Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Seoul (26th September)

Our day in Seoul was spent relaxing and with a visit to the Namsangol Korean village, which was just a short walk from the hostel. We had been hoping to meet up with the cousin of my former Korean flatmate, but I still didn't feel up to doing a lot.

Seoul seemed to me very much like parts of Canada, Koreans everywhere, mountains looming in the distance and 7/11 shops. At the model village children were being taught how to play games with hoops and spinning tops, which their parents had obviously played when they were young. We watched some twins try to get the spinning tops to go round, but they didn't have the patience and I worried a bit about the newly purchased hamsters swinging wildly around in the cage their mother was carrying.

A few of the old Korean buildings were very colourful, but others just white and black and persimmons were growing in the trees. There was a rule about walking a certain direction about the buildings but it seemed pretty hard to figure out. In one area many people were gathered watching a traditional wedding ceremony, but it was hard to see anything, let alone know what was going on.

Back in the kitchen with copious hobs and sinks, and a far cry from the non-existent kitchen facilities in China, we had our first proper meal in a long time, with real fresh vegetables. Some Korean families holidaying together were preparing an enormous spread and they gave us a bowl of Asian pear, with the small boy encouraged to practice his English, saying 'pear' and later 'delicious?'. The Asian pear (according to wikipedia), because of its high price, tends to be eaten in a family setting or given as gifts. From the rooftop balcony we could see the lights of Seoul spreading out below us.

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