I arrived Seoul one day before the first Korean tour gig in Busan and spent the day with our European/Korean group walking around in Seoul and falling in love with Korean food. We visited the little alley and cool café where the Korean NPIH magazine edition was shot and took some pics just for fun (below). Little tents above are for fortune tellers. There were dozens of them and they actually looked really busy (not with tourists but older local people).
Korea is full of colors, sounds and smells. So full it was almost too much for me but at the same time I found it incredibly interesting and the food was simply the best I’ve ever eaten. I loved my first visit in the country and can’t thank enough Lasher who planned our trip and made all the arrangement taking care of every little detail and was also extremely patient with us. Our European part of the group reminded more a kinder garten than five adult ladies one wanting to find a toilet, another one coffee (that’s usually me) and the third one food, the other two asking “are we there yet”. Lol!
In Asia nothing is a problem and no one is complaining. I loved my little chats with Lasher about the local very competitive education system and working environment. This is what I love to do during my trips. I’m a mother of school aged children and an economist by my original education and always been interested in human resources so I love learning about local systems wherever I go. Lasher mentioned – casually like it’s a fact and not complaining a bit – that she actually works 18 hours a day and sometimes even sleeps in her office if there’s no time to drive home. I know I’m lucky with all my freedom but there’s also a huge cultural difference between hectic Asia and Nordic Countries. 18 hours!
We took a train to Busan the morning of the gig with several Korean fans (I knew some of them already from Paris and London) and thanks to Lasher’s careful planning had time to get a nice impression of Busan as a seaside city. We took a sightseeing bus around the city and saw the massive harbor and had lunch in a seaside style restaurant and even managed to catch the amazing sunset just before heading to the venue for the gig.
I posted some photos here and a few more random pics below. The first gig of the tour in Busan was my personal favorite in Korea. Not necessarily because it was the best one but because of the lovely relaxed day we had before the show and because of the really nice venue with good view for everyone.
We didn’t stay over night in Busan but instead took a bus back to Seoul during the night. Lasher had booked us (and a big group of Korean fans) a really comfortable bus so we could rest a bit and spent the next day in Seoul before the next and most important show of the tour. The venue was huge. I had a seat far away but really enjoyed the show, the atmosphere was absolutely fantastic. I posted a few videos here, check them out if you haven’t seen them yet.
We had a day off on Saturday so we could walk around in Gangnam area, have some Korean barbecue and watch the live chat Mika did on a Korean web site. Again, thanks to Lasher we could watch the chat in an extremely luxurious conference space with a city view and a big screen. So much fun! I love these long live chats and radio and TV interviews from Asia and especially hearing Mika speaking English again.
The last city of the Korean tour was cold and windy Daegu. Luckily we didn’t need to walk but the bus took us first to see the market place, then to have delicious Korean barbecue lunch and finally to a trendy, famous coffee house/roastery where Lasher’s local friend kindly offered us coffee before going to the venue. The café was large but so popular it was full of people so we were lucky the girls had booked us a table in advance.
I wrote about the Daegu show here. I wasn’t allowed to take photos so took only one pic of the confetti moment (the last one below). I wish I had a photo of the pretty blue paper planes the audience flied to surprise Mika. Absolutely loved the moment! It was the highlight of the show together with the Happy Ending a cappella part following planes in the end of the song. Magical!
After the last show our bus took us back to Seoul and we headed to the airport to catch an early plane to Japan. A huge thank you to Lasher and her friends for everything and to Sarah, Solange, Grazia and Valerie for their lovely company. See you all soon again! X