I lived in Seoul for eight months while a student exchange at the University of Chung Ang. They were eight months that led me to understand a little more of the world and my own personality. Of my life in Seoul I remember the mornings, afternoons and nights that I ran through the streets of Heukseok district and saw people go by while I went to a faster speed. I liked running there, sometimes taking the road where the Han River pass by and to saw the sun break into the buildings of the city giving the sky a clean golden touch. Other times I ran to the opposite side, where there were restaurants and shops all around and the locals watched me pass with puzzled eyes. I liked to take that route because it allowed me to know a little more of Seoul and what it had to offered me. Also, there was where I ran my first 10km race. The first race of all. And it was amazing. Time stopped.
Another thing I remember is that there was the place where I started writing again. I had left it for a long time, and when I did it again I realized it’s one of the things I enjoy most. The first day I grabbed the notebook and I started to write was in October, with the moon watching me closely as I climbed a small hill that would took me to a Korean temple watching the river and a sea of lights on the other side. There I sat on the floor with the notebook on a bench and my hand took the pen and it went automatically to create fiction. That was one of my favorite places in Seoul.
I also went to that place by day, and it looked so different. When the sky turns off the lights come out and the whole city is an illuminated sphere. I remember I could not see the stars because it was so bright down where we were. It was very rare to see them. But at that time it did not matter because the lights of the land, buildings and cars passing, had magic.
Living there gave me many experiences, it gave me the opportunity to be a tourist and then feel a little local. That was something that I missed, that feeling of not knowing my way and everything was new. Like when I went to live in Queretaro, everything felt so strange and little by little I got to know the city. So it was with Seoul, that walking and getting lost was the way I got to feel part of it. I remember when I arrived in august and it was hot and with the months passing the weather was lowering until a few snowflakes fell. I remember when I saw them I shouted with emotion and called my Mexican friend to stop whatever he was doing so he would go out into the street to see the snow fall. “It’s snowing! It’s snowing!” I shouted while I was attached to the phone and jumping. He yelled at me the same thing. I bet we seem, in the eyes of others, some crazy kids who wonder about anything, but at that moment, at least to me, I felt ecstasy.
Another thing I remember from the early days there was that nervousness that I had to meet new people of different nationalities. I remember thinking I had to make friends fast, it was not difficult, I think we all thought the same, so we all had this thirst to speak, meet and get together. I think we were united. Alcohol and the desire to be out led us to be good friends. I remember those first months full with parties, bars, beer and wow house. Also with many streets walked. Displaying temples, visiting museums, learning Tae Kwon Do … maybe I forgot a lot of my time in Korea, but what still stays in my memory is the important part. What makes me laugh and dream to go back again.