We have been stationed at Osan Air Base in the Republic of Korea for a year now. In two nights time we will fly back to the states and make our way to our new station in Alabama. I did not want to be sent here, but it has been such a great experience living here.
The top 10 things I have enjoyed while living at Osan Air Base in Korea:
1. The view from our 10th floor apt. In the early morning hours, the kids and I loved to snuggle out on the patio wrapped in blankets, drinking hot coco and coffee and watch the sun rise. At night, the lights of two different cities that twinkled in our view was stunning. Though I often tried, I could never get pictures that adequately captured how beautiful those two times of day were.
2. Being within walking distance to everything on base. The chapel? 5 min. The school? The grocery store? The indoor pool? 8 min! The gym was 15 min. but the walk added to our exercise! Don't feel like walking? Call the base taxi. $2.30 will get you almost anywhere you need to go on base.
3. Taking groceries from the car to the kitchen in shopping carts. So convenient! The carts are also convenient for anything else you need to take up or down. And for playing in too...
4. Having a trash chute. Its not that I mind taking the trash out to a trash bin, its that I can never remember to take the bin to the curb on trash day until I hear the garbage truck pulling away! Not looking forward to that again.
5. The restaurants. The main strip full of stores and restaurants right outside the main gate has just about any cuisine you could ask for, and we enjoyed them all. Ok, the Mexican wasn't that great because they never had limes, but the Italian was fantastic. The Meat restaurant was a family favorite for Korean food because they cooked it right on your table. The Indian/Pakistani restaurant that opened not too long ago was really goo, and the Turkish one was our favorite of all. Yum! There was also Brazilian dining, Japanese sushi, Thai, Chinese...and those are just the restaurants off base. On base there was Chili's, Oriental House, Flying M Steak House (where kids eat free on Tuesdays!), Checkertails, Popeye's, Pizza Hut ,and various other fast foods, and almost all of them delivered. What will we eat now?
6. Speaking of good food, we loved to hop in the car and head to E-mart or Home Plus. Kind of like a cross between a Super Walmart and a department store. We would always stop at the food court first and decide what to order from the display. Most of the time, we didn't really know what we were ordering, we just hoped that it was something that we would enjoy. They had the coolest stuff too. And the best produce!
7. The mountains. Most of our favorite memories here involve mountains. They are beautiful and we have enjoyed seeing them and hiking them throughout the various seasons.
8. The rest stops. The rest stops here are fantastic! They are master-planned with restrooms, food court and convenient store. There is usually a playground for the kids too.
9. Safety. The kids got a lot of attention from locals here. Everyone wants to give them candy or take a picture with them. The youngest has started to say 'Cheese!' anytime anyone even looks at him. It's very safe to allow that here but they are in for a big surprise when we get back to the states.
10. Experiencing Korean culture.