Reflections Four Months In…

I feel like I’ve blinked and suddenly found myself three pay-checks and four rent payments into my time in Seoul. How has that happened? Whilst time seems to be getting away from me, upon reflection I have done so much.
From leaving off where my last post left me, I have not given up on the salsa. In fact, I have thrown myself whole-heartedly into it. Thanks to Yirak, I started taking lessons at Havana Bar in Hondae, which soon had me taking steps in the right direction. I even bought some salsa shoes (flat ones though- there is no way I trust my balance doing turns in heels!) Despite being the only student in the class on Saturday evenings and the huge language barrier between my teachers and I, we somehow made it work. They made me feel so welcome in their bar and it wasn’t long before I was spending most of my Saturday nights there dancing the night away. Yirak also took the time to introduce me to all of her friends at the bar, so I even have people to talk to when I go there now! I cannot thank this girl enough for all she has done for me. Did I mention I am going to Jeju salsa festival too? Sadly after two months, my Saturday classes had to come to an end as the beginner course finished. With my work schedule finishing at 10pm, I cannot make the intermediate classes during the week. Cue Didier, a lovely French guy and great dancer who happened to mention he used to teach… A weekly lesson with him is helping me to improve my steps and confidence!  The salsa scene here is absolutely amazing. There are so many bars and so many people dance. The standard is also really high, not that it takes much to impress me! But it’s clear they are so technical and have spent hours practising and perfecting their style- classic Koreans! Now I just have to try and keep up!
On the topic of work, I still very much like my job. Mondays are not a chore and I don’t dread walking through the glass revolving doors into the academy daily. How lucky am I!? My boss is chilled and my co-workers are friendly.  Whilst I have got used to teaching nearly all of the classes now, the system is changing in less than a month so there won’t be a chance for me to get bored! The only question I face now is whether I want to stay for another year, considering I am already nearly half way through this one!
My apartment is still wonderful and feels so homely now too. Although it is very small, it is absolutely perfect for me. I only came with one suitcase and I wouldn’t have anything to fill a bigger place! I bought a lovely mirror and table and took some spare chairs and a side table from Ramsey’s apartment (we can call it long-term loan); what more do you need!? I simply love living on my own!
My weekends have been filled with adventure and exploration. With this huge city on our doorstep it has been impossible not to seize our days off with both hands and make the most of them. We spent time appreciating the cherry blossom which quickly came and went but briefly painted the streets of Yeouido and the edges of Seokchon Lake a beautiful pink. We spent a night away from Seoul in Chuncheon, sampling the local speciality of Dak Galbi. We took a boat to Nami Island one weekend to appreciate the beautiful weather and spring plants and flowers, picnicing and napping in the shade of the trees. We watched our first ever baseball match in Jamsil stadium. We sunbathed on the beach in Sokcho and hiked to the peaks in Seoraksan National Park for spectacular views. Other weekends have been spent exploring other neighbourhoods and hiking in the beautiful mountains in and around Seoul. It has been non-stop fun that has hardly stopped since we arrived. 
Upon reflection of my time here I feel like I have really fallen on my feet. From living in Madrid and Cali I know that it is not easy to find friends and the job is not always what you thought you signed up for, but here in Seoul I really feel that I cannot complain. I’m grateful that I have realised how lucky I’ve been so far!

Sunset over Jamsil Stadium
Cherry Blossom on Seokchon Lake
Hiking to Mangwolsa Temple in Bukhansan National Park
Views of Chuncheon
Striking Acer trees on Nami Island

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