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The Adventurer’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 24 Dec 2006

Location: Korea (South)

MapMerry Christmas Eve!
Another Christmas in Korea. It's sure really different back home. There isn't much Christmas spirit here as this is not a big holiday for Koreans. There are lights, and music, but not so much where I'm living in Ansan. We find our spirit among us foreigners. However, the big holiday for Korea is Lunar New Year, and like we westerners who celebrate for at least a month, the same is done for Lunar New Year, and this holiday Koreans spend with their families, enjoying their own special kinds of foods and traditions.

My friend Kenyetta came in from Japan for a quick visit. We got together with Erin and Sean from our school (fellow Canadians) and went out for a scrumptious Italian dinner and wine in Seoul. For the first time this season, I was really feeling the Christmas spirit. After that we made our way to an extremely popular shopping district--Myeong-Dong for the world's best Krispy Kreme doughnuts, well worth any time and effort it may take to get there. This place is also extremely busy on Christmas Eve. The streets are filled with people and you can barely move. The neon lights intermingled with the Christmas lights and the music make it all very exciting and fun, but still very different.

Ben and Jeremiah from the U.S. met us there and we headed to a cathedral in the area for midnight mass. I've never seen anything like it. People lined up all around the cathedral and the doors didn't open until about 11:20. We slowly made our way through the line only to get to a nativity scene and then they sent us into another building, so we weren't actually in the cathedral for the service. The service was in Korean, but was interesting to see a mass in a different country and language. We finished at 1:15 am and headed back to Ansan. We got home at 3:00 am. It was great fun, but I think I'll choose a quieter, less busy venue to enjoy Christmas Eve in the future.