We did it! We got our work visas and are now officially legal to live in South Korea! Early on Thursday morning, we flew to Fukuoka, Japan to go to the Korean Consulate. We went with one of our co-workers, Andrea, who also needed her work visa. Our return flight was late on Friday, so we had two full days to explore the beautiful southern coastal city.
When we left Seoul it was rainy and cold, and upon arrival in Fukuoka, we were greeted by palm trees and 65 degree weather! We were concerned about having no actual knowledge of the area or the language, but to our surprise everything worked out perfectly! We made it to the Consulate by the eleven a.m. deadline, and within fifteen minutes had successfully forfeited our passports for the next twenty-four hours while they processed our visas.
Afterwards, we had plenty of time to kill so we found some tourist information and then quickly headed to the beach. With Japanese sand between our toes, we ran out into the surf only to find the water to be quite frigid. Nevertheless, we stood out in it long enough to snap a few pictures before returning to dry land.
We were starting to get quite hungry, so we slowly made our way back towards town looking for a place to eat. We were getting a little frustrated after wandering around with no luck when this sweet old lady riding a bike in spiked golf shoes approached us. She spoke a bit of English and asked us if we were lost and needed any help. We told her how hungry we were and she proceeded to load Andrea’s bag into her bicycle basket and walked with us 6 blocks to a cheap little hole in the wall restaurant!
Once we filled up on the traditional Japanese Italian $3 pasta meals, we realized we were still fairly far away from our hotel that we had booked. With taxis being so expensive, and us on a limited budget, we were worried about running out of money. While contemplating what to do, we discovered that on the other side of the restaurant was a hotel, so we walked over and booked two rooms for the night. Andrea decided to rest for a while, so we went on a hike around the city and nearby parks.
We were in need of some rest ourselves, so we returned to the hotel. The room was Japanese person sized, so Ryan had to watch his step everywhere he went. The room also came with sweet matching robes so we posed for a few pictures.