I notice I have this one peculiar habit. Whenever something gives me great joy, I always tend to choose to re-experience that something over and over again. Even when I know that there could be other choices out there. Take for example when I walk in a restaurant for the first time, and I happen to order an impossibly delicious dish, I would always order that same dish every time I go back to that particular restaurant. Yes, every single time. (Just like Recovery Food’s Tapa de Morning, or Teriyaki Boy’s Chicken Ju).
Same habit is being practiced by moi, when it comes to Korea. It was a serendipity of some sorts that I got to know and fell in love with this lovely nation. I still remember the time when my friend Ida (Shortstride, in my Kimchilandia series) called me up telling me there’s an airline seat sale, and a roundtrip to Korea (Manila-Incheon-Manila) only costs ~Php2,800. We had been planning for ages for an Indochina (Cambodia-Vietnam-Thailand-Laos?) getaway, and Korea is definitely a whole different shebang. But I also remembered that a high school and college classmate of mine, Dale, is working in Korea. I thought, maybe we can stay at Dale’s to save not just a few thousand wons for the accommodation. So I said yes to Shortstride’s invite… nonchalantly.
Little did I know that I will fall in love with the place the moment I would set foot on it. It was mid-March so the last recesses of winter were still lingering. And I really really really love the cold. So, when we stepped out the airport and felt our first ever winter breeze that brushed our faces, BAM! 100 points for Korea.
And then a few hours later we found ourselves gliding down the snow-covered slopes of Jisan Forest Ski Resort. And I was literally euphoric! Cloud 9! Nirvana! I even whispered to Shortstride, “You know what, we still had 8 days to go (Heck, we were yet to visit Jeju Island, an even lovelier region) but I can safely say, as early as now, I am good! I mean, I can go back to Manila after our snowboarding gig and tell myself, ‘Wow! That was the funnest trip ever!'” And mind you, we were still in our first 8-9 hours in the Land of the Morning Calm.
And of course, the rest was history.
You can check out my Kimchilandia Chronicles (Me shall fix the links later… I promise) for the other stories.
So anyway, just last week, I was back “home”, yes that’s how I would refer to Korea, which would annoy my friends / make them laugh – much to my delight. 😀