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My Top 5 Memories of Korea

By GSP-SKK (Samsung-Sponsored MBA Program) Graduate

What are my memories of Korea? There are too many of them. However, I would like to dwell on my top five most precious ones. Why just five? This is because I think it is my lucky number!

My Top 5 Memories of Korea

Memory 1: Mountains and Travel

Hiking is among my favorite ways of spending time. There are many mountains all over Korea. Hence, one has no other choice but to climb a mountain, at least a few times. Hiking or climbing a mountain is a special ritual there. Someone said that, when people climb a mountain, their souls become lighter. Mountains are very mysterious in Korea and look different in different seasons. The best time for hiking is spring (which is the queen of seasons) and fall: the mountains are full of pink flowers in spring, which turn red and orange in fall. The mountains offer a chance to have fun in winter: be ready for skiing and snowboarding. But, be careful with hiking in summer because it is so hot! Hiking is always a fun if you go together with your friends as you can enjoy the company, talk one to another, and share the meals during such a not-an-easy trip together. Wherever I traveled in Korea, I could see beautiful mountains everywhere (in Busan, Jeju-Do, and Seoraksan).

My Top 5 Memories of Korea

Memory 2: Friends and Salsa

If one asks me why I liked my life in Korea, I will say that I did so because I had a lot of good friends there. Since I had been staying there on my own for 4 years, I made more friends than ever in my life. As we met together for dancing Salsa, having loud dinners, watching performances and movies, we always had a good time. I usually met my friends at the Salsa bar where we danced together. Exciting music always gave me inspiration and good mood. Except for the Salsa bars, Seoul offers many other places for outing: Itawon, Apgujeong, Hongdae. I also used to meet friends of mine for nice lunches and shopping in the day-time and for dinners and dancing in the night-time.

My Top 5 Memories of Korea

Memory 3: Kimchi, Rice Cakes, and Green Tea

Korean food became one of my favorite foods. It will stick in my memory forever: "kimchi" is a traditional spicy cabbage; "rice cakes" (or "togs") are traditional cakes made of rice, beans, and soy; as well as "green tea" or, even more, "green tea ice cream with red beans". It is hard to explain the taste of the food: one should just try it. But, one try might not be enough to really like it.

My Top 5 Memories of Korea

Memory 4: Music and Karaoke

I always liked singing. Unfortunately, my voice has never been perfect. So, I left the idea in the past. However, it appeared very common in Korea to go and sing together at Karaoke bars. These bars are called "nore bangs" in Korean, which is translated as "rooms for singing". There, I understood how much fun singing was and that "music is my life!" Nowadays, wherever I listen to the music, some tunes remind me of that period of my life. This goes for modern pop singers (such as Lim Jeong Hee, Boa, Gummi, Wondergirls and many others) and Spanish tunes: they all remind me of Korea.

My Top 5 Memories of Korea

Memory 5: Shopping and "Country of Teddy Bears"

The streets of Suwon City are always clean and please the eye. Many park areas are carefully cared such as this ancient tree in the picture (on the left).