Graduate school

My hips happily feel the air
As I walked down play dough pavements
And around cement trees

My knees feel the humidity
As I bend in momentum
Crushing the potato chips leaves beneath me

Two years sound like a long time
To bend my knees away from my lover
My mother and my brother

Writing is a pain to many I’m sure
Writing is despair to an idle tongue
Writing is not an oral way of living

Writing is like my lover
I smile at the keys that stay with me every moment of this journey
Writing is like my mother
Nurturing me with every new thought and phrase
Writing is like my brother
Keeping me company in moments of cognition

My fingers move with intention
My hips move with the lover of my words
My eyes do not leave the page

I orally proclaim my love for my fingers
For they type all my pleasures
That spill onto this electronic screen
Never turn off

Seoul. I.

“As I am writing this, I am 38,000 feet in the air. We just crossed the International date line and are half way to our destination,Seoul, South Korea, with 3009 miles to go. That’s another 6 hours of sitting in my little aisle seat rotating my seat position and bending my knees every 30 minutes.
Usually I like to write about my journey on paper in my notebook. But the entire plane is dark and everyone is watching their movies or sleeping. Plus my light above is too far up.”

My sad attempt to write on the plane. Instead I ended up watching a Korean movie called Miss Granny (staring Shim Eun-kyung) and drinking way too much coffee. It was a good movie but I was misled to believe it was a comedy and I ended up trying not to cry at the end of the movie and scare the Chinese guy sitting next to me. But all in all it was a cute movie. And I ended up drinking too much coffee because Becki and I thought if I stayed awake on the plane I would be ready to go to sleep once I checked into my guesthouse.And voila! I would have no jet lag and I would immediately be adjusted to Korea time. WRONG, after 24 hours of being awake and sitting on the Seoul Metropolitan train with my friend Anne, I could imagine how strung out and tired I probably looked to everyone on the train coming back from work. And all I could think of was how long this train ride is going to be and “Amber! Do not face plant into your backpack because you will end up sleeping on this train for the next 10 hours.”

Other than the severe jet lag I’ve been trying to overcome and adjust to the time schedule. Coffee and dumplings have become my best friend. This past weekend was a fast blur of 12 hour days exploring Seoul (no joke, there is SO much to do) with my buddies from my ASU days, SeungJin and Anne. Also, they introduced me to so much good Korean food and of course, makgeoli which is a fermented rice wine different than Soju which is too strong and intense for me. Friday, we went to a cute Spanish restaurant and had Tapas and sangria (when I told SeungJin the next day she confusingly said “Tapas?! but you’re in Korea!” just like when I mentioned a restaurant called “Vatos Tacos” in the international district. She responded “Amber! We are in Korea, we need to get you some Korean food!” She was very persistent, but she was right she ordered the most amazing Korean food that cured my jet lag. We then preceded to hike what is translated as South Mountain and looked down at Seoul in its entirety.

The city feels as busy and big as it looks. Yesterday was my first day by myself exploring. I figured out the train system. And I was very confident about ordering Korean food. I was slightly wrong. First of all, at lunch yesterday the woman didn’t speak any English and she asked what I could barely make out was if I was Chinese or part Korean. I just shook my head shyly and just said “American.” I knew she was asking where I was REALLY from but I guess there’s no easy way to say I am a Navajo/ Native American girl from America. So we just quizzically looked at each other and ordered what I thought was chicken.

It looked like chicken on the menu. When she came out with the food, turns out it was a plate full of octopus. I was tired and hungry,so I sat there and ate it. I’ve had octopus in Sushi before. But I’ve never had an entire plate dedicated to the cephalopod mollusc. It didn’t really have a taste to it and the texture wasn’t too bad. But I’ve never ate something with so much confusion however it was fulfilling and I was off to trinket shop which was my Monday.

Today is museum and art gallery day. I can’t wait to nerd out on Korean history and art. Maybe today will be another 12 hour day. Just kidding.

Usually, my blog posts cover a week but since there is so much I will be doing in South Korea for the next week and a half. It will probably be 3 posts to cover everything. In the meantime here are some pics from the past few days I’ve been here.

♥Taken By Trees- Pacific Blue♥

Photos courtesy of SeungJin Shin

Gyeongbokgung palace: the main royal palace of the Joseon Dynasty and where kings were crowned.
King Sejong Museum: introduced/created Hangeul. Which is like the alphabet to English speakers.
Jogyesa Buddhist Temple in Seoul
Jogyesa Temple during their Chrysanthemum Flower Festival


This lunch


SeungJin and I at the Hangeul Museum in Seoul
Anne and I
The dinner that cured my jetlag
In a Hanbok; a traditional Korean dress Korean women wear during traditional festivals or events.