The day after we returned to Seoul, Autumn and I took it pretty easy. We walked around Seoul Forest and had lunch with her parents. We had planned to spend the evening at Lotte World – a cross between Disneyland and The Mall of America – but about an hour into our visit we both started to feel pretty sick. By the time we got back to her parent’s apartment it was clear that our adventurous eating had not been without consequence.
We spent the evening and much of the following day eating white rice, drinking Pocari Sweat, and watching Korean dramas.
On Christmas Eve, Autumn’s siblings arrived from New York and by Christmas morning we were feeling good enough to leave the house with her family.
The day after Christmas we went out in downtown Seoul and had lunch at a budae jjigae restaurant that we’d eaten at the last time I was in Seoul. Budae jjigae literally means army stew; It’s essentially a stew of spam, hot dogs, tofu, veggies, ramen noodles in a tomato-based broth. It may not sound it, but it’s delicious and one of my favorite Korean comfort foods.
On my last evening in Korea Autumn’s family took me to dinner at a Korean BBQ restaurant near Seouls’ ritzy Gangnam neighborhood.
On my last day in Korea we took the train about an hour out of Seoul to a city called Ansan to watch a professional volleyball match. Volleyball is a really popular sport in Korea and the game was a ton of fun. The fans had a ton of energy; each team and their own set of songs and chants.
Autumn and I left the game a little early to get to the airport; she was staying another week but wanted to see me off. We said goodbye and I made my way through customs and into the lounge for a few drinks and a snack prior to my 10-hour direct flight back to Seattle.