Archive for Korea

Hello From Incheon Airport

Hello All

I’m sitting in an Airport lounge with a cold beer, a free web connection and an hour to kill. What a great time to send everyone an update . . . .

Seoul was fantastic! It’s certainly not one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations – but I can’t understand why not. Without boring you all with the details, here are some of the highlights:

  • Briefly visiting North Korea – and watching the cold war in action at Panmunjeon. North Korean and US border guards literally eyeballing each other.
  • Everything here is made by Samsung, Hyundai, Daewoo, or LG. That’s it. There are no other brands.
  • Just being an a city where 28 million people all intent on driving around suicidally on their (Daewoo) motor scooters. Who said Asians can’t drive? These people are maniacs!
  • Some of the best markets I have seen – ever (and I’ve seen a few)
  • World Cup aftermath. Everything is shaped like soccer balls – including subway stations. Half the population wears “Be the Reds” t-shirts (Slogan of the South Korean Soccer team)
  • Bubble Tea. If you don’t know what Bubble Tea is, then watch this space . . .
  • “Report a spy” reward stickers on the metro
  • Roast dog, dog on a spit, dog steaks etc. And yes, I even found a cage of cats at the market (I didn’t ask). On the other hand it’s almost impossible to find beef or lamb here
  • Palaces and Temples (I have to say that, as I spent hours walking around them)
  • American Forces Television
  • The Koreans themselves who are completely different culturally and attitudinally from everyone else in Asia. (Yes, I do realize that of course they would be different – but they are really really different). A very proud and inwards looking people. No wonder they call this the Hermit State.

A typical street scene

I’m off to Singapore shortly, where I’ve got to start slowing down I think. So far it has been surprisingly hard work being unemployed and homeless. (If I keep up this pace I’ll need a holiday soon – ha!).

From what I am hearing from you, the rest of the world is ticking along just fine. There’s not much else to report. I am still alive and well.

This is a really really big airport. I’m flying Singapore Airlines so looking forward to playing video games the whole way (not!)

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I wanted to go on this ride

Oh well - it's not for me

. . . luckily I was only drunken and old, so I scraped through requirement number one

But someone wanted to accompany me – so it was all off :(

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Dogs for sale in the Market

Dogs for sale

Not as pets!

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Hello from Seoul

Hello All

Just a note to let you know that I am on my way. After shrinking my entire life into a backpack I spent Wednesday night sleeping on the floor of my empty apartment before jumping on a plane at the crack of dawn

For the last three days I have been here in Seoul.

I am having a fantastic time – sightseeing to the max, and suffering from extreme exhaustion at the end of every day. I keep having to pinch myself to be sure that yes indeed this is really happening!

Seoul is a fascinating place. I'm sitting here in an internet cafe where the temperature must be about 40 degrees, and in the last few days I have seen palaces, markets, shops etc.

I'm also incredibly grateful to Donna, not just for the use of her lounge floor but also for her help as tour guide and drinks co-ordinator. I've already had a few late nights with the local english teaching community!

That's probably enough from me for now. I promise to try not to bore you with endless drivel, and have included a joke to make up for the drivel above. Suffice to say that at this stage I'm alive and having a great time.

PS:  Please excuse the spelling of this email as this is a Korean computer and does not appear to have any sort of spell check function.  After so many years of  total reliance on spell checkers it would appear that my spelling skills are long gone!

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