Tuesday, July 20, 2010
My Feet Hurt!
My feet hurt and my legs are tired. I don’t ever remember doing this much walking – I’ve walked 6 months worth in 6 weeks and there’s no end in sight. In Korea – I’m the main mode of transportation.
My husband and I will not have a car in Korea – it’s an investment I don’t feel like making and frankly the drivers here terrify me (red lights appear only to be a suggestion). It actually feels freeing not to have a car to think about – or gas prices to pay attention too. Plus, the public transportation here is reliable, clean, and cool. Even better, the subway is just a block from our apartment.
That said – we still seem to be walking most places. It’s a new experience to walk to the grocery store or “Home Plus” (the Wal-Mart/Target of Korea). You have to pay attention to just how much you’re buying and how heavy it is; because now you have to lug it home yourself. So, we purchased a small roller cart – it’s wonderful, but space is limited. I remember my grandmother using a similar cart when she went shopping in Brooklyn. All the old ladies had one – and I thought it was just something old people did. Now, it’s something I do too.
So we walk – to work, the restaurant, the store and to the subway station. You go up and down the flights of subway stairs, likely only to stand on the subway. You get off the subway and guess what….you walk some more! Wherever your destination…your two feet will take you there. Five hours will pass and you realize--you’ve been on your feet non-stop! I look around at the women in stilettos and wonder how they do it.
Let’s face it – the walking is tiring and my feet do hurt. But, there is a benefit here – it’s forced exercise. It’s healthy! At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. My legs just better look svelte by the end of this year.
(One great walk we had this year was through Namdaemun Market. It's a wonderful assault on your senses! The sights, sounds, and smells are a fun introduction to Korea. The pictures here are from Namdaemun.)
This was our lunch being cooked. It was genuine "street food" and my first taste of fried squid and other tempura. The fried vegetables were delicious.
We also tried "mandu" or dumplings. These are filled with minced pork and vegetables -- served piping hot. I have a picky palate and these were very good!
These are packages of dried squid. Obviously, food is a big part of the market experience and the Korean culture. But, I will not be trying this!