Monday, February 8, 2010

1. Three short weeks

I know I have been reallly slack this time. I haven’t updated this blog in ages! The excuse I’m going to use this time is that I’ll be leaving Korea in the next 3 weeks so I have a lot of running around to do and therefore have no time to take pictures which then limits my motivation to upload a blog entry.

Well, now that that’s all sorted out. Let’s forget about the second part of the India trip for a while. I don’t have my notes with me at the moment and I can’t remember what else happened during the trip.

So I got back to Korea in the peak of Winter season and after enjoying beautiful weather in India my return started out quite miserable. That was short-lived though, as soon as I rediscovered how damn easy everything is over here.. it made me feel much better. I had to say good bye to my second school as I’ll never be seeing them again.. the kindy kids were particularly hard to say goodbye to. Here are a few pictures from then:

Oh and I also made some pizza for the teachers in December:

On the drive back to my place one day we stopped over to find this cool little island. It wasn’t really an island rather a bit of land that divided the river. Being winter all the leaves had fallen except for the pines and evergreens, there was a grave site there and also a traditional Korean bridge that led over the river. It was freezing so I snapped as many shots as I could and then scrambled back into the warmth of the car!

During the adult classes I had to teach for a week, I met some really cool people. We now meet once a week and do a random assortment of things from tourist attractions around yeongwol to dinner to coffee.. one of them is a young guy named Joey who just finished 2 years of university and now must complete 2 years of compulsory military training before resuming uni again. The other two are teachers at a middle school.. one is a math teacher and the other is a music teacher. They all want to be able to learn English conversation better so we usually end up talk quite a bit during these meetings. Here’s a bit of information of one place we visited a couple of weeks ago..

Exile place of young King Danjong, Cheongryeongpo Cheongryeongpo is located on the upper side of the Namhangang River, Gwangcheon-ri, Nam-myon, Yeongwol-gun and was exile place of King Danjong. It's surrounded by a river to the north, south and east side. In the west side, it has steep cliff called Yungnukbong. It's like an island that can't access without a boat.Cheongryeongpo where the King Danjong who died at the young age of seventeen was stayed consists most of a pine forest and gravelly field now. The Gwaneumsong which located in the middle of the pine forests has 30 -meter-height and 600-year-old. When Danjong was banished here, he rested under this pine tree. It is good to see Cheongryeongpo itself but it is famous for geographical features of a mountain and river around Cheongryeongpo, especially the crystal clear river that can see the river bottom.

We got there and saw this sign.. it said something like: "Sorry the boat is out of service since the river is frozen solid.. please walk across"

Another weekend I went to visit Cassie in a place called Yanggu, where she lives. They were meant to have an ice festival but apparently it was only open for Friday and not Saturday too. This is a picture of the festival grounds that were teaming with people and sculptures and tents and games and other general festivities.

This next photo is of me painting a teapot/cup all in one. Cassie’s high school girls informed her of this cozy little artsy waffle/coffee/pottery café place in Yanggu so we went to check it out. Its one of those places that you’d definitely miss if you weren’t looking for it. Just up a narrow staircase with the word Dorothy’s in Korean. I’ve actually found that common among a lot of really cool places in Korea.. most of them aren’t listed anywhere and you just stumble upon or other people tell you about.

Finally I have some pictures of a place between Yanggu and Inje when we decided to take another route home instead of the highway. If you think it looks grand in the pictures, you should’ve been there to see what it really looked like. The fresh crisp air and the slight smell of rain on the wind made this stop on the side of the road very, very memorable!

That puts us up to date with my travels so far. I have this constant feeling walking around with me that I’ll miss this place. But you don’t want to hear too much about that.. I know that it’s just a stepping stone in the journey of my life.. and to all those who said leaving is a less than wise decision, maybe you’re right. But I’ll never know until I leave and look for greener pastures.

Chook will be arriving the day after tomorrow so look forward to another guest blogger!

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