Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Bright Lights of Tokyo

It's been about 3 weeks since we took a long weekend away to Tokyo, which we absolutely loved. We were really in need a a vacation, some solid together time, and a little escape from Korea...and Korean food.

Our bosses were so worried that we were going to go to Japan, get swine flu, bring it back, infect and kill all of our students, and destroy their businesses, that we kept our trip on the down-low. People are so paranoid about that stuff around here, that I wasn't and still am not allowed to tell any of my students that I've been to Tokyo in the last six months. But, it's been more than 9 days since we've been back, so we are officially not infected with the disease, so all is good. (You wouldn't believe the number of people wearing masks in Tokyo. It was quite amusing.)

In all honestly though, we not only enjoyed our trip, we LOVED Tokyo. It's so much more diverse than Seoul, and in that sense, felt a lot more like being in LA or NYC. Overall, Tokyo is just our kind of city. There were big parks all over the place. It's extremely bike friendly, so much so, that there are entire parking lots at the big subway and train stations that are only for bicycles. We rented bikes for the whole time we were there and it was SO GREAT to ride a bicycle again! We've missed our bikes a lot this year. Of course, the food was INCREDIBLE. We used to eat sushi a lot at home, but haven't too much this year, because the Korean version is not so great and not so healthy. While in Tokyo, we ate sushi for 5 meals I believe, which is quite often if you are only there for a long weekend.

So...basically the entire trip, we were asking ourselves...why haven't we been living in Tokyo this whole last year? But, life would be miserable if we really lived with those kind of regrets. Also, it is SO expensive. Keith read an article on the BBC a couple of days ago that ranked Tokyo as the most expensive big city in the world for ex patriots to live. Although there are a lot of things we really enjoyed there, we probably wouldn't have been able to pay off debt like we've been able to do here in Korea, so, it's probably for the best.

I will post a few pictures from our trip here, but you can see a whole album of pictures by going to my facebook page and viewing the album. (NOTE: For non-facebook users, you do not have to be a facebook member to view the album. You can view it from my profile page.)

This last weekend we went to the coast for Fourth of July with some other Americans that we know here. We ate pizza and played Red Rover. It was a beautiful day and warm enough to swim in the Pacific. We tried to set off fireworks, but, apparently, they are illegal. We found that out after the lady in the convenience store willing sold a bunch of them to us. We will be going to the beach again this Saturday for Korea's famous Mud Festival. By Mud Festival, they mean that you cover yourself in this famous mud that is supposedly good for your skin and hang out all day in the sun covered in it. It should be interesting, to say the least.

We are counting down the days, 37 to be exact. Still, though, we are trying to savour our time here with our friends and this great experience. Can you believe we've been here for about 5 weeks shy of a year? What an incredible adventure it's been.
Posted by Megan and Keith at 5:17 PM |  


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