Sunday, March 9, 2014

Loving My New Home

     As of March 5th, I can now officially call Seoul my new home. This is extremely refreshing and exciting considering the last 7 weeks of my life have been spent in several different locations, dressing myself in the morning out of a suitcase. The flight from Okinawa was relatively short. After a quick check through immigration and customs, Josh and I were greeted with several bright camera flashes as we exited the terminal. At this point I wasn't quite sure if I was being mistaken for Matthew McConaughey or George Clooney, but perfectly understandable! From the airport, we took a bus roughly one hour to Jamsil Stadium, our home field. It's located right next to the Olympic Stadium from the 1988 Summer Olympics.
     After quickly throwing my bags into my locker, it was time to move into my apartment. The locker room by the way is phenomenal and recently renovated. It's extremely comfortable and spacious for all the guys. Both Josh and I jumped into a taxi with Jay, my translator, bound for our home in Gangnam. For those who don't know, Gangham is a section of Seoul much-like say the Upper East Side or Greenwich Village in Manhattan, NYC. This was our first encounter with the traffic and let me tell you, it is not something I will ever be comfortable with. Stop and go for 20 minutes to travel a few miles is not my idea of good travel. Aside from that fact, I was in awe of both how clean the city was and how upbeat it was. I felt like I was right back in New York City…minus the clean part.
     We moved into our apartments (which are great) and headed off for a much-needed meal. I loved walking down the narrow side streets and checking out everything. Gangnam has absolutely everything including my favorite, Brick Oven Pizza New York Style. Josh and I ventured to this restaurant last night and were not disappointed in the slightest. We've also made our way to a sushi place twice already where you can pick your sushi right off a conveyor belt that runs by your table. One of the sushi chefs even recognized us from the internet I guess and made us a couple special plates. Not too bad!!
     I cannot stress how good the food is, how good the service is, and how much of a variety is available. Thinking about this makes me wish my girlfriend, Jenna was out here to spend the summer with me. She is currently kicking some butt in Topeka, Kansas in the sports broadcasting industry and I'll just have to wait until summer for her to come visit me. She is 8 inches shorter than me and 90 lbs lighter than me, but there is no question she can eat just as much, if not more than me. Jenna is a food lover and I make it a point to tell her about everything I sink my teeth into. My favorite thus far has been the blueberry pancakes at ButterFinger Pancakes next to my apartment building. I cannot wait to try more restaurants and to experience everything Gangnam has to offer.
     Along side all the great things and experiences, there are also a few instances in which Josh and I have had some difficulty. For instance, we went to a local store today to purchase laundry detergent and spent 5 minutes trying to figure out which one would go in the washer. Every single product was in all Korean and although I am going to learn to read Korean soon, I could not tell the difference between detergent and fabric softener. Oh well, let's hope I picked the right one because I'm doing laundry as I write this! The language barrier is tough, resulting in me almost getting on the subway in the wrong direction. I live 4 subway stops from Jamsil stadium and I love riding it. It takes roughly 8 minutes to get to work on the subway every day and it couldn't be more convenient. 
     It has only been a few days here, but I already feel at home. I've been stopped multiple times to take pictures with people who recognized me and I couldn't be happier to do so. The fans are great and you all are what keeps this team ticking. I look forward to meeting many more fans along the way and hearing you all cheering for LG as the summer progresses. Tomorrow, we leave for 12 exhibition games as a final tune-up and I'm eager to work hard and be as ready as possible. Hopefully this weather warms up and I'll miss sleeping in my apartment in Gangnam while we're gone. The season is almost here and let's go LG!! Until next time...