Saturday, April 17, 2010

Last day in Seoul

First of all, it is a miracle I've been able to blog from Seoul - when I log on to blogger, everything is in Korean!

Today is our last day in Seoul. I am so sad. I have fallen in love with the city and the country and the people. I've read the same thing on so many people's blogs and I always thought it was impossible to feel such a deep connection to a place you only spent a couple of days in.

I still have some catching up to do here! Ben and daddy are finally napping, so here we go.

The day before we got Hoyoung, we walked back up the Insadong area and stopped at the Jogyesa temple, where the preparations for Buddha's birthday are underway.

Then we made our way back to Insadong, where we ordered a name chop for Ben.

We also got a name scroll and the nice lady gave us ink for free. She said "Korean baby" and gestured that it was a gift. Guess who started crying at that....

Then we tried to find a restaurant that serves grilled bulgogi and finally asked at the tourist information center. I thought every restaurant would have that (I don't know why I thought that), but only very few do. We found one though and it was delicious!

Afterwards we headed to Gyeongbokgung palace, which is huge. You could walk for hours. There were tons of schoolchildren everywhere and we were celebreties. They would come up to us and say "hi" or "hello" and giggle. One boy was especially brave and told me that I was tall and asked if I was a singer (sorry, no) and told my husband that he was very handsome. Was it rude that I broke out in giggles?

Then we headed back to Insadong to go to one of the teaplaces. We were approached by a radio team and interviewed for a local station about the tea place. As a thank you they bought us some pastries. Unfortunately that was after we had already ordered some. They were all delicious and I left feeling a little nauseous from all the food.

We wandered back to the hotel and at night ventured out in search of a suitcase. We ended up somewhere behind the Lotte department store in a maze of narrow roads, neon lights, fashion stores, and food stalls. It was brimming with young people. We ended up at a buffet restaurant that had every kind of food you could imagine and included free wine. I kept on looking at all the gorgeous young Koreans out on a date and it made me so sad that Ben will never take his beautiful date wandering through those lively streets.
It was so amazing to see! Of course we never got the suitcase that night.

It has been very tough since we got him. He cries unless he is carried. He gets into screaming fits and won't stop. He has gas, he is teething, he lost his family. He gets inconsolable. He slept in the bed with us last night, but his limbs go flying all over the place, and none of us got any sleep.
He does okay when we're out and about, so he already went sightseeing with us.

I have such a hard time to put into words how amazing this experience has been. It is so emotional. It's sad and it's wonderful. It's heartbreaking to see our boy scream his lungs out, but it makes my heart almost hurt with happiness to see him smile.

To those waiting, as impossible as it seems, as you get closer to travel, enjoy the wait, enjoy the anticipation. This is the most amazing thing you will experience, soak in every second! One day, just like that, it will be over. As happy as I am about beginning a new chapter in our lives, including our baby, there is definitely some sense of sadness about this journey being over.



  1. Very well said. It's so true that it's difficult to enjoy the journey, but we all should because just like that, the anticipation, the nerves, the excitement is done. But the lovely thing about this journey is that we all get such a beautiful gift from it that lasts forever :)
    Hang in there during these tough first few weeks, and soak up all those lovely smiles!

  2. I know what you mean--after waiting and waiting for so long, it can be difficult to be done with the process. Even if you do have your long-awaited child home with you. Sounds like you enjoyed Seoul, which is great. Ben will continue to adjust and bond with you and your husband. Hang in there and take good care of yourself right now, too!

  3. The first week(s) are hard. You are getting to know each other and it breaks your heart to see your child grieving, but it does get better. Kyle now calls my omma and sometimes will surprise me with a kiss. Congratulations on becoming a family of three!

  4. What a wonderful end to your trip to Seoul. Having Ben with you now sounds hard but amazing at the same time. Interesting what you say about there being something a little sad about the process itself being over. As someone still "in" the process, I can only assume that is true! Thanks for a new perspective. Safe travels home!!!

  5. Amen girl!!! So glad we got to experience some of the journey there together!! We're mommies now!!!!