For 10 days at the end of April, I took some time off work and visited Korea for my grandma’s 80th birthday, which is apparently a big deal there. I was excited to be back after two years. Then, I did all the sightseeing, touristy stuff, so this time it was all about spending time with my extended family and eating great food.
This was a mother-daughter trip and it was nice to spend time together. My mom showed me the neighborhood she grew up in during a bus ride back from my grandma’s place. Naturally, everything has advanced since she was a kid.
The affogato above was my diet for those 10 days. My mom’s friend owns a cafe in Seoul and I couldn’t get enough of it. I haven’t seen many places in America sell affogatos, but they are so common in Korea that even all the Starbucks sell them.
The hardest part was the time change. By 4pm Korea time, we’d be sleeping. One time we made it to 7pm and it was such an accomplishment. Then we’d be up at 2am with nothing to do because the whole city was sleeping. Of course, right when I got used to the time change is when I flew back to America and had to get adjusted quick; the very next day, I went back to work.
I really enjoyed the city life: stores open 24/7, public transportation everywhere, constant activity, and just the culture that comes with it. I haven’t been to New York, but I imagine that city environment is similar to Seoul’s.
My grandma was extremely happy that my mom and I were there. We had the big 80th birthday lunch with the whole family and I got to catch up with my two cousins. It was great to see my grandma surrounded by her loved ones on her birthday and it’s a memory I won’t ever forget.