korea in pictures: a random collection of memories

My Seoul Series has come to an end, but the memories will live on.

Even though South Korea is my Motherland, I felt like I was visiting as a true foreigner.  Spending the majority of my life in Canada has me in a peculiar position of straddling two cultures, yet not belonging entirely in either.  Although I was able to relate on a surface level to the people, the food, and the general sense of being Korean, it was still like I didn’t quite belong, and so many things felt strange to me.

The frenetic pace that everyone moves in, the ridiculous traffic, the smoggy air, the sheer number of people, how thin they all are… it’s like being in a different world.  We were there to have fun, to unwind, and to eat a ton of good food – which we did in spades.  But what we ultimately ended up with was an experience that truly opened our eyes and gave us a chance to experience a culture that our blood belongs to as independent adults.  It’s a place our parents still hold dear in their hearts, a place they would tell their own stories about, a place that still felt far away because those stories weren’t our own.  But now we can start our own stories, piece together what Korea means to us in our hearts, and maybe one day we’ll share them with our children and grandchildren.

Until then, I’d like to close the series with a random collection of photos that immortalize a moment in time.  And yes, they are truly random.

The time we went to the COEX aquarium and I got this beautiful shot of fish in action
The time we went to the COEX aquarium and I got this beautiful shot of fish in action
The time we went to the underground volcanic cave in Jeju and it was so wonderfully cool down there
The time we went to Gwangjang Market and ate the most delicious, plate-sized bindaetteok
The time we went to Gwangjang Market and ate the most delicious, plate-sized bindaetteok
The time Mark got to do some skeet shooting in Jeju, something he'd always been wanting to do
The time Mark got to do some skeet shooting in Jeju, something he’d always been wanting to do
The time I ate this whole plate of shrimp tempura in one sitting and didn't regret a thing
The time I ate this whole plate of shrimp tempura in one sitting and didn’t regret a thing
The time we were walking around at night and came across this stall selling the cutest pokki
The time we were walking around at night and came across this stall selling the cutest pokki
The time my cousin introduced us to this cafe and it was the first (and last) decent coffee I had in Korea
The time my cousin introduced us to this cafe and it was the first (and last) decent coffee I had in Korea
The time I got panda socks and rocked the hell out of them
The time I got panda socks and rocked the hell out of them
The time we went to Noryangjin Fish Market but didn't get a chance to look around too much because we kept getting accosted to buy ALL THE SEAFOOD
The time we went to Noryangjin Fish Market but didn’t get a chance to look around too much because we kept getting accosted to buy ALL THE SEAFOOD
The time we went to the base of N Seoul Tower and saw all the Love Locks
The time we went to the base of N Seoul Tower and saw all the Love Locks
The time we were hanging out at Han River and the cutest and nicest ajumma came around selling kimbap so we had to get one. It was delicious and she told Mark that he's a nice man.
The time we were hanging out at Han River and the cutest and nicest ajumma came around selling kimbap so we had to get one. It was delicious and she told Mark that he’s a nice man.
The time in Jeju I had the most epic breakfast buffet and this bulgogi was out of this world
The time in Jeju I had the most epic breakfast buffet and this bulgogi was out of this world
The time we went to the Han River at night to watch the waterworks display, but we were sitting on the wrong side so ended up missing most of the show
The time we went to the Han River at night to watch the waterworks display, but we were sitting on the wrong side so ended up missing most of the show
The time we ate this delicious ice cream at Fell & Cole, except this ice cream shop was the hardest place to find ever
The time we ate this delicious ice cream at Fell & Cole, except this ice cream shop was the hardest place to find ever
The time we at green tea ice cream at the O'Sulloc Tea Museum in Jeju and I regret not buying more tea from there because it's the best tea ever
The time we at green tea ice cream at the O’Sulloc Tea Museum in Jeju and I regret not buying more tea from there because they have some of the most amazing teas
The time we ate the famous Namsan King Donkatsu and I failed in taking a proper picture to show the size of this thing and it just looks like Mark is trying to squish the food
The time I found my one true love, corn ice cream. I will always love you.
The time I found my one true love, corn ice cream. I will always love you.
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