My First Trip to Korea This was my first time flying. I can remember getting on the plane scared and excited all at the same time. The plane was filled with so many people that looked like my mother all in the same place at the same time. They all had pale smooth skin, very slanted eyes, and coal black hair some long and some short. We had now begun our journey to my mother’s home in South Korea. The flight was extremely long, especially to me. I was only five years old. This felt like a dream to me. Everything was so different and new.
The people around me were all speaking broken English and Korean, as they talked the air was filled with strong aromas of garlic, hot peppers, and onions from the Kim chi they had been eating. Everyone was smiling and nodding as they were talking. Once we reached the airport my Aunt was there to greet us. This was my first acutance to this side of my family. Things were nothing like where I had come from. The airport was so congested I was really afraid to let my mother’s hand go, fearing that I might get lost in the crowd.
We finally get to the car and start traveling to my aunt’s house as we travel to the country side the scenery is different in many ways some of the houses actually look like Huts. There are lots of rice fields that extended for miles. We reached my Aunt’s house. A tall apartment looking building, we entered on the first floor which was a restaurant. The people were eating and socializing. It was not nearly as crowded as the airport scene not by far. We make our way to the elevator we stop on the second floor there I meet my uncle small slender man smiling and nodding welcoming us.
We entered taking our shoes off at the entrance; I look around and see pictures of animals and various little Buddha men statues with incense and lots of bamboo plants. There was no furniture, just lots of open space. The room did have the tall Hutch looking pieces that looked to be antiques. The adults gathered around talking and hugging saying there hellos and asking about the flight. We head back to the elevator up to the third floor this was considered the family house. This was where my Aunt lived with her family and my grandmother.
My aunt has prepared a huge feast with traditional Korean dishes. We had Kim chi, rice, pork of some kind that has a sweet taste, and a variety of cakes that were stacked high not in the circular form like the cakes back at home, but square. We all sat down to eat not the way I was use to but on the floor. I looked around instead of spoons and forks we ate with chopsticks. I had learned to eat with them but did not use them much, so it was kind of difficult at first but I managed, for I was starving.
Unlike my uncles house my aunt did have some furniture a sofa and a few chairs but no seemed to be using them. The day was over and I was beat. I was taken to my room and as I look around everything looked normal except for the fact there is no bed. I look to my mother and ask where do we sleep, she smiled and explained on the floor on a futon. I always slept on a bed unless I had fallen asleep on the floor playing or watching TV. As I lay there I look up at the ceiling they were standard white and smooth except for the fact they looked so far away.
The walls were yellow not bright but still cheerful, and giving a warming feeling. The floor was not actually bad as I thought it was going to be they almost felt cushiony, and they were even heated. Amazed at all I had seen, ate and experienced, I finally fell asleep. This was quite an interesting experience I learned about the difference between my two cultures and some of the reasons why my mother did some of the things she did when were back at home. These things were part of her and her way of living.