Santorini flooded by several hundred of ferry hoppers), – I kind of don’t even want to go to Japan now.
Especially when I have my family still in Korea. Here I am taking on from the previous post on South Korea Daily, to share with you some of my favorite pastimes there, Korea’s less known casual side, and simply the things that make me happy there.
With Korean economy taking new hikes every year, Korean cities are growing as well. So do the villages – or what used to be villages. I remember some of the places around Busan with traditional settlements, where people still lived back then. Tiny homes, barely any electricity, centralized water sources. And now – building after building, tower after tower, with wide straight streets, as opposed to the narrow labyrinth, jumping up and down the hills, typical for the old Korean cities. All of that white and generously spiced by colorful ad signs.
And, of course, the waiving cat. Koreans love to draw cute animals and put them everywhere, from a cafe sign to the city’s official emblem.
And here is something virtually unmissable in South Korea – cicadas! See if you can spot one here.
There is it – click on the images to see it closer!
My big thing in Korea is food markets. They sprout in the middle of concrete jungles of modern and old Korean cities and still retain the original spirit of a heart of a village where people flock to buy and sell their produce. Usually these markets appear several times a week on fixed days. Know your neighborhood.
Just look at these colors!..
One of the key parts of my life in Korea is roadtrips. Mus loves exploring and is always builds new routes for us. We were once having a dinner with my Dad’s manager and his wife. “I got to know Korea so much better thanks to your facebook tips!”, – she told Mus. One good question is how Mus herself finds all these secret spots with hidden lakes, cafes in the middle of nowhere and off-the-charts breathtaking temples. But I guess that we will never know.
One of the cafes in the middle of nowhere. A really cool place with a campers’ site (which is a detail), a super friendly dog Tulli and, most importantly, a collection of cups and bills from everywhere in the world, brought by grateful tourists. In the middle of nowhere in Korea! The place does not even have a facebook page, let alone a site.
Dad has always loved dogs… But it did not play out that well in out cat family, did it? 😀
And this is just a passage where we stopped to buy something Mus needed for her amazing cuisine. Don’t you just love the colors in South Korea? No fashion for washed-out tones here.
Do you know these stories about people claiming that they will never take another cat, never, ever in their lives again? That’s my mom. And that is #geracat, in cat’s heaven on Earth.
And that’s myself, happy in my Korean home – wearing no make up at all and the nail polish color I could never afford during the peak work months.