Preparing for the Bustle and Hustle of Seoul

By Winter Ramos / Photojournalist

As I sit on my deck sipping a glass of cool champagne and absorbing the Missoula spring sun-rays,  I open my computer and start browsing web-sites on Seoul, South Korea.

I am soaking up a quietness that won’t exist in a huge city in Asia. In less than a month, I will be immersed in hectic traffic that makes Missoula look like a meandering forest road.

I sit and read news stories about impeached former president Park Geun-hye, Korean soap operas and the possibilities of North Korea suspending missile tests. I look at Korean fashion and wonder what to wear.  Maybe YesStyle? I read about the DMZ and wonder how that is going to look and feel. I then turn a page in The New Yorker to read about the Improvement Quarter’s bustling plastic surgery business and wonder if that is something I should do when I’m there to look more glamorous. I also read about the intensity and popularity of the vast video gaming culture of South Korea and professional gamers who can win million dollar prizes in championship games.

We will be arriving in Seoul for Buddha’s birthday, a large and colorful celebration with thousands of brightly lit lanterns that will plunge us deep into the heart and culture of a bustling vibrant city. I read about intriguing food and drink for us to test including soju, bibimbap and ddukbokki.

Then I finish the last drops of bubbly, take another deep breath and calmly ponder our opportunity to experience the fast-passed writing adventure that awaits us as University of Montana School of Journalism students abroad.