My favourite season is upon us here on the Korean peninsular. The evenings are cool, the days are sunny and warm. The festivals have started in full force. The trees are putting on a show of red, yellow, brown and orange. Classrooms aren’t stuffed full of sweaty smelling boys. Scarves and hats and chunky knitted jumpers are donned as we make the (hopefully) slow start into winter.
It’s October already. Autumn is here. When did that happen?
While we are on the subject of seasons it must be noted how proud Korean people are of their 4 seasons. They will curiously ask ‘Are there 4 seasons in your country?’ And don’t seem too convinced when you tell them that yes there are, but that the seasons aren’t so extreme. We do get spring flowers. It does get cold in winter, we even have snow. Imagine that!
With that being said I must admit that the seasons here in Korea are, compared to what I know, very admirable.
Mt Sorak ablaze with colour
Especially autumn. Seeing the mountains, which make up 70% of Korea, ablaze with colour is amazingly beautiful.
Finally we can actually go outdoors without getting our clothes soaked, either by our own sweat or the torrential downpours. Which means only one thing: FESTIVALS!
The autumn season is over run with festivals. This weekend it was the Lantern Festival in Jinju (more about that soon), next weekend it’s the Mask Dance festival in Andong, the International Film Festival in Busan, Global Gathering in Seoul. Next it’ll be the Fireworks in Busan… you get my point. And those are only naming a few of them! (See all of them here). There is a festival for everything and for anyone. It’s fantastically great.
So with that: welcome autumn. It’s going to be a busy one!
Posted in Korea
Tagged Andong, Autumn, Busan, festivals, fireworks, Jinju, Korea, leaves, October, seasons, weekend
This past weekend I trekked up to Seoul to meet with an old friend from Australia.
It had been 6 years since I had last seen Teneille, hanging out of a car window in Sydney waving frantically as she slipped away on the overpass. She left me standing, feeling lost and all alone, in the big city where I would spend the final days of my gap year Down Under.
It had probably been close on 3 or 4 years since we had last had any personal communication. But fate brought us back together, and I am so glad that it did. Seeing Teneille reminded me, once again, of the amazing adventure that Australia had been for me and what a formative stage of my life that was.
I was 17 when I hopped on a plane that whisked me away to Armidale, NSW, Australia. I cried when I got there, mostly because I was young and tired and extremely uncertain (why had I chosen to do this again?!) and I was taken to a room with a bed on its side, naked of all things that would make it look comfy and welcoming. But after a firm long distance call where my mother informed me there was no way I could come home, (thank God for mothers, they always know best!) I settled in just fine.
In fact I fell in love with Australia, with travelling, with being independent, and, of course, with the wonderful people who I met, including Teneille.
Seeing an old friend from my Aussie days made me realise how far I have come since that scared, crying girl got off that plane in Australia. And it has also made me rethink how fortunate I am that I got to spend a year living in Colebrook House with 11 other girls who were like a family to me.
So THANK YOU to you all, and, Teneille, it was truly wonderful to see you again! Here’s to another reunion!
Just like old times 🙂