Quick visit to Seoul in South Korea.
I had a bit of time on my way to the US. Originally it was going to have been 10hours but due to many small factors that time was shortened to 6hours.
It was still enough for me because I was going to take the opportunity to explore the city.
The journey from the airport to the major city took about 60mins. Plenty of time to catch up on some much needed sleep.
I arrived at Seoul station and was surprised to see snow! Yes, Snow! It is winter but it doesn’t snow that much where I am located in Japan.
The cold, icy air mixed with a cool breeze and sunlight was a refreshing feeling. The tall buildings, the networks of busy roads and rail services, individuals rushing about and even some homeless people reminded me that I was no longer in a rural area but a metropolitan area.
Funny thing happened when I arrived in Incheon Airport, I went to the internet cafe to use the internet of course and to get a drink. The staff came and I began speaking to her in Japanese. She looked confused and so was I.
As a bilingual speaker, my natural default when talking to a non-native English speaker is my dominant second language, which happens to Japanese. I realised that it was better to say what I wanted clearly in English than to stumble saying it in Japanese, I felt like such a tourist; zero knowledge about the culture (from a non-biased view) or the language, tut-tut.
Anyway, I found out that most of the people I spoke to could understand English and were pretty good at it too. I was able to navigate through the stations, buy some souvenirs in Namdaemun Market and explore the city of Seoul.
Unfortunately just as I got to the good part of the city (around Westin Lotte Chosun), where all the shops and restaurants were, I had realised that I didn’t have enough and had to dash back to Seoul station to catch my train back to the Incheon International airport.
Overall a great trip and would like to go again.