UPDATED May 28, 2014
Holy crap, have I been here over a year?!
Despite having been in South Korea already on two occasions, there is a lot I have not done—including put together a bucket list of what I have not done.
This morning, two days before Christmas, I will begin assembling my definitive ROKIII list. This will not only consist of the things I have not done during the collective four-or-so months I’ve already been there before, but of things I did do during my time that I am looking forward to doing again. If you have any further suggestions, by all means, indulge me.
JPD (to do)es ROK:
- Tour Busan solo (by bus, by subway, by foot, by bike). In case you’re not familiar with Busan, it’s pretty huge. At 294 square miles, it may be too big to explore from stem-to-stern. I’ll call this bucket list bullet point completed if I make a day or two of hitting some of the big spots completely on my own. Suggestions?
Take the KTX bullet train (sort of goes in hand with the first. But, specifically, I want to see what riding in one of these high speed trains is like) Find new and interesting things as often as possible A Photo of Korea a Day Noraebang! (For any of you regulars, this may be old, old hat. But, I’m really excited to sing and be rated by the all-judging big-screen TV in a smokey room at 4 a.m. again) Jimjilbang! (Same thing as above, minus the smoke, except for that coming from the hot rocks)Jjimjillbangs are awesome. Staying overnight at one? Ehhhh, not so much. Visit my old ‘hood. For what little time I spent there, Deokcheon was my neighborhood. It would be nice to do a once-over of the old place. Visit my old, OLD ‘hood. At least, visit the city it was in. After seven years, I’m not sure I would be able to find the original neighborhood if I tried. I do remember telling the cab driver “Top Mart-uh” to get home, so I could always try that again.I did this.
- Visit this place
- Visit this place
- And, of course, visit this place
- Sign up for some form of martial arts
Volunteer somewhere. There was a definite feeling of isolation at times during my past experiences. Volunteering sounds like something that would help me feel more connected to the neighborhood, city, country. How has this worked for others?Have done this. Need to do more.
- Have little fish eat my feet (this is almost impossible to find in Korea nowadays. And when I was in Cambodia, a tour guide advised me against it)
Get out of Korea (and come back, of course). Not to belabor the point, but I just didn’t spend a lot of time in Korea before. Certainly not enough time that I would plan a trip elsewhere (as my friend Jenna is doing right now to Cambodia). There are options aplenty to get out of Korea, even for just a weekend to Japan, another reason I’m glad I was able to get a job in Busan. A 2 1/2 hour ferry ride to Fukuoka!Did this a couple times. Need some more!
- Visit the DMZ. Hey, maybe it’s touristy, my father would say it’s completely nuts. But, unless you’ve never done it before, it’s like NBC’s Thursday night lineup of re-runs: New to you.
Do a Temple Stay. This had been planned before, but I couldn’t go because I was, well, leaving.This was fun to do. Mail a letter. Not everything has to be grand and/or touristy. There are so many small ways to get through that terrible two-or-three month window where you feel isolated and alone. Is that the same thing? Mailing a letter, knowing where the post office even is, can’t help but connect one to place. Experience Korea when it’s not cold. Some things I cannot help but accomplish just by staying there. I’m especially looking forward to this one. Celebrate my birthday, Christmas in Korea. Again, with time Participate in a Korean/English language exchange Stay at a hotel Stay at a love motel (which will be accomplished pretty quickly, since the dude I’m replacing probably doesn’t want to share the bed)
—As Late Night with Johnny Carson’s commercial break bumpers always said: More to Come.