Last weekend I experienced my first train adventure here in Korea. I’ve had to teach Saturday camps for the past couple weeks, and I finally had last weekend off so I really wanted to go somewhere. My soldier friend at Osan Air Base invited me up there for the weekend. I was really nervous about riding on the train for the first time. I think this was mainly because of all the bad experiences I had riding trains in Germany. My friend Hannah was going to Seoul at the same time though, so I bought a ticket for the same train since it made a stop in the town I was going to. It all worked out really well. They announced all the stops in English, and it was a pretty comfortable ride. It took about 3 hours, and I got into the town of Pyeongtaek around 9:30 where my friend met me so it all went completely smoothly. From there, we had take another train back to Songtan where he lives, and we ended up getting on the wrong one and going the opposite direction, but it was quickly fixed! I was really tired by the time we got to the house, so I just took a shower and watched tv while my friend went to get food from base. I had an Italian Sub with fries, and a glass of wine. The pantry and fridge were also packed full of American junk food and drinks! Yum! Then we started to watch the movie “Just Go With It”, but I fell asleep pretty quickly.
On Saturday, I had chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast! I haven’t had pancakes in 2 months!! I also got to go to the army base. I was super excited about this. After quite a long check-in process, we walked in, and it was like walking into any little town in America. It was like a college campus almost. It was also an incredibly beautiful day. So I got driven around the base and saw how huge it is. Then, we went to lunch at CHILI’S!!! This was the strangest part. I’ve only been here 8 weeks, but stepping foot into the Chili’s was like a reverse culture shock. It was exactly the same as back home and packed full of Americans. I just kept looking around in awe. It was a bit overwhelming. Also, those that know me how much I love Chili’s. I know it sounds silly, but I have a lot of memories connected with this restaurant going back all the way from early childhood. Anyway, the soldier thought it was really funny that I was getting so nostalgic. I ordered a margarita of course, an Oldtimer, and then we got a molten chocolate cake and apple cobbler for dessert. SO GOOD! I couldn’t finish though, and I felt really bad about it. My stomach has definitely shrunk since I’ve been here. So after that, I was ridiculously full, so we just went home and watch Harry Potter for the rest of the day and night. We were going to try to make it through all the movies, but that was a big failure. We only got through 3 I think.
On Sunday, we went back over to where the base was and ate at a Churrascaria. OMG! It was incredible. I didn’t think they existed here, but apparently they do. Unfortunately, I couldn’t eat as much as I wanted here because I got full way too fast. But, it was delicious. I think my body really needed all the iron and protein. After that, I had to pack my stuff and get ready to head back to Gyeongsan. I almost missed my train. We literally made it there with about 2 minutes to spare. I made it back to my town around 8:30, and was able to direct my taxi driver all by myself so I was excited about that! I was much too tired to get on the bus, so jumping in the taxi was a nice luxury.
So anyway, I really enjoyed my little “escape from Korea”. It was pretty hard to leave, but I had to go back to real life. Having a little bit of home for the weekend really rejuvinated me though, so I’m glad I got to experience it. Now my freezer is packed full of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. I kind of wish I’d picked up some more products from the base, but I’ve done really well here and already lost 15lbs. so I would like to keep that up. I’m sure I’ll be back to the base sometime for my America fix though!
Unfortunately, these would not fit in my bag: