Some of my friends have go back in some way to South Korea and an overwhelming desire to return has invaded me. I would like to walk again in those streets and to see the city lights from a korean temple on the top of a little hill. I want to drink soju and get drunk in Hongdae and to feel again the freedom I used to fell when I used to lived there. Yes, South Korea came with vivid images and fast trains to stay in my memory forever, and to have in my mind the memory and the constant ringing in my veins pushing me towards him and making me want to take a plane back to Seoul.
I also want to go back because I want to see them; those friends I made and I still keep. I want to drink again with them, dance and laugh. I remember the evenings when we found any excuse to leave our rooms full of unread books and grab something to drink and chat for a while. Seoul is special in part because of them and those moments.
When I lived there I used to run almost every morning, I liked to run beside the river and cross it in a speed faster than the one you do when you walk. I liked to see the sunset while my feet were one behind the other and with music in my ears, that was one of my favorite activities. To go to that bridge that connect the north from the south and that was so close from where I lived. I liked to change my routes and run in places that I didn’t know before. I enjoyed to uncover new alleys and to have more surprises while I was running.
The firsts months there I hated the food and I rather ate a McDonalds hamburguer over “rice.” Bit by bit I started to enjoy korean food, and when I had money I left the college cafeterias and I went to restaurants to eat korean bbq (Samgyeopsal), jajangmyen, bibimbap (that was one of my favorites “stick with what you know” dish) or also some stew. I also found out that the spicy noodles that the cafeteria had every day worked perfectly for a hangover. When I felt a little more adventurous I ordered anything in the menu without knowing what it was and most of the times I regretted the decision that my finger had done all because I didn’t understand hangul that much. When I had some extra cash and I wanted something else, I went to restaurants with international food, I used to go (quite a lot) to Pizza School that was close from my room and an old man, his wife and his handsome son attended it, they used to live in Brasil for a while so they spoke portuguese and they were always smiling. I also went to “mexican restaurants” (that were more like tex-mex style, like in Dos Tacos) or another of my favorites was Sushiro, which had (of course) Sushi.
I also remember the afternoons where I went alone and got lost in the city, I got tired of talking so I took my map, my camera and I went walking taking pictures that are now -in some extension- the bases of my memories. Those pictures that when I see them again they made me dream over and over in my return to that land, and to see those colors again.