The second coming

No not THAT second coming! I mean the second coming of my writing a blog in S.Korea, and other Asian countries I’ve so far visited. I’ve had almost 4 years now in the land of the morning calm. It’s almost 4 years ago that I got bundled into my first class out here in Korea feeling distinctly jet-lagged and rather hoping to be a shadow teacher for the day, actually the week. You see I’d really helped myself a lot on the jet lag front by going to my friends wedding in Spain (they’re not the sort to finish at last orders at 11pm!) and then the next day arriving back to Stansted airport where I had to “sleep” the night at the airport as my plane arrived later than the last train into central London. Anyway there I was stood in front of 3 students, of fairly high level ability for there age. I reckon that first week was passed easier due to Chuseok falling almost as soon as I arrived, though I think I waisted the holiday catching up on all that sleep I lost….I was soon into the swing of things in Korea, indeed I was swinging my leg in the rough direction of a punch bag having taken up Taekwando. I was also visiting Julliana’s quite often, an expat bar that also didn’t believe in last orders at 11pm, indeed the party didn’t start until 11, and usually went on till sunrise. That was life for me in the first 3 months or so out here. Taekwando 3 times a week, Korean class twice a week and Jullianas at the weekends. The people I was hanging out with back then were Gavin, Trevor, Janna, James, Haydar, Daragh, Kai, Andy and Susan…. well in fact there was a big crowd of people, and I could really make too long a list. It’s funny, but it’s never been quite the same as that first year.

Photography in Korea didn’t really get going until my first short holiday, I had a long weekend and so headed for GyeongJu. It was my first trip, and so brandishing a popular travel book I settled on a hostel called the Hanjin. I arrived and the owners son, who was Clint, helped plan my stay in Gyeongju. I had a great time, and after that traveled most weekends. I made trips to JeonJu, Busan, Seoul and probably quite a few other places. I think it was on a trip to Seoul that I ended up staying at Stay Korea, which has become a little bit of a second home for me in Seoul, there with a sunny smile to greet me is Sunny. If ever you need a place to stay in Seoul, stay there! May came along and my Mum visited me in Korea, this was the first time Mum had traveled without Dad I think. I know she had a great time, and saw many things in Korea. I couldn’t meet her at the airport sadly, but I booked stay Korea for he, so I knew she’d be in good hands. The rest of the year was good, I steadily worked towards my black belt in Taekwondo and took a trip to Hong Kong with Mary. Hong Kong was great, so great I made it the only place I’ve so far visited twice in Asia. At the end of that first year in Korea I changed jobs and worked for a public school called Maesan, with a visa run to Tokyo! Tokyo was amazing, and would be well deserving of a blog entry all on it’s own…. depending on whether I can remember the trip well enough!


About Simon Bond

A photographer in SE Asia
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