I’m no stranger to cities. I’ve lived in some, played in others, studied even more. But nothing I’ve come across has compared to the place that is called Seoul. After being here a month, I still cannot quite grasp why it fits me so well. I don’t speak the language. It rains so much I’ve had to buy three umbrellas already. My apartment would be the size of a master bedroom back home. I have to squat at most public toilets.
But there is something about this place that’s like my glass slipper or bowl of porridge. It’s just right.
Maybe it’s the owners of the small grocery store on the corner of my street who smile and bow at me whenever I stop in or even walk by.
Maybe it’s the way the river reflects the orange lights of the city in its smooth waters when I ride the subway over it at night.
Maybe it’s the street shopping that’s open during the night and the way it livens up the city streets after the sun goes down.
Maybe it’s my coworkers who smile and say hello to me every morning, even if that’s the only thing we can say to each other all day.
Maybe it’s the pride that Seoulites present when they talk about their city.
Maybe it’s the many mountains that peek in between the highrises and let me know that nature is just around the corner from the department store or BMW dealership.
Maybe it’s the history in the palaces that dot the landscape.
Whatever it is, I’ll be here for a few years to figure it out.