The Inchon airport is very clean and modern. I think it is only a few years old, so that makes sense. As we drove into Seoul, I was amazed at all the modern structures: the beautiful bridges, the skyscrapers, the neon signs. Not that I didn't expect that part at all. I knew that Seoul was a bustling metropolis. But I did expect to see some signs of old culture. It is almost as though the old was wiped out with the new. I believe that outside of the city itself there is lots of traditional buildings and structures and old culture (which is what I want to see), but I thought that it would be evident in the city as well.
My husband, Chris, told me on his previous visits that the Seoul reminded him of Manhattan. And I totally see that. The city is so crowded with people, cars, motorcycles and buses. The traffic is insane - I didn't want to look out the window of the car because I would often see another car within inches of ours trying to bully its way into our lane. There is some order to the chaos, but not much. At least they do give pedestrians the right of way, but when that light changes, watch out!!
As we drove from the airport to Chris' office (he had to go to the big meeting that was the reason we came to Korea a week ahead of our original schedule) I saw a lot of familar signs: KFC, Starbucks, McDonalds, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (YAY!), Kinkos. And everytime I saw one, I'd try to remember where it was in relation to where we were going, but then we'd keep driving and driving. Downtown itself is huge! It isn't like Los Angeles where everything is sprawled out and there is nothing downtown. So, I felt quickly overwhelmed with the amount of activity, which is funny because I consider myself a city girl!
Ok, better end this entry. The sun is coming up (it is now 6:40am Saturday, February 26th) and the people in the house we're staying are stirring. Nadia is up (big surprise) and Maya (my 5 year old daughter) will be up soon. I have more to say, of course, but I'll say that in the next entry.
What I'm feeling: contemplative