Or, My Asian Adventure, Numerically Speaking.
1: Raw Ginseng root eaten after being offered by a kindly man with wrinkles showcasing his eyes at the Yangyang market. Also the number of photos I was asked to be in with total strangers (at the Forbidden City in Beijing).
6: Times I was asked to take pictures for total strangers.
2: Cups of mineral water I drank directly from a spring in the ground (in Osaek).
3: Flights (out of 5) wherein I had two (or more!) seats to myself. (Comfortable air travel is happy air travel.)
5: Times (out of 5) I sat by the window on the aforementioned flights. Also the number of Buddhist temples I visited.
11: Pictures I attempted to self-take with little compositional success, that I still very much love.
4: The most unlucky number in South Korea, and thus the one missing from all numbering and building planning. The floors in Will and T’s apartment building (and all other apartment buildings) were numbered 1, 2, 3…5, 6, 7 and on and on, with no fourth floors ever to be found.
4 & 9: The days most Korean cities host local markets; that is, any day boasting either a 4 or 9 in the date. Apparently the number 4 isn’t so unlucky when it comes to shopping.
20+: Times I put something in my mouth for the first time ever, something I probably had no idea even existed a few minutes prior to eating it.
5(pm) 2.5.10: The moment I realized I was eating squid as it was meant to be prepared. (Fresh from salt water, grilled and stuffed with rice and veggies and other mouth-watering goodness.)
13: Pounds I lost while in Asia. Also the number of days I awoke to bright sunshine and clear (albeit meat-locker-cold) days in both Beijing and South Korea.
5: Days Snowmageddon decided to visit South Korea. (The last five days, as it were.)
50 lbs: Worth of journals/notebooks/day planners I ogled, coveted, laughed at and nearly bought while in South Korea.
14: Paper somethings with which I actually absconded. (Lest you think I’ve successfully plunged off The Paper Deep End (It exists; I checked), a large percentage of that 14 were purchased as gifts, and you can’t prove otherwise.)
10: Postcards I intended to mail while abroad, which will actually be mailed from a more exiting, exotic location that looks remarkably like my apartment.
20: Minutes a day spent laughing while trying to understand Korean television programming with Will and T.
3.21: Kilometers I hiked up The Great Wall.
120: Seconds it took to be whisked down off The Great Wall via gondolas located at one of the original lookout stations.
30: Minutes spent riding around the hutongs in Beijing on a rickshaw.
18: Days I journaled while abroad (See also: every day).
32: Degrees outside when Theresa and I decided to take a snowy, nighttime bike ride to Rolly Espresso and back. (Despite The Freezing, it’s one of my favorite memories from the trip. Especially because I know we looked Crazy walking in for a cup of espresso with our pants and hats, hands and red noses dripping wet.)
1 Million: A rough estimate of how many times I thought to myself, “I am so thrilled to be here.”
843: The number of pictures I took while on the trip.