18 February 2014

first glances...

We have officially hit the one week mark of our arrival to south korea! in some ways, we've been really busy and the week has gone by fast. in many other ways, we didn't do too much since there was an exercise on base last week that limited a lot of the checking in that needed to happen. we've met a few of the guys and their wives in the squadron, and they are all so amazingly nice and welcoming. I'm going to feel really bad when I can't remember their names. our sponsors have been incredible, as well; figuring out all the little things (phone, exchanging money, paying rent, squadron things, etc) would have been a whole lot more difficult without their help. we have been in the nice pet-friendly TLF and as comfortable as they make your initial arrival, we are really looking forward to moving into our house, which will happen tomorrow! (trust me, you're going to want to check back in for pictures of that...elaborate is a good word to describe it)

we took a quick little day trip to Seoul on the day off yesterday and the bus delivered us straight from the base here at Osan to the Army post in Seoul, Yongsan, in about an hour. can't beat that! Seoul is the world's 5th largest city and I can definitely see many more trips in our future.

I've only taken a few pictures so far, in the interest of protecting my hands from Korea's cold weather. I feel a little silly that I haven't been prepared for winter-I guess I knew it was coming, but it has been three years that I've had to wear a jacket (and really hat and mittens) outside on a consistent number of days. Only I haven't done that and instead, spent our whole day in 30 degree weather walking around Seoul shivering. And you're right. 30 degrees isn't even that cold. But I was rather ill-prepared for it. Fortunately, our HGs (household goods) arrived in Korea ahead of us and will be delivered tomorrow, on the first day in our new house, which is almost unheard of when you move around in the U.S. One of the many things I've been thankful for here in Korea so far is their expedition.

Enjoy the pictures (the one of the pad thai is yes, Thai food in Korea...however, it was far better than any Thai food I remember eating while in Thailand a few years ago)

let's just say that everyone knew we were coming before we arrived, as we agreed to buy our "good friends'" car, who PCSed just a week before we got here. no, we had no idea what we were agreeing to buy. if you think the outside is creepy, the inside is worse. Zack, I hate you. (xoxo)

this street shot is pretty terrible, as it was cold and cloudy when I took this. it's from the little town right outside the gate, Songtan. Everything is Korean but catered very well to the Americans stationed at Osan. Most shopkeepers speak English and I have already been in quite a few "secret" purse closets. 
This is the amazing pad thai. I can't wait to go back here...maybe tonight...?
It was fun seeing this little coffee shop (that's also a lounge?) called "Hollys" on our trip to Seoul. This is in Itaewon, which is right outside the Army post, also very catered to Americans. but GREAT shopping! I can't wait to go back. Mom and grandma, you wouldn't even know what to do here.
This was my first bibimbap in Korea and while I still liked it, each shop makes it differently (it's a very classic Korean dish of rice and veggies in a scorching stone pot...the egg and veggies are all raw when it gets to your table, but you're supposed to mix it all up and flavor it with hot sauce or it'll burn quickly) -- this variety had seaweed, which gave it a rather fishy taste and also some rather sketchy looking brown tentacle-looking things, which I picked out.
Tyler enjoyed his beef stew, which came out boiling. 
This was actually for reference for our subway travels, but I thought I'd include it. This is just one tiny portion of the Korean subway system. The whole thing includes several different levels and at least 10 different colored lines. yikes!
Dongdaeum, a famous shopping area in Seoul, was fun to walk around in. It was, however, mostly a flea market filled with crafting pieces. It was all very overwhelming, and since the aisles are so narrow and there were so many people, we felt rushed and very much in the way.
This was another building of Dongdaeum. SO narrow!
And then just a few random buildings...

That's all I've got for now! Thanks for checking in. We're really looking forward to getting our stuff tomorrow and sleeping in our own bed for the first time in two months. Sigh.


Courtney said...

Can't wait to visit =)

Holly Stavness said...

ok this is the most fun post ever! everything looks so fun! i'm vicariously living through you buddy! all that food...i want! hope you are having a blast. i need your new address when you get around to it. love you!