Saturday, August 28, 2010


it's our last weekend in seoul

we have two days of work left, then a hectic scramble to get everything in order before we fly to japan for a week and a half.

if all goes according to plan, we should be back in the states mid-september, with new stories to tell and hopefully a long time of rest.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

starting the countdown

so our long weekend is past, and now there's nothing between us and finishing our contract at the end of august except 4 weeks of no breaks.  still, 4 weeks is manageable.  and we have a 12 day tour of japan sandwiched in between leaving korea and returning to the states, so there's reason for hope.

about geyongju: it's awesome. don't go during the first week of august, because apparently every korean on the peninsula goes there, and it takes hours to go a dozen miles thanks to all the traffic.  apparently renting a bike is a good way to go, but there are lots of hills, and it is extremely hot in august.  beyond that, we had a fantastic time. i didn't see king munmu's tomb, but i did see several 1,400 year old buddha images carved into cliffs, and the UNESCO world heritage site of the Seokguram Grotto, which was really impressive, despite having to walk down from the grotto in the pouring rain.

there was a traditional korean play on saturday night that we watched; it was something about a woman trying to teach her husband to stop chasing after other women. it was a musical comedy, not a drama, so you shouldn't feel badly for the wife.  we had a great time at the gampo marina market as well; everyone there was thrilled to see white people, and when we ate at a crab restaurant they put us on the street to show us off to everyone walking by.  they also took pictures, but it was all in good fun. 

of course once we got back in seoul, on the subway ride home from gwhangwhamun where the bus dropped us off, we had a very unpleasant experience on the subway with some repulsive, leering indian men.  it wouldn't be the subway in seoul if we weren't made to feel extremely uncomfortable in some way, so it was sort of like a welcome home.

anyway, if you're in korea and you tire of the big city, i highly recommend gyeongju--especially if you like history.