Monday, 7 April 2014

Hwagae + Yeouido during spring

I went with a meetup group to Hwagae. It was so busy that it took us 5 hours to get to Hwagae so things didn't go to plan and it was really rushed. Hwagae is south of South Korea and the ride there was wonderfully, beautifully scenic.

I had bibimbap for lunch and learned that 산채비빔밥 (sanchae bibimbap) means mountain vegetable bibimbap (even though it'll say 'alive bibimbap' on dictionaries like I had checked). 채 (chae) can mean vegetable, well, 야채 (yachae)does. And 산 (san) means mountain.

Speaking of languages, I don't really speak Japanese and I've forgotten so much! But with the meetup co-ordinator, I was surprised when I had conversations in Japanese with him (basic of course). He's been to Japan about 7 times and he learnt Japanese in Hawaii through Japanese friends and by himself too. It makes me happy when I find Koreans that don't hate Japan (well, I think he hates their government but he doesn't hate the people). He reckons I'll be fine in Japan because I can speak some Japanese and he thinks I'll pick it up easily \^0^/

Was colder than I was anticipating despite the blue sky appearance. There was a chilly wind that bit you through your hoody. Reminds me of NZ xD NZ summer guys.  

I couldn't believe I was there. It was too beautiful! I wanted to walk on the rocks in the stream but we ran out of time :'( damn traffic.

I wanted to walk around some more. We left Seoul at 7.30am (I was dying from only having a couple of hours sleep) but we still got there after 12.30pm. Usually it's meant to take only 3. Which is amazing because in NZ, it takes 4 hours (sometimes 3, I've heard if you speed) to get from Christchurch to Dunedin! But we went from Seoul to the bottom of South Korea! Korea is so small! But with loads of people. 

Candy floss!! I met a Lithuanian girl who moved to London when she was 8. She was really pretty and sweet! A little like Scarlett Johansson maybe. I felt embarrassed for not really knowing where Lithuania was. I couldn't even say 'Lithuania' ('Li.....Lu...La...?') > . < but now I'll definitely remember after that embarrassment. Anyway, she got excited about the candy floss. She's also the one that took all the photos of me from Hwagae xD  I also met her friend from Canada with parents from Hong Kong I think? They both work at a public school and seem to be enjoying it. Aside from my school, Hagwons (private schools) are generally quite bad (like the one before my current school where the owner owes me two months of wages but has run away).

One thing I love about being in a foreign country is meeting people from other countries.

On the way back, some people were complaining about the lack of time we got and asked that we can walk while the traffic was slow moving.

He let us off after we had gotten away from the traffic and let us walk some of the way....

A police man saw a trail of about 40 people walking in a line down the road. It must have looked so strange for the people that saw us. As Michelle said 'they probably think we're all lost or something.'

The ride back was tiring but I felt like it was an incredible day despite the travelling.  I now have even more beautiful images of Korea etched into my memory.

Today I visited my friend who lives in Noksapyeong. This was taken (zoomed in from my s3) on the way.

All the cherry blossoms. I love Korea in Spring!

I got hungry so I got this from Monster Cupcake in Noksapyeong. Jack Skellington.

Tess and I went to Yeouido because they have a festival next week O_o;; (I thought it was today...) the cherry blossoms bloomed earlier than predicted so they were in their prime this week (and in Hwagae, apparently they were in their prime last week but the co ordinator of the meetup group didn't know until yesterday... still, I thought they looked pretty good for blossoms no longer in their peak)

Kids biking and riding scooters. We nearly got run over a few times. One kid did bump into Tessa and she was like 'Oh! Sorry!' after a 7 second pause, we heard him say 'I'm sorry!' cute.

Something out of a movie set, right? Stunning!

There's a bird nest on the magnolia tree. 

King Sejong the Great

This statue was mentioned in a book I was teaching, so it was great to see it in person. Korea really loves him. Because of him, Korea has the hangul alphabet which is damn easy to learn! Once you put your mind to studying it, you can read anything in Korea (my problem is that I don't know what words mean). But I could pretend and read it out loud ;) 
way easier to learn than the Japanese alphabet (but, like I think I have said before, the Korean pronunciation is hard. Taxi drivers and people at restaurants can't decipher my pronunciation). I am focusing more on learning Japanese because I know more of it and I plan to go there next.......

*keeps saying this* another brilliant weekend :D

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