We stayed in what was called the Gangham district. It has become quite famous by the Psy song/video “Gangham Style”. Gangham is one of Korea’s most affluent areas. We enjoyed it primarily because it reminded us all of our beloved Los Angeles. They even had a California Pizza Kitchen restaurant, which is one of the girls’ favorite restaurants back home. We all got our first haircuts in this area as well. They were a little confused on how to work with curly hair–but it all turned out great in the end. We had a friend from LA meet us to discuss and set up some potential business relationships. However, it was this combined with the nostalgia that made the whole experience almost a little too close for comfort. For the first time we were all suffering from the complicated illness referred to as “homesickness”… especially Ella; and it wasn’t fun.
We attempted to have our business meetings in the lobby/restaurants of our hotel while the girls watched a movie and ordered room service–however we were staying at the Ritz, and the dinner and drink bills were more than the price of the hotel room. Not to mention that the girls were really missing being around us–especially since feeling so homesick. For one reason or another, everyday the plans that our Korean/LA friend made for us were continually getting changed at the last minute–leaving us running, running in different directions following frantically, blindly-completely lost and utterly frustrated. We even ended up having to delay our time in Korea, which meant we would have to miss Japan, due to this pour frantic planning. This was a decision that we now regret painfully…
The one upside was that we met an incredibly lovely newlywed couple. They went out of their way to show us a good time. We saw the most incredible fireworks display ever!! It went on for over an hour…!! And was timed and choreographed to beautiful music. It was like nothing we had ever seen before. All of Korea was there watching with us. After what seemed to be just a mess of a visit–they really helped us to end on a beautiful note: picnicking overlooking all of Seoul on a sunny afternoon basking in the glory of an exhilarating hike. It was a lovely bright spark in an overall dark experience. Of course I only experienced this vicariously through the pictures and the stories from Jason and the girls… I was left in the hotel room sick– homesick that is. I can truly attest to the fact that “homesick” is an actual malady–for the 10 day duration in Korea, each of us battled it, and toward the end I too had succumbed to it’s torment. We were all eager to leave; gasping for a breath of fresh air in a whole new environment.